why space matters

4


                                             
Princess Elena + Lieutenant Gabriel Nuñez
 

                                                       “It’s my job to protect you.” 

                                              “And it’s my job to protect everyone.”

me: PLEASE don’t kill kanan, ezra, sabine, or zeb i don’t think id be able to survive that


someone: lmao hahaha same, but it’s not that big of a dea-


me, chained to a bottomless pit of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety as a tear rolls down my face: no u don’t understand im begging you

Okay, so for a long time I distanced myself from Star Wars, because I felt like, as a girl, I had no right to enjoy and immerse myself in it, due to being told so by a male fan in my late teens. So while I was excited for tfa, I didn’t really let myself Enjoy It Completely. And while I was watching it for the first time, I definitely loved every moment of it, but the moment that truly drew me back into loving the franchise as much as I did when I was a little girl, was the moment the lightsaber flew into Rey’s hand. I cried in the theater when the music swelled and Rey activated the lightsaber and we, the audience, knew what it meant. So if you think representation doesn’t matter, I’m not sure what to tell you, except that you’ve obviously never been in a place where you felt like you didn’t have a right to enjoy something because of who or what you are. Because representation is more than just seeing someone who looks or acts like you on the screen. It’s an a formal invitation. It’s the knowledge that you’re included. That no one can take that away from you or tell you you don’t have the right to enjoy something. Because a part of you is on the screen, permanent, and beautiful. That’s why representation matters. And that’s why GOOD representation matters even more.

there’s nothing more complex and amazing in the universe than life, and we barely know anything about how it works or why it happens, and, to me, that’s the most interesting question in all of science

9

Why Dark Matter?

“Thanks to the power of gravitational lensing, where intervening mass acts like a lens to background light, distorting and magnifying it, we were able to reconstruct the mass. Lo and behold, it appeared (in blue) well-separated from where the X-rays and therefore the gas (in pink) was. And when we reconstructed how much of that mass is present in the form of dark matter, we find that it’s almost all of it. Again, normal matter, even if we change the laws of gravity, can’t account for these observations. Fast-forward to the present day, and we’ve found a great number of these colliding clusters that all show the same separation between the X-ray emitting normal matter and the mass, present in the form of dark matter.”

When we look out at the Solar System, the Sun dominates in terms of both light and mass. Responsible for nearly 100% of the light and for 99.8% of the mass, it stands to reason that stars would account for the vast majority of mass in the Universe. Yet when we apply what we observe of light and stars to structures like galaxies, clusters, and the large-scale structure of the Universe, not only do stars not get us there, but all the known forms of matter, including gas, dust, plasma and black holes, don’t get us there either. In order to account for the full suite of observations as astronomers’ and cosmologists’ disposal, there has to be something more to the Universe, outmassing normal matter by a 5-to-1 ratio, than all forms of normal matter can explain. At this point in time, the only explanation that nabs them all is dark matter.