Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cosmic Excitement

We look into the cosmos each night that the stars come out, and we gaze ordinarily up at the sky. We're not usually conscious of what we're doing, but with the telescopes set beneath our brow, we look deep into the heart of the universe- into the heart of galaxies, stellar black holes, and dark matter. We are seeing the light leftovers of stars that have burned out billions of years ago and whose beams traveled billions of light years to reach the convex and concave lenses of our eyes.

As a society that always pushes for the new fads, the next best thing, the number one product on the market, and the new frontier, I ask you why we are not investing ourselves more in the trek to outer space. The Star Trek, if you will. We don't need Captain Kirk to rally NASA support or even a social excitement about furthering our adventures into the unknown universe. The excitement is there! I have a hard time finding people who are completely uninterested in hearing about massive invisible holes that “spaghettify” a person, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson has termed the effects of a black hole. Colorful new planets with rings of asteroids orbiting around their gaseous body, comets that fly through the sky carrying the wishes of a hundred million children, stars that implode and create super novas full of all the basic elements of life- we don't lack excitement! We lack the motivation and the means to achieve greatness, but the greatness IS there.

Let kids stop and stare into the stars as they walk out of the grocery store, even though you need to get home and fix dinner. Let them blow up a few fences if it means they can finally launch their own homemade rocket. Human beings are born with the desire to learn and explore. We should never suppress that desire. The universe is beautiful. The magnitude of the stars is worthy of awe. The far reaches of outer space are unfathomable. Let us reenter an age where our eyes are fixed on the night sky. Let us dare again to imagine. We are not separate from the universe. We are right in the middle of it.

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