Cosmologists, Astrophysicists, and Astronomers study the Universe, but in that process they also study us: our origins, our past, and who/what we are. Cosmologists study the universe in its totality, which includes the origin, the structure, and the processes happening throughout the cosmos. Astrophysicists study the physical properties, interactions, and behaviors of celestial bodies, which includes quantum mechanics, particle physics, and electromagnetism. Astronomers study the planets, the stars, meteorites, and space itself in a search to understand the past and the origins of the Universe. They are like the archaeologists of the Universe, and they have discovered some amazing facts that show how physically interconnected we all are to the All of the cosmos:
– The amino acids that make proteins, came from meteorites. These building blocks for life did not originate on our planet, but were delivered here from outer space. Without amino acids, there would be no RNA, DNA, or life on Earth.
– The calcium in our bones and the iron in our blood came from stardust. We can quite literally “thank our lucky stars”!
– Ether pervades all space, including the space within and between our cells, and is the medium of transmission for light, heat, and electromagnetic waves. The space within our bodies is the same space that is between you and me, between Earth and Venus, and between our Sun and the other billions of stars shining in the heavens.
– The matter that makes up our bodies, and our whole planet, is at least ten billion years old and has travelled billions of light years to come together and create the world we live in.
– One percent of the static between television stations is microwave sound left over from the Big Bang. The song of the cosmos is vibrating through and all around us!
Outer space is only 20 kilometers away. That’s less than a half marathon distance. We are so close, yet we think it is something way out there. In reality space is everywhere. It is the most abundant thing in the Universe. It is part of every particle, atom, cell, rock, creature, planet, star, and black whole. From this information, we can gain a visceral sense of how eternal and infinite we truly are. From there we can develop our understanding and compassion for ourselves, for each other, for our environment and planet, and for the Universe itself. We are the world. We are the Universe. We are all parts of the whole that is One. May this physical understanding of our interconnectedness encourage us all to strive to live our lives in love and in peace.
In a interview with Time magazine, astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked: What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?
He answered: We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.