Account Of A Fellow Wandering Star
When I was a kid, I’d peer into the vast, black expanse called space through my television screen. It fascinated me to no extent.
Space was like a canvas, upon which the most beautiful things in the universe (quite literally, the universe) were painted. I saw swirls of red, blue, green and yellow mixed together beautifully, and yet quite randomly to create a galaxy.
That is my first memory of what space and the Universe might look like.
And that is the time when I fell into the illusion that I was in love with what “space” and the Universe was. I think we all fell for that beautiful and deceptive illusion at first.
I remember growing up and participating in an astronomy olympiad. It involved studying about all kinds of celestial bodies, like neutron stars, quasars, and pulsars. When I glanced through the book, I felt like, “Well, this is gonna be interesting.”
And then, just like my other friends who were participating and who were as equally interested and in “love” with the Universe as I was, my interest wavered. I was required to learn various seemingly useless facts, like the mass of a specific celestial body, or the colour of stars depending on their coolness or hotness. Until that time, all that I thought was the study of the Universe would involve looking at colourful and pretty things in the sky.
Man, was I wrong. The illusion had shattered. The beauty and colours in space isn’t all that’s there to it. There’s a lot more going on, other than what the television shows us.
There’s a lot more patience, calculations, observations and diligence that goes into the construction of a science as beautiful as that of the Universe. And most of these will be seemingly boring things.
But when the pieces all come together, and show what happens and why it happens, it fills you with a sense of happiness that doesn’t seem to fade, and a burning desire to know and learn more. That “Eureka!” moment, when you finally figure it out.
It’s all completely worth it.
And that is what a love for the Universe truly feels like. You don’t just love it for it’s outward appearances, you also love all it’s details, mechanisms and flaws (lots of these in this field as of now :P).
I might not have won the Olympiad, but it gave me the opportunity to dig deeper into this field. I did some of my own research on the side, saw how it all comes together, and realised that the Universe is so much more beautiful than what it just looks like, if you try to understand what actually goes on out there.
That’s saying a lot in itself, because it’s beautiful as it is.
To love it for all that it actually is, and not just what it looks like is a difficult feat, and to show dedication towards it is harder. And that is what makes the disciples of this science so much more awesome.