We may be the most intelligent life forms on our planet, but when you really want to put our lives into perspective, as shown in NYC’s Hayden Planetarium, we are but the width of a hair in the spectrum of space-time compared to how long ago everything in our known, comprehensible universe. Our life as a race has only been a fraction of the existence of the planet Earth, which is a fraction of time after the Big Bang.
The meditation on the concept of time itself is quite mind-bending. The Hubble Space Telescope allows us to view stars from very far away, but for all we know, they might not even be still there. Light travels at a certain speed, 3×10^8 meters/second in metric terms, which means that anything we see from far away has a huge time lag. Light years, the distance it takes light to travel in a year, measures how far these stars are from us, and many are millions of light years apart. In other words, much of the light radiating that we’re now seeing from stars was radiated years before the human race even existed! It’s hard to wrap your mind around that, huh? You always here about how time is relative, or depends on where you’re measuring it from, and thinking just about stars, let alone everything else in space, reinstates this fact.
Another really interesting concept is that of the black hole. The reason it’s called a “black hole” is because the gravitational pull of one is so strong, LIGHT is even pulled in there. Because not even light can escape a black hole and it absorbs all light, you can’t really see it. One part of the black hole is called the Event Horizon. This part of the black hole is the edge where if you enter it, there is no possibility at all that you will be able to leave it. Nothing can enter inside of it to see what’s there, or where anything goes once it enters there, but one theory suggests that a “white hole”, the opposite of a black hole, appears somewhere else and spits out any matter a black hole sucks up, including light.
There are other aspects of outer space, barely within our reach, that potentially explain anomalies, but aren’t completely grounded in fact. These include worm holes, dark matter, dark energy, singularities, and much more. We’ve barely explored much of the depths of our ocean, let alone what lies beyond our planet, and it could quite possibly take centuries, even millennia, to find out the secrets of everything around us.