Personal experience of mine of the stars in my local neighborhood at night. Written for a High School essay.
As I take my common walk through the night, shivering as the cold air reaches through my ineffective and “past its expiration date” winter jacket. I occasionally look around and see the familiar surroundings of my neighborhood. Then I gaze up expecting to see the clean blue sky along with patches of white puffy clouds like little cotton balls shredded up by little bunnies. Instead I see a clear night sky glittered with stars twinkling in the night sky. As I holdmy head up at a 90 degree angle I am struck with a sudden epiphany of where we are, we as not only a species, but all of the creatures that inhabit our small terr-aqueous globe.
I suddenly realize that each of those fine points of light is an entire sun similar to our own, of which may be larger, brighter, hotter than our own. Each of these stars could have several rocky or gas planets orbiting around them. The planets themselves may be composed of similar elements, or they could be made mostly out of metal, coal, aluminum, copper, water, or ice. For all we know they could be made entirely out of cheese (well probably not that last one). They could be much smaller or much larger than the home we call Earth. These planets could have completely different properties from our planet, they could be massive but with low density thus creating low gravity. Or they could be small but can contain high mass thus creating high gravity. Just think, the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy each with one or more planets dancing with it. Think of how long we humans have taken just to explore our own planet (of which we have still yet to fully uncover), thousands and thousands of years of civilizations and we still have not mapped out the entire earth. To think that there may be trillions of other planets spread out throughout the galaxy for us to explore. Now I know what you may (or may not) be thinking, “Yeah sure there are trillions of planets, but how many would be fit for life, how many would be worthy of exploring. We have yet to find any planets in existence with creatures inhabiting it, or even planets with the ability to sustain life”. Well actually
As I stop digressing from the main topic at hand, I continue to gaze up at the sky for what seems like forever I realize both how small we are and how much we still have to learn, about the earth, the stars the galaxy and ourselves. You see in a way the atoms and molecules in our body were once the same building blocks used in the stars and planets of our galaxy. “We are connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically” – Neil Degrasse Tyson. So in a way, the more we know about the cosmos the more we know about ourselves. “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” – Carl Sagan
As I finally release my view of the stars I feel a nice cool breeze flow over and through me, a truly ‘spiritual’ feeling if you will suddenly lift me through the stars of space. I am thus reassured of the potential of our future. How much potential we have as a sentient race, and how much we truly have to learn about the universe (if not multi-verse) and how it works, how much there is to explore. “The surface of the Earth is the shore of the Cosmic Ocean” – Carl Sagan.
If you guys like this kind of astronomy related stuff then you may also like
Top 5 stellar phenomena: http://expertscolumn.com/content/final-frontier-space-top-five-stellar-phenomena
Top 5 Exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system): http://expertscolumn.com/content/exploring-final-frontier-space-top-five-exoplanets