I’m SIGNIFICANT! Screamed the dust speck…

The Universe is plain out of the box crazy! It is so huge that it would give Infinity a run for its money, and yet ironically it’s also very small.

It has about 1^22 stars, that is 1 followed by 22 zeros, 1000000000000000000000 and yet it’s mostly empty.The Universe was built out of absolute nothingness, not even empty space. That’s what I call weird!

It’s about 13.7 billion years old, give or take a few million years.

In this seemingly infinite space, there exists a huge collection of stars (infamously called Galaxy) called the Milky Way galaxy (slightly offensive to the lactose intolerant folks, my apologies from mankind). In Mr. Orion’s arm, which is a part of this galaxy, resides our dear Sun, a tiny speck of glowing space dust, and around this is an even tinier speck called Earth – Terra – our home.

Now just for fun let’s examine the situation, the diameter of the observable Universe is about 91 billion light years, and 1 light year is about 9460730472580 km. So that’s a lot of kilometres, and the Earth is about 12,800 km in diameter. And to think that one third of this tiny speck is water and we occupy only about a fraction of this fraction, now that’s a really tiny speck.

This really huge Universe is filled with all kinds of weird things, pulsars which spin at crazy speeds (about 716 times a second), quasars, super massive black holes, white dwarfs, brown dwarfs and the list just goes on and on.

And come to think of it, we are just as weird as the Universe, for instance we know when the Universe was born and what happened after less than a billionth of a second of its birth, but we don’t know if it will rain tomorrow or not. We know the surface of Moon better than the depths of our water.

Now, the above statement seems to dictate that we don’t matter in this seemingly endless big Universe, especially with our limited knowledge of the workings of this great sphere of everything to support it further. I somehow beg to differ. Although we are constrained to live on a small patch, surprisingly we know a lot about the Universe. We have seen so far with our telescopes that it’s unimaginable; we have captured the images of atoms, the infinitesimally small building blocks of the Universe. We have landed on the Moon. We have colonised Mars, we have sent rockets to comets.

On a scientific note however, the Universe is tending towards greater and greater entropy (randomness), and life is exactly doing the opposite of it. Life as I see it is a constant fight against this increasing entropy, every time a wound heals, it’s just your body trying to restore its original state.

It’s as if we are going against the natural order of things. In a way it’s nice to think of it as – winning battles every day against the Universe.

We might be small, but we have seen the Universe. We might be fragile but we have landed on the Moon. We might be a small speck in space, but we dream big, achieve big, and we might be bound in a small space but we have ambition in our eyes and the world in our palms.

To quote the immortal words of a great poet, which seems to fit this occasion –

“I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space!”

-Hamlet, Act II, scene II

-Rishyashringa J. S., Project Leader, BrainSTARS

Credits:

Title- Inspired by Bill Watterson, Creator of Calvin and Hobbes

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160610-it-took-centuries-but-we-now-know-the-size-of-the-universe

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