A Moving Perspective
Stop for a moment, and let me tell you the story of you. You were born in the heart of a star, in a brilliant white furnace that churned and trembled and dazzled the darkness. Every atom in your body was cooked in a stellar crucible as dense as fifty elephants crammed inside a thimble, and then, as its world raged and shook, the star tore open its own heart for you, exploding suicidal atoms far across the oceans of the universe—atoms that came to reside in you. The remnants of such a dead star—a vast cloud of stellar gas and dust—acted as a nursery for our solar system too, forming the sun and the planets swirling around it over billions of years. You’re just clinging to the crust of this rocky world, encased in the blue skin of its atmosphere. You’re fresh on the crest of of tens of thousands of generations, and you’re moving faster than you could ever imagine. The earth beneath your feet is spinning at 1,600 km/h, the planet is hurtling around the sun at 107,500 km/h, the sun is moving towards Vega at 70,000 km/h, the Orion arm of our spiral galaxy is rotating at 900,000 km/h, and the Milky Way is heading for the Andromeda galaxy at 3,600,000 km/h…. And still here you are—a lovely collection of atoms, a perfect composition of organic molecules, a child of the stars themselves. You are the universe, every speck of you, and in a hundred billion galaxies, there is not another like you.