“The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”, wrote Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson in his book, “Astrophysics for People in a hurry.” Yet there are so many aspects of the universe that are strikingly similar to our life on this pale blue dot. There are numerous commonalities between the cosmos and our lives, from the birth of a star to the demolition of a galaxy, the resemblance is uncanny.
In the year 1965, two American radio astronomers came across a strange noise interfering with their radio transmission. Initially, they thought of it as a mere disturbance due to a random event, only later to find out that it was the universe. They received a noble prize for discovering a type of electromagnetic radiation known as ‘Cosmic Microwave Background (CBM)’. The CBM is just a fancy word for constant radiation emitted by the universe from the onset of The Big Bang. The discovery of CBM Spectrum later led to the development of a model that elaborated on the distribution of all the galaxies in our universe, also, it gave us an apparent idea about the size of our universe. The farthest distance that we can see is about 13.8 billion light-years or 1023 kilometers away. This means that if we travel at the speed of light, it will take us 13.8 billion years to reach! The sheer size of this observation is unbelievably magnanimous. Therefore, in terms of the size of the universe, we are insignificant. We are absolutely nothing. We are less than the trillionth of the size of the period that ends this sentence. This astonishing data gives us an idea of how small and insignificant we and our problems are concerning the universe. Most often than not, we are thinking about such insignificant and puny things that are inconsequential for our headspace. Our lives are convoluted with various variables at play, yet, instead of focusing on the imperative objectives of our lives, we find ourselves stressing the small things. We are bothered by one persons’ opinion out of all the seven billion people. Why? Worrying is like second nature to us. We must stop concerning ourselves with things that have little to no impact on our daily life. We need to learn that the way we are to the universe, irrelevant, our problems should be to us.
When a star is burning, like our own Sun, it is burning with the help of a chemical reaction wherein hydrogen is converted into helium with the release of energy. That energy is what we call sunshine. It is said that the bigger the star is shorter it burns. In other words, the greater the size of the star, it will have more hydrogen to convert and therefore more fuel to burn quickly. Thus, the bigger the star is, the faster it burns and faster it dwindles into a void. So, we must understand that just like the life of the sun, our lives too burn fast. Success is not here to stay and will surely not last neither will failure. The bigger your success is, the faster you will fade. The certainty of change is the only constant in our life. Time is always flowing therefore, we must never be complacent, what we have today may not last forever. At the same time when failure hits, we must never think that it will last forever. The rollercoaster of life is what makes it so special, we shall respect it and embrace it to the fullest that we can.
Since the inception of time, scientists have been trying to figure out all the elements of the universe, they did find the elementary matter that constructs most physical bodies like electrons, protons, neutrons, neutrinos, etc, but the majority of the whole universe is still unknown. The fact that we can’t estimate what exactly those elements are, we call it Dark Matter and Dark Energy. These two entities exist in our universe at a very large scale, approximately 95 percent of the universe is filled with it. These elements are responsible for maintaining the stability and equilibrium in the universe, the gravitational forces that they exert on a celestial object are the reason why the universe doesn’t disintegrate or explode. They are ubiquitous and omnipresent. Similarly, in our life, multiple forces are at play, we can call them whatever we want but the fact is that these forces are responsible for everything that is beyond our control. These forces are the reason why there are order and chaos in our life. On a holistic level, these forces are the ones that stabilize mankind and don’t let it implode. Therefore, we must be aware enough to trust the process. We should understand that whatever happens, happens for a reason and that everything will maintain its equilibrium at the end. Eventually, life gives us more than we desire from it therefore, trusting it will be a smart move.
To the naked eye, the universe doesn’t make sense, yet with practice and perseverance, we can find fascinating nuances of this ever so complex universe. There is a lot that we can learn from; our origin, our existence, and our end but most importantly, we can learn how to live. The universe might not make sense to us, however, at its core, it is very similar to us because sometimes even doesn’t make sense to us.
Written by Jaideep Singh.