“In the Scheme of Things”
Every single day, I look at this photo. Often I pause to look several times a day.
Taking this photo of the Milky Way, our galaxy, housing our solar system, is on every enthusiast and professional photographer’s bucket list. While not an easy capture, with patience, determination, the right equipment and the proper settings, it is a shutter memory that will last a lifetime.
It’s not just the magnificence of gazing both up at and from within a sight shared since the beginning of time, but also the soothing life perspective that it brings. As close as we can figure, the Milky Way is 13.6 billion (B) years old. The entire universe is about 13.7 billion, give or take 800 million. Size? This huge disk is about 100,000 – 120,000 light years from tip to tip, 1,000 light years thick and, at its thickest diameter, stretches 12,000 light years. Our planet Earth is ONLY 4.6 billion years old. A human on this planet has a maximum lifespan of about 120 years. All of this does not say that we are insignificant or that certain life events are not tragic. It does, however, help to illustrate that, in the scheme of things, we often assign galactic portions to occurrences that are merely grains of sand. Next time an irritant is on the verge of imploding and sucking you into a Black Hole, look at this photo and put the event into perspective.