Why do the stars hold such fascination for so many people? What is our place, as the only known planet with life on it in the universe? Why do we make sentimental gestures such as the golden voyager record? Using the below sources, I hope to explore these questions and better understand the role that space has or can have in the life of the average person. Some people may look up at the night sky and think of how insignificant we are, and in terms of time and size this may be so. However other people may draw comfort in knowing that in the grand scheme of things, the problems of everyday life are very inconsequential, and these differences in perception may be due to any number of factors. In this sense, the universe can be given different representations to different people, and regardless of a persons views, there are few people who can consider space without some level of awe.
Space is the current frontier of exploration, just as the Americas were to the Europeans hundreds of years ago, and we have barely scratched the surface. Space may be unimaginably vast and largely devoid of matter, let alone life, but it is also a huge realm of possibility, with endless worlds and sights that we are only just recently learning about. This Paper will attempt to explore these ideas more fully.
Mann, “How to Picture the Size of the Universe’ from Wired Science.
Moore, S.P. and H.J.P. Arnold, Space: The First 50 Years, Sterling Publishing, New York, 2007. Print.
Radiolab, “Space” (audio)
Sagan, “Travels in Space and Time” from Cosmos, video.
Sagan, C. Pale Blue Dot, Random House, New York, 1994. Print.