The sky has always intrigued me as a child. I used to draw all sorts of patterns in the morning clouds. I see horses with knights riding them. I saw lions growling in their territories. I saw giant men exchanging fists and blows with each other. It was my getaway wonderland. I created scenes that fiction writers have not even imagined yet. And the beauty about it was that they were not just in my head, I could see them in the clouds. It was like a giant hologram that responded to my thoughts. There were also night sky theories. It was extremely beautiful. Millions of tiny shining lights littered all over the place. Some of them fly once in a while. Some of them were bigger in size and they have different glowing frequencies. Once in a while, I made some star friends. They stay around one spot for a while and then disappear. I have always wanted to know where they went. There were also their giant parents; the sun and the moon. But then I thought that was all there was to it. Anything beyond that is heaven.
But then this obsession led me to study a lot of physics and astronomy. I got really interesting. My flying stars were actually giant rocks flying through empty space. The tiny speckles of stars were giant suns that were just far away. I thought the planets were just moving around the sun. But then everything was moving. The sun (stars), the planets, the moon, the solar systems, the galaxies and the whole universe including black holes. What’s pushing them in such a roller coaster ride? If you really think about it, you and I are just riding a giant rock with a diameter of 12,742km spinning through empty space at roughly about 1000 miles per hour. So here we are 7 billion of us crammed inside one planet with lots of room left. But imagine you are a planet? The space out there is still just too much. If we all took one planet each per human being, we wouldn’t even scratch the surface. There is a theory that if everyone on earth discovered one new planet every single second, it would take all of us millions of years to discover all that is out there.
Its just one YOU out of 7 billion people, living in one planet out of 8 planet, circulating in one solar system with a star that is just one out of billions of stars in one galaxy, which is just one galaxy out of the billions of galaxies out there. How do we make sense of all these? One way they have tried is by concluding that there has to be another civilization with life that is out there that we have not made contact with. That maybe true or it may not. That’s not an issue for me. It’s my neighborhood as far as I am concerned. And while am here I would love to make sense of it.
But this my peculiar obsession is a little bit alien in Africa. Its not like we lack the curiosity quest, but we live in a cultural reality that is still immersed in survival. so what we do is that we shove it all down in religious unquestionable awe.
But not anymore. With the influx of globalization and a growing tech atmosphere, I have found other means. I might have the pleasure of live space travel, rocket launching or even space observatory, tech and globalization is closing the gap. I suspect you guessed it. I travel round the universe not just in my mind anymore. But with virtual reality and high magnification monocular lens to my smart phone, and with an app, I can view the universe like I was the one that launched my own kepler telescope in space that is giving me a live feed of the universe.
In as much as I would love to tell you everything I can’t start teaching you astrophysics. I would love to tell you about black holes, supernovas, nebulae’s, the birth and death of stars, white dwarfs and neutron stars, how planets form, extreme energies in the universe, cosmic clusters, how the moon formed, about gravity, space time, cosmological constants and dark energy. I would love to tell you about how matter curves space-time. I would also even love to share my theories about gravity and the expanding universe with you. But that might not be so necessary especially at this beginning. And especially because it is HOW. That is not what is driving me. What is driving me is WHY! As much as I understand how these things work, and we are still pursuing a lot of HOW’s, what really I am interested in is WHY.
The first WHY is why you are not interested in the science astronomy of what is out there? The second WHY? Sounds more philosophical than scientific right? Don’t worry I don’t like philosophy that much too. But there is a feeling you get when you go for the truth yourself. When you don’t just read the reports, check the data and listen to what they have to say.
There is a saying that the pursuit of truth is more important than its possession. You look at your spouse or children and you feel and enormous love welling up from the inside that you think you understand until someone asks you to talk about it. And then you go like “I just love her” what an irrational answer!! But to you its rational. You just lack the words to publish your feelings and discovery.
That’s my discovery with WHY!! It’s not an answer. It’s an emotional connection force field that is only rational to you. That WHY about what is out there started coming to me when I started looking into the skies myself. Looking at an alien planet like the moon with my reflecting mirrors attached to my smartphone gives me a WHY I cannot explain to you. You can get the HOW explanation from astronomy or science documentaries. But the WHY is always personal, deep and fulfilling. And I am still on that path. It’s very beautiful.
But you have to know that this is not just a scientific enthusiastic musing. Its one of the reason that America rule the world. The hunger to discover the universe and her secrets is the starting point. This secrets can be utilized in technological advancements which invariable affects the economy. In Africa of today, you no longer has the excuse that we don’t have those space force infrastructures. With tech cloud and smartphone disruption, we can create a community of star gazers that will spiral off a scientific revolution of “WHAT IS OUT THERE” in Africa.