27 Reasons Why Nothing Matters

Having a rough day? Don't worry about it! You're just an atom in a molecule in a grain of sand on a tiny beach on the vast continent of the cosmos! You are small and the universe is indifferent!!!

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3. Someone jumped out of a balloon from this height, back in 1960:

In this Aug. 16, 1960 photo made available by the U.S. Air Force, Col. Joe Kittinger steps off a balloon-supported gondola at an altitude of 102,800 feet. In freefall for 4.5 minutes at speeds up to 614 mph and temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit, he opened his parachute at 18,000 feet.

8. The farthest a human has ever been from home is 248,655 miles, when the Apollo 13 spacecraft made its risky trip around the dark side of the moon:

9. And this is Earth from Mars, which is over 30 MILLION miles away. This is the next place humans will go, in theory:

Via Flickr: gsfc

The Apollo missions took about ten days each. A Mars mission would take at least six months, and likely be a one-way trip.

15. Now let's keep going. This is what Earth looks like as you're leaving the solar system, 3.7 billion miles away. Pluto-ish area:


"From Voyager's great distance Earth is a mere point of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera. Earth was a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size."

23. Oh, by the way, the closest galaxy to ours, which also has billions of stars, is going to slam into us eventually. Here's what NASA thinks it will look like from Earth:


This will happen in four billion years, which seems like a long time. But the Earth did exist four billion years ago, and it might well exist then. This probably wouldn't end well for us, whatever "us" will mean in 4,000,000,2012 AD.

24. So yes, there are millions, billions, and sometimes trillions of stars in each galaxy. But how many galaxies are there? In 2003, NASA pointed the Hubble telescope at a minuscule dark patch in the night sky:

26. In that tiny little dark patch of sky were 10,000+ galaxies, many bigger than our own:


Because of how far away they are, and the speed at which light travels, this photo shows these galaxies as they were over 12 billion years ago. Many of them no longer exist.

Contact John Herrman at

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