Quick Hits:

  • Book: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
  • Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Tweet Summary: We live on a pale blue dot-a speck in the grand scheme of the universe. We are lucky to live. The universe is HUGE and it lives inside of us

Longer Review

  1. We live on a pale blue dot. Envision all of the significance you feel as a human living on Earth. Now, take a look at Earth from beyond the depths of Neptune (pictured right). During this moment, I can’t help but feel full and empty at the same time. All that matters to us is this life we live on this beautiful planet. In reality, it is just a speck of existence in the universe.
  2. Consider the value of human life: The universe is lonely (to our knowledge, at least). Yet we are lucky enough to live on THIS planet. All around us, we are blessed with the gift of human interaction in a place that is so big and so empty.
  3. Pause to wonder about how we are here. Beyond science. Beyond religion. It is a privilege to pause and absorb ourselves in wonders of the world, space, and the cosmos.
  4. We fail to recognize the overly-overwhelming size of the universe. The Milky Way Galaxy alone has over 100+ billion stars (yes, billion with a B). If that doesn’t make you feel small, this might shrink you: The universe have 100s of billions of galaxies. Again, thoughts of smallness, insignificance, and gratitude creep in upon reflecting on these facts.
  5. We do not just live in the universe. The universe lives in us. It may seem obvious and trivial at first, but we are made of nature’s elements, like hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and so is the universe.
  6. The rate at which the edge of the universe expands exceeds the speed of light. Objects beyond the edge of the universe (e.g. galaxies) are invisible because light from those objects will lose all energy before they are able to reach us. We may never see those objects, but science proves having a complete and accurate vision often requires seeing the unseen (Shout to infrared light, UV light, micro/radio/gamma rays!

BOTTOM LINE: After reflecting on the size of the universe, I feel incredibly grateful not only to be one of the few living in such a lonely and empty space, but to share this life with other humans.

Have a book recommendation? Let’s hear it! Put it in the comments section and let me know why you liked it!