Astronomy: A Plea for Our Expansion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A plea for the expansion of humanity.

Submitted: January 24, 2017

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Submitted: January 24, 2017

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Light is endless and eternal, in a sense. But it stands for so much more than what it offers us. Its’ existence gives us warmth, energy, and a sense of living—something no other object can give us. But at the same time it represents our limitations—a barrier limiting us on foreseeable planes.

Light travels at a speed of 299,792,458 meters per second. Quite a large number in comparison to humanities efforts, but little compared to space’s vast galaxies. It takes 8 minutes of travelling at that rate for the light of the sun to reach our eyes, 8 minutes travelling at that spectacular speed. Space is so large we began measuring it in light years—the amount of distance light can travel in a years’ time. The closest star to us is Proxima Centaur; which brags a 4.27 light years distance or 25,101,731,061,130miles and 1,244 yards.

How could this matter to you? Space is empty and so spread apart; there is no use in seeing any practical use. The only reason we began the space race was to fight Russia’s advancing weapons program. Our space race was to see if there could be a military advantage of being in space or reaching space. ICBMs or Intercontinental Ballistic Missile essentially proved to both countries that both had weapons that could travel across the globe in less than an hour. Then why does it still matter?

Well Earth is dying. Not in the sense of environmentalist saying: we will run out of resources within 50 years, but in a few million years. Humanity might end in 50 or a million years from now, but space will continue on. The universe will continue existing long after we are dead. It will continue for billions of billions of years. But we won’t. Our existence can be simply disregarded as a part of non-written history—snuffed out like a flame of a candle—if we choose to stay that is.

I bring up light because it is our reason for existence. At the same time it is our curse. It limits us and restrains our capabilities— Atlas holding the sky on his shoulders—however we don’t have to let it rule us. We can expand outwards into the stars, placing ourselves far from the dangers of the universe.  We can ensure our existence becomes written history.

We can achieve so much. But can and will are two different words. We can travel the stars. But will we? The decision of changing the cans into wills becomes your decision. It is up to you to ensure our place within the universe will last beyond the time of Earth. But will you?


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