Want to feel insignificant (and maybe even a bit dim)? All it takes is to watch a program or read a book about the universe.
Humans like to think that we are special and intelligent. Someone has an answer for everything. Unfortunately, this is not true. It is impossible to answer questions about the universe that surrounds us. How big is it? Even trying to imagine the answer is beyond the ability of all but a few scientists and mathematicians. And, they don't know. No one is sure if there are boundaries and, if so, where they might be. How far is the edge? Maybe there isn't one, which raises a whole bunch of new questions.
Some "facts" have been painstakingly ascertained or questimated by scientists, the magnitude of each impossible for other people to comprehend or even imagine. But, no one can guess the size of the space in which we exist...or even define it. Is it a space within another space--another mind-boggling questions?
That would make humans even more insignificant...if that is possible.
Light from the Andromeda nebula takes 2 1/2 million years to reach earth. That means that light that astronomers see left those stars before human life evolved on this planet. And, scientists tell us that Andromeda is not far...because it lies within the "visible universe". Supposedly (although I do bow to scientists), there are trillions of stars (not planets, moon, asteroids, but only stars like the sun) beyond the visible universe, whose light has yet to reach earth in the 13.7 years since the Big Bang. Only people that deal with the US budget deficit can fathom such numbers.
This last bit leads to another question: if the universe started with the Big Bang, what was "everything" before that point? And, where is it now? When one starts thinking about such questions, it's easy to understand why most people spend their time watching reality television shows...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.