Rosemary Mulvey

Prof. Cole
ASTR 17500-02
31 January 2017
My Place in the Universe

My place in the universe is very small and no different than any speck
of rock or molecule of gas in any solar system in any galaxy that has existed
since before the Earth or will come to be millions of years after I have
returned to the basic elements of the universe and make up some trees or
stars or animals. The universe is impossibly large and there is no reason that
any sum of atoms could be more important than any others. Just because we
as humans can attempt to grasp the vastness of space and everything in
existence past, present, and future does not make us any more important to
it than the air molecule in front of us or the specks of cells on the bottom of
the deepest parts of our ocean. It is impossible for us to know what exists
beyond the limitations of our human experience of the universe. Existence is
fluid as what makes up our human bodies is the same materials ostensibly as
what makes up everything in the universe. We are all the same protons,
neutrons, and electrons. We are stardust and stardust is us. We are
simultaneously everything and nothing. We may have been made up of
everything we can know of in the past in some other form before the Big
Bang. We are both infinitely small and large.

The universe is bigger than I can imagine. The world we live in and will
personally experience in our lifetimes is incredibly small in comparison to the
possibilities that exist outside of our planet and our solar system. We can
only know so much with our limited experience and I hope that someday
humanity will reach the farthest edges of the galaxy if those even exist. We
are a determined species and I think if we make contact with life from
outside of our planet, our understanding of the universe will be
revolutionized, but I don’t expect that to happen for humans. We have only
existed for a short time in comparison to our planet and I doubt we will be
around long enough to understand the universe in its entirety. We are not
meant to know everything and eventually a meteor or an Ice Age will wipe us
all out and the universe will continue unbothered and ever-changing.