A new study using the Hubble Space Telescope has increased estimates of galaxies in the known Universe ten fold…at least. It was previously estimated that there was 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe. I’m not even sure what that means; the difference between 100 billion and 2 trillion; both representing unimaginably large numbers? I mean that not in a literal sense as I majored in Physics, but in the sense of comprehension. Many people will read a headline like that and say, “wow, that’s a lot,” without really grasping the enormity of it all. You find it with many folks if discussing evolution over great spans of time. Like what does it really mean when you say something like “a million years?” Only through time of this magnitude would the Polar Bear basically breed out all but the white furred version of the bear as it is the best adapted to hunt from the ice-packs covered in snow.
Read the story from space.com here.
Just thinking about this discovery tonight fills me with a familiar, exciting sort of dread. My former self, prior to the forces of combat on my psyche, would have enjoyed flipping the new information over in my head, considering the expanded possibilities of it all and what it might me in a larger, fundamental context. Today the vastness it represents, the insignificance it lights our race, the human race, in, sends pulses of anxiety up and down my spine. Do I matter? Does any of this matter? What are we? Where are we? There was a time that I enjoyed the numbing frailty of our certain insignificance. Now, all it offers is a darkened window the looks out upon forever.
Will I ever redeem that curiosity? Maybe that’s not it, maybe I am still curious, however, I cannot get a solid grip on the possible answers? What if I’ve wasted a tremendous gift in this time, at this place, worrying about morality when I shouldn’t get stuck in the guilt, but simply appreciate the conscience? What if, in all this space, through all this time, being a speck, on a speck, on a speck, on a speck, on a speck where the ostensibly and incontestably smallest of chances smashed together this one time to create me, us? To waste that is indefensible. It’s this kind of pressure I could have handled before the war. Today, tonight though, it’s releasing from places like a horrible acne. I look in the mirror of my black computer screen and see the past with zero hope for the future.
2 trillion galaxies X 200 billion stars X 10 planets divided by…. the mathematics of the possible.