Recently, something interesting happened to me over on Google+. I uttered an opinion. Now, that in itself is not interesting, of course, because everybody does. What was interesting was that the opinion was not really an opinion at all: Earth is part of space.
I am no social media king by any stretch as you will readily see from my profile. But I was surprised by how many people seemed to like the idea of somebody writing this, as it were, out loud.
Look at the picture above. It has been taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover and shows Earth in the sky of Mars. Why do even ESA and NASA tout their astronauts as being “in space”?
“Hey, look at me! I’m breathing air!”
Has it ever occurred to you that on Earth we call them geologists, physicists, biologists, chemists and by many other names? With respect to Mars we talk about them as astrogeologists, astrophysicists, astrobiologists and, well, I have never heard anybody being called an astrochemist; but you get the point.
Earth is part of a wonderful, exciting universe. Earth is part of space.
 But then, of course, we talk a muscle tube here, which is sucking in and pushing down stuff that has been made during supernovæ, spread throughout the universe, just to be assembled as a thin layer around a watery rock in the middle of actual nowhere. Now, the muscle tube consists of stuff like that, too. And it is one of the wonders of nature that The Stuff (we really should capitalise it!) assembles to become us. And I have not even mentioned lungs yet…
Alexander is a physicist, teacher and science communicator who is currently working at the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education at Andøya Space Center in Norway. Even though, in his case, work and play do overlap, the content on this webpage is entirely private. You can follow Alexander on Twitter, Facebook and Google +