(Photo by Brighton Galvan)
Welcome to Hogwarts, Ya Muggle
By Ben Courson
I love looking into the flame and garnet sunset of our planet—piercing the twilit skies—and gazing into the galaxies beyond. Outer space baptizes my imagination. Like David, who considered the moon and the stars and was filled with reverence and awe, upon considering the work of God’s fingers, I too am afire with wonder when I walk among the stars as friends. So, let’s embark on a journey of the universe together and explore the magic God made.
In the middle of our galaxy, the Milky Way, there is a supermassive black hole! It’s huge. It’s 307 times the mass of our sun (remember: you can fit 1.3 million Earths into the sun)! It’s SO huge, in fact, there is a star close to it called S2. As its orbit nears this supermassive black hole, it goes two-percent of LIGHT SPEED!!!!!! The supermassive black hole’s gravity is so strong that it not only hurls S2 into mind-bogglingly swift orbits, but it warps space-time.
According to the theory of relativity (which is so REAL our GPS actually uses Einstein’s theory so it works on our iPhones), if you had a son and you left him on planet Earth while you went to live near a black hole by yourself for a time, when you returned to Earth and to your child, your kid would actually be older than you!
Yup. Welcome to Hogwarts, ya muggle.
And then there’s that VOLCANO ON MARS. It’s so tall it dwarfs Mt. Everest in height. No big deal. Our own moon apparently used to have an atmosphere because of VOLCANIC ACTIVITY. Strange to picture volcanoes on Mars and on our moon, isn’t it?
Jupiter’s moons are no less nutty. The close ones are in a constant state of flux and are oblong, being torn apart by Jupiter’s gravity! (Not every moon is shaped like a bowling ball!) Jupiter is a gas giant made of the same stuff as our sun, so if you increased Jupiter’s mass by 80 times, it too would turn into a star.
While we’re on the subject of stars, comrade, consider with me the myriad of shooting stars you glimpse at elegantly gliding across the night sky. Sure, these meteors hailing from the Oort Cloud SEEM huge, but the eye often hoodwinks us. Sometimes a shooting star is actually the size of A GRAIN OF SAND. This cometary fluff grain moves so fast upon burning up in our atmosphere that it looks huge your eyes when really that shooting star could FIT IN YOUR PALM. You can quite literally take a falling star and put it in your pocket.
Perhaps you would like to soar to the stars because you get seasonal affective disorder and don’t have a predilection for the gloomy weather on Earth when it rains. Be careful what world you choose, because it rains on other planets in our solar system. Rain on Venus, for instance, is made of sulfuric acid, BUT due to the intense heat it evaporates before it even reaches the surface!
Then again, there are a lot of planets out there to choose from. The visible universe is a million, million, million, million miles across. Our solar system only fills less than A TRILLIONTH of available space. It’s moving at 558,000 miles per hour, yet it still takes our solar system between 200 and 250 million years to orbit the Milky Way ONCE. Uh-huh.
In your search for better weather, I suggest you don’t leave Earth for long, though. An astronaut’s time in space is measured. Spend too much time in space and your risk of cancer starts to sky rocket (pun intended) due to genetic damage from cosmic rays. The sun is spewing scary radiation, but our planet’s atmosphere blocks it, thanks to the loving hand of God. We live in a universe filled with childlike wonder.
How can you get jaded when you’re living in a cosmos as magical as Narnia???
For more on Ben Courson and “Optimisfits,” visit: bencourson.com