You Are Here

Have you ever wondered where you stack up, perspective wise, within the universe or even with another human being? (So now you know some of the things that float through the open transom of my mind and rattle around my cranium.) Hey, I told you all from the VERY beginning that it can sometimes get a little weird from my side.  Oh, yeah..Back to the heart of why I’m writing this. So let’s start at the place you live at this point in time.

You live at a particular physical point. In a building. On a block. Your block is on street. In a neighborhood. In a town. That town might be part of a larger city, in a county, in a state, and/or in a nation of other states that make up a country. Most will live in a country that combines with other countries to make up a continent, and the continents form the planet where we all live.  Welcome to planet earth, the only shared space for all human beings. OK, so feeling small yet? No??? Just wait. I haven’t beGUN to get us there.

Still with me? Good. Soooo….

Our beloved planet is 1 of 9 in an area that we can’t even cross due to current technology limitations, and these nine planets orbit a sun to form our solar system. Now keep in mind that units of distance at this point forward are going to be measured in light years.

Wikipedia defines a light year this way.

The light-year is a unit of length used to express astronomical distances. It is about 9.5 quadrillion metres or 5.9 trillion miles.[note 1] As defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a light-year is the distance that light travels in vacuum in one Julian year (365.25 days).[2] Because it includes the word “year”, the term light-year is sometimes misinterpreted as a unit of time.
The light-year is most often used when expressing distances to stars and other distances on a galactic scale, especially in nonspecialist and popular science publications. The unit usually used in professional astrometry is the parsec (symbol: pc, about 3.26 light-years; the distance at which one astronomical unit subtends an angle of one second of arc) 

So, understanding that, let’s continue our voyage to the land of ultimate perspective.

Our solar system is in a solar neighborhood where our closest neighbors are 20 light-years (118 trillion miles) in either direction from our sun. Now, our solar neighborhood is part of a galaxy called the Milky Way, but we are 25,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way. The Milky Way is only 1 of at LEAST a hundred billion other galaxies, and each galaxy forms groups called clusters. Each cluster is about 4 million light years across, and combine to form…anyone…Beuller…anyone…super clusters. Our super cluster, approximately 150 million light years across, is but one sliver in the known universe. Your head may be spinning a bit to visualize all this, so here’s a link for a great map to show you the universe and what I have just tried to put into words.

SO…how do you feel now? Well let me tell you how you should feel. Pretty fucking special. Because you are. Think about it. If you put all that distance and probability into a statistical formula you’d realize the rarity of the chance you and I were even born to have me write this and you read it. It would possibly require a supercomputer that hasn’t even been invented yet to calculate those odds the chance is so infinitesimally small. But it did happen. You and I were born. And we are each so, incredibly special.

…and here we are.

19 comments

  1. Giggle … here we are. And I feel pretty fucking special … to have met you. Delightful piece that brought a smile. : ) You’ve changed my world, and I am now different for knowing you. Life is more serendipitous than we realize. : ) Let’s dance!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Speaking of special…. you are probably close to the path for the eclipse. I, unfortunate soul, must travel. See you in the shadow. : )

    Like

  3. Yikes …. I will not be traveling to Nashville with the other million people. (I’m not that fond of mankind.) However, I am going to try to get a wee bit closer. It will be spectacular. : )

    Like

  4. You were so right, I very much appreciate this post! And oddly enough, it was exactly what I needed to read this morning. So, thank you so much for sending me the link. I wonder all the time what the point of it all is, but what I realize, is that being here is what matters. I am here. And that is a beautiful thing. I love the way your mind works! Next task is to get caught up on all your posts…pretty sure there is magic in them that I am missing out on. Thanks again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad…I had a feeling you would like that one.

      LOL, while I appreciate the fine compliment, I can’t say if you will find magic or not. I know I have some magical moments from time to time, I just doubt they are all the time. Thank you for taking the time to follow and read.

      Liked by 1 person

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