Saturday, December 10, 2011

This flicker goes off now.

                 Since my early days I used to wonder at the world around us. The earth, sun, moon, and stars captivated my imagination and I wanted to find out more about the heavens. Deaths of my neighbors, dog and relatives made me think about life's futility. Trees live up to 900 years, turtles and whales up to 200! Our life-span was less than 30 a few centuries back; it has risen in the 19th and 20th centuries due to the material and medical advancements. Majority of children born here have died before the age of 10. Why are we here for a milli-second? A rock piece lives for billions of years! The earth and the sun are over 3 billion years old!

What is going on round us? The moon and the earth is engaged in a wobbling dance which looks to us like the former is circling the latter. The earth-moon combine goes round  the sun in a slightly drunken state. The sun with its attendant wobbling planets and their circling moons together moves round the galactic nucleus at 240 km per second! Still it takes 250 million years to go round once!  It has circled 12 times since its birth 45000000000 years back. Our life-span, in comparison tends to zero. The earth's diemeter is 12,742kms and weight 5973600000000000000000kgs! The sun's diameter is 1.391million kms and it can contain 1 million earths! It is at a distance of 150 million kms from us. There are over 200 billion such stars in our Milky Way galaxy! The nearest star, Proxima Centauri is 4.28 light years (4.28x300,000x60x60x24x365kms) from us. The diameter of Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years! There are hundred thousand million galaxies in the universe! And, there could be many more island universes!
Life evolved on our tiny planet earth with its optimum size (to keep an atmosphere), correct distance from the sun (to receive just enough energy) and with an abundance of elements to the present state over a few billion  years. There could be millions of earth like-planets in this universe where life would be at different stages of evolution. There could be beings in totally different forms and  internal compositions.This is a mysterious world and we are here at a corner knowing not what is going on. There is darkness up, down and around; the tottering flicker here will be off just now.   


  1. yes!! We have discovered an Earth-like planet Kepler 22b!
    Very interesting piece.

  2. Very nice, informative article. Thank you Josephine for referral.