Diary 2024

from “Astronomical”

“Everyone wonders sometimes if the human race is worth preserving and everyone has moments where they look at the size of the Universe and feel insignificant by comparison. Space science can potentially be depressing because it reminds us of our smallness. My answer is this: imagine if the Universe really were simple. Imagine how boring the story of science would be if Earth genuinely were flat, or if there was nothing outside our solar system. Imagine if, after spending a few years looking around with telescopes, we knew everything there was to know. No more mystery. No more exploration. No more discovery. How awesome it is that instead we find ourselves in a universe as huge and varied as this one. How fortunate we are to be surrounded with so many mysteries in desperate need of solving and how lucky we are to live in a universe bigger than our imaginations. All of us, every single one of us, is small, that’s true. But all of us, every single one of us, has a thirst to understand where we fit in. We can all marvel at science and we can all take part in the adventure of learning what the cosmos has in store. Studying science is not reserved for elite boffins in lab coats with IQs in the 150s. Science is for everyone, with all our baggage, emotional hang-ups and self-doubts. There is a whole reality out there waiting to be explored. And it will be. By people like you and me. Science is not simply the thing that brought us out of the caves: it is the thing that will take us to the stars.” (from “Astronomical: From Quarks to Quasars, the Science of Space at its Strangest” by Tim James)