Science Lesson Monday: 100,000 Stars

This Science Lesson Monday is brought to you by the letter M, for Megan, my girlfriend.

As you might expect from people who are best friends with each other (and in a relationship), we end up sharing a lot and since we have a pretty good idea of the other person’s interests/sensibilities, our sharings often end up being deemed awesome.

Hence this: 100,000 Stars.

As you may or may not know, my manuscript PERSEPHONE is a science-fiction YA novel based around space travel in the solar system, which means that part of what Megan researched for me is how far apart things are in space and how long it takes to travel between said things.

Somehow, that led her to 100,000 stars.  My novel takes place in a very small space, universe-wise (see last week’s post to see exactly how small), but she knows that the sequel (and related, barely begun adult-oriented novel) deals with distances (or at least knowledge of them) that are far greater.  The Scale of the Universe 2 shows size exponentially, so the size of the Milky Way galaxy is so soon dwarfed that you have no real idea of what that means.  100,000 Stars rectifies that problem.

I must admit that the distance between stars really frightens me.  Watch Star Trek or Star Wars and you’d think that everything is just a few minutes, hours, or days away at most, but in reality, so much space exists between stars that you must face the fact that the Existentialists were right: life is a big, yawning void. (Note: That’s not actually a view held by the Existentialists.)

In some of my dreams, I am in the midst of that void, but I can jump between planets and stars with ease, or I am able to exist in that emptiness without fear of death or, what scares me more, loneliness.

Luckily, 100,000 Stars has none of that death or loneliness.  Instead, just the majesty of creation, and the grandeur of galactic structure we are just the smallest, teeniest part of (but an important part nonetheless (at least to us)).

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