Our Vast Cosmos | Beyond the Stars

the night sky is a great equalizer for humanity no matter who you are or what your background is when you stand beneath the night sky looking out into the vast darkness of the heavens our humanity experiences a sense of awe and is filled with wonder when we consider what is beyond the Stars the mere existence of space conveys a necessary pre-existing cause but our cosmos is not merely a small assemblage of space rather it is vast reaching distances that boggle the mind come with me on a quick journey to explore the size and scale of the cosmos marked out by the matter that fills it beginning with the region that surrounds us we see the scale of our everyday lives those aspects of our lives on earth commonplace to us as we expand out we see that our own planet has terrain and topography forests and waterways and differing habitats for life beyond the mountain ranges in landforms we find the structure of continents and oceans that compose the entire globe of our planet at this point our field of view is only about ten thousand miles wide and while it encompasses everything that comprises our lives we are only seeing one object in space moving away from Earth we see our nearest neighbor the moon come into view at a distance of 240,000 miles this rocky airless body is our nearest neighbor and is the brightest object in the night sky by the time our field of view includes the Sun the nearest star to earth we are able to see the orbits of the two innermost planets Mercury and Venus located about 50 million miles outside of Earth’s orbit we find our neighbor Mars the red planet and thereafter we see the asteroid belt forming the boundary separating the orbits of the inner terrestrial planets from the orbits of the outer gas giants Jupiter Saturn Uranus and Neptune we have now reached a field of view encompassing all of our solar system out to the dwarf planet Pluto in its several moons our field of view at this point is almost 7.5 billion miles yet only contains one star eight planets a few dwarf planets asteroids and comets it is not until we have many stars in view that we even begin to see that there are large clouds of gas called nebulas that become visible continuing to accelerate outward we see the structure of our own Milky Way galaxy with its spiral arms encircling a dense nucleus our field of view is now 100 thousand light-years now we are viewing distant points of light which are not stars but are large collections of stars gases and dust known as galaxies each of these galaxies likely contains billions of stars like the one our planet orbits every year finally at the largest scales to the universe we see that even galaxies are organized into groups clusters and superclusters seeing the cosmos from its smallest to its largest scales we get a view of just how vast it is when we consider all that is beyond the stars is it reasonable to conclude that everything we observe is merely the result of chance and chaos or that a random unguided non intelligent origin provides the greatest explanatory power for why we are here few people in their lifetimes will travel very far around our single planet rather we expend much of our energy and our intellect to build shelters for our families buildings for our communities and infrastructure for our countries we recognize that the physical structures around us require intelligence and design and effort but these man-made structures pale in comparison to the physical structures that exist and populate our entire universe their existence requires the same recognition that is that we inhabit a grand cosmos created by an intelligence of such greater proportion than even the size and scales we see you
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