Monday, 4 March 2013

We are all stardust

The other day, Josie asked me how black holes are made. This is not an easy question answer especially not before 7am when I'm rushing to get ready for work. I know a few basic facts about black holes like if you are unfortunate enough to get yourself into one, then you aren't likely to be on time to work.

At the moment both my children are learning about space and I really do think it is one of the most exciting and complex subjects. It covers so many areas: science, history, mathematics, super tricky physics, chemistry, astronomy and philosophy. Charlie told me that if you wanted to go to the moon but you wanted to be the first person there, you couldn't because someone has already done it. However it doesn't matter, he said, because there are loads of other planets and no ones been to any of them. I adore his simplistic approach to what brilliant minds have spent endless hours speculating the possibilities and challenges of.

With all the questioning about quantum physics, time and space, it was clearly time for another visit to the Royal Observatory and Plantentarium at Greenwich. Following my previous visit with small children I have very little understanding of the complexity of accurate time measurement in relation to the stars or the progression onto atomic clocks, but I do know what the speaking clock sounded like over the past decades.

As Josie and I sat watching a film about the Big Bang, she turned to me and said, "My head feels funny". I knew exactly how she felt, the vast infinity of space makes my head feel funny but I like it. I like the fact that it really is so so big, in fact endless and totally unknown. I like to think about how small and insignificant we are. We are all stardust, everything is just stardust.





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