Our Star-Filled Sky

Take a moment and think of our place in the cosmos.

"I'm this guy standing on a planet. Really, I'm just a speck. Compared with a star, the planet is just another speck. To think about all of this. To think about the vast emptiness of space. There's billions and billions of stars and billions and billions of specks."

Everyone's favorite science guy, Bill Nye, was the man who stated that, and it really sticks with me.

Let's think about how true this really is. There are more than 6 billion people on our planet. The earth itself is 21,000 miles across. We, individually, really are just a small speck on our planet.

The earth itself is also just a tiny speck in a neighborhood filled with planets that are much bigger. All of the planets then orbit around a star that is bigger than any of them. That star, our sun, is really considered a small star in the layout of the universe.

Something like that really puts things into perspective when you think about our place in the universe. For every star there is a possible solar system, and for every solar system there is a possible planet like our own. For each one of those like planets, there could possibly be a civilization very similar to our own.

Thinking about all of this doesn't mean that we should view ourselves as insignificant parts of the universe, though. We should really view ourselves as a vital part in this vast and awesome cosmos. We, as human beings with great intelligence, hold the tools for our planet's survival. If we were to somehow destroy this planet, then a chain reaction throughout the universe could occur!

Think of the universe as a set of dominoes in a pattern. If one domino falls, then the rest will follow suit. If our planet were to somehow be destroyed, then we would mess up the orbit of the other planets. Those planets would then fall into chaos as well, followed by the gravity of the sun being set askew.

All of this seems really alarming, but the chance of this stuff happening is very slim! It's a reminder that if we take care of our planet in the proper way, then our planet will take care of us. Nature has its way of making everything work for us. As the physicist Richard Feynman once said, "I think nature's imagination is so much greater than man's, and she's never gonna let us relax."

We should all do our part to keep our planet clean, and keep our imaginations bright and vivid. You never know how important those things are until we need them the most. I ask you to just take a moment out of your day from this, the busiest of months, and just imagine some way to keep our planet cleaner. If each tiny speck just thinks of one way to clean up just a little bit of trash, or recycle a bottle, then I believe we can indeed keep our planet in top form for a long time.

Michael Raleigh December 08, 2010 at 04:35 PM
"I'll be requesting that you, the reader, take a trip into the recesses of your mind". I'm pretty sure, Rory, that these kinds of trips are no longer legal.
Rory D'Alessandro December 08, 2010 at 09:13 PM
Well, I'm certainly hoping that they can find a legal way to do that! I'm trying to be a good influence here! Thank you for giving me a good laugh though!


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