And after the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it’s burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being – and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.
Cosmos is a Greek word for the order of the universe. It is, in a way, the opposite of Chaos. It implies the deep interconnectedness of all things. It conveys awe for the intricate and subtle way in which the universe is put together.
We on Earth have just awakened to the great oceans of space and time from which we have emerged. We are the legacy of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution. We have a choice: We can enhance life and come to know the universe that made us, or we can squander our 15 billion year heritage in meaningless self-destruction. What happens in the first second of the next cosmic year depends on what we do, here and now, with our intelligence and our knowledge of the cosmos.
Photographer Evan Dalen was able to capture the sense of infinity we all feel when we gaze up at the night sky. I’m reminded of one of my favorite Sagan quotes.
“The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us – there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a great height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” – Carl Sagan