We Are Inconsequential In The Cosmos

We are inconsequential in the cosmos. That’s what I believe when I see stars in the sky. The universe is so big that even if we settle on other planets, it will take us millions of years to even occupy an area of space, no greater than a single drop of water. Even after inhabiting the Earth for so many years, the bigger canvas is still empty. And this is what gives us the rush to venture out into space. One colony on Mars, and you’ll have your next door neighbour’s descendants living in another galaxy someday. But where did this all start? When did someone realise of being so small inspite of being trillions strong?

Messier_78_reflection_nebula_in_Orion
One of the bazillion wonders of our existence – Messier 78 reflection nebula in Orion. Credits to commons.wikimedia.org

The telescope is attributed as an important discovery in human history. Galileo has been more or less credited with its discovery. I’ve always wondered what his muse must have been for coming up with such an idea. The world, with all of its nuances, was still relatively untamed at that period in time. There were a lot many things left to discover on our planet, enough to have still kept us busy after all these centuries. The stars were just mere shining dots back then. It’s easier to admire the beauty of a night sky full of shining stars than to be interrogative about it. It’s difficult to come up with questions about something you can’t even fully understand. So what really piqued our interest?

The Moon is supposed to be the weirdest anomaly known to man. Nobody knows how it came to be, why it exists, why it revolves around the earth, why it has water on its surface. In the many years that we have known of the moon’s existence, we have not been able to make any use of it being there. But, as with all things that seem inconsequential but have a great importance on human history, the moon might be the muse we needed to understand the natural evolution of human kind. Had it not been for the moon, there would be no landing, no proof that we can take ships to other planets. An initial mission to Mars would have been a complete disaster for us, as we would not have had any experience of sustaining ships into outer space for long distances. In any experiment, testing a small sample always proves that the solution works, and had the moon not been there, it would be been a monumental waste of resources trying to land ships on planets months away with conditions much harsher to support a landing.

Even to Galileo, who must have surely slept overlooking the night sky, the moon must have been a wonder to behold. In his intrigued mind, he must have felt a tingling fear, which arises when you see something which drives you crazy because you cannot fathom it, yet is tantalisingly close to understandable. He would have wanted to have a closer look. An “Invention” is a fancy word; it’s merely an alternative for a solution to a problem, and clearly Galileo must have found his problem then and there. The solution naturally followed.

We are inconsequential in the cosmos. But yet we stand for something. We’re a pale blue dot, but one that looks beautiful when viewed from the surface of the Moon. The Moon landing proves one thing above anything else; we have wars to fight, religious beliefs to argue over, governments to revolt against, civil wars to fight, classes to go to on weekdays, churches or temples to go to on weekends, but most of all, accept the fact the all these things are nothing compared to whats out there. That the moon helped make the planet habitable, is just one of the reasons for which it might be more important to us than we care to appreciate.