Thursday, 24 January 2013

Starry Starry Night

So I thought I'd share with all you lovely people what I did on Monday night that got me thinkin'. I came home at about 10:30 from a tiring shift at work and thought when I saw my bed I would want to just conk out completely for the night.  This wasn't the case. I walked into my room and did what I usually do whenever I go into my room, I turned on some music. I ended up listening to music for about an hour and after that, realised I wasn't tired any more and also that it was rather warm in my room. So I ventured into the hallway.......then decided to take the my jam jams....out to my back yard. I said hi to my dog, (I think he was a little puzzled as to why I was outside at such a ridiculous hour) then lay down on the deck, let the cold air hit me and looked up at the stars.

Most people don't like the cold. Most people would think that lying outside at night, in New Zealand (where no matter what time of year it is, its always really cold outside at night) is a little crazy. But here's the thing, if you don't let the cold get to you then it wont bother you. When its cold, most people shiver, cover up with jackets, try to block it out, when its still there. You can feel it on your face. So my theory is, embrace it. Let the cold fresh air wash over you and become your blanket and eventually you will know when its time to go inside. This is what I did on Monday night. I embraced the cold air and ended up staying outside for possibly, half an hour,maybe it was an hour, I lost track of time.....I really have no idea how long it was.

So I'm lying on the deck, looking up at the stars and I see something cool! I see the night sky! I know that everyone thinks they see the night sky every night. But I realised it takes more than just a glance to really see the stars. The longer you watch the sky, continuously, the more stars you see! Your eyes start to adapt to the extremely dim light and you see more than just the brightest stars, you see so many more. They start appearing everywhere and not just right in front of you but in the corners of your eyes. In the darkest places where before you only saw one bright star, you now see a cluster of stars bunched together. Its as if this beautiful natural thing is hidden only by our human impatience.

Watching the sky got me thinking. Many people believe that the souls of those who have passed are in the stars. Could this be true? I guess we'll never know until we leave this world. Starring into the night sky definitely opens your mind to the possibility of this. No one knows what happens to us when we die, but looking up at the stars makes you realise that there is something out there. Something bigger than us. Something so beautiful and extraordinary that our human minds cannot fathom, which is why we cant figure out what it is. I guess we just have to be patient. That's what stargazing made me think about, see where it takes your mind!

Time for a fun fact, (I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to astronomy and awesome out-of-this-world stuff......I am in fact quite a big fan of Stephen Hawking) So did you know that when we look at the stars we are actually looking into the past? Millions of years into the past in fact. We have no idea what the stars look like in the present time because it takes millions of years for the light of a star to reach us on earth. That's how freakin' far away they are! How awesome is that?! The stars we are seeing may not even exist any more. We are seeing a whole sky full of stuff that isn't actually there! As humans we are always so sure of what we see right in front of us and we never really think about what we are actually seeing when we look up at the sky at night.

So people of earth, on the next clear night you have wherever you are, take a few minutes to look up at our beautiful sky. All those glorious stars that were once there millions of years ago. It's is such an amazing thing to stargaze because it takes your mind to a different place, you might say an out-of-this-world kind of place, just for a little while. You come to realise just how small our little planet is in the insanely mind-boggling thing that is the universe.

Look up at the sky, it's magnificent!

And that's all I have to say about that :)

1 comment:

  1. Indeeeeeedy. The closest star to us is 4.24 light years away, meaning that if we were looking at it, we would see that star as though it was 4.24 years ago. Also picture this. Imagine there are two colonies that are 50 light years apart. Each colony decides to build a tower that would take exactly 100 years to build. As soon as each tower has finished, a person from each colony looks at the other colonies tower through a telescope. What each person would see is the other colonies tower only half built because of the fact that the light takes 50 years (thats why it is called a lightyear)to reach them.