On May 8th the Huffington Post iPhone application posted a story from SPACE.com titled “Dying Stars Caught Feasting on Earth-Like Planets.”
The article opens with “Astronomers have caught four dying stars in the act of chowing down on rocky alien planets similar to Earth, a destructive cosmic process that may one day play out in our very own solar system.”
I couldn’t help but want to see this happen.
I couldn’t help but feel like the astronomers viewing this through photographs must have felt extremely existential, like they were staring into the future of humanity, of the end of humanity(I say this in the most earnest, non-silly sense of the word “humanity,” and that the “end of humanity” would be a very true, terrifying, cataclysmic shaking of Earth’s feelings of “existing”).
I couldn’t help but think that the astronomers were probably really upset when they saw this, like they just viewed a kid getting bullied at school through binoculars and told the principal but no one could do anything about it but post the astronomer’s findings on the Huffington Post and that the mom of the kid getting bullied saw it but realized she couldn’t really do anything but maybe move him to a new school, to a new planet.
I couldn’t help but think of Kirsten Dunst’s character in Melancholia when she says, “I know we’re alone. And when I say we’re alone, we’re alone. Life is only on Earth and not for long.”
I feel like everyone on Earth knows that life on Earth won’t be forever but we can’t do anything about it so we don’t think about it, which is normal, I do the same, it just makes me sad, frustrated that we can’t do anything about it(I say this in the most earnest, non-silly sense of the word “it,” and that when “it” happens, life will truly no longer exist in any discernible, conscious fashion).
I couldn’t help but think that the universe would be much more simple without Earth.
I couldn’t help but think about writing this when I read that article, when it said “They found that the most common chemical elements in the dust around four of the white dwarfs were oxygen, magnesium, iron and silicon, the four elements that make up roughly 93 percent of the Earth.” I thought about everyone’s iPhones and Macbooks getting pulled into space by gravity or explosions or whatever makes things go into space because the Sun is exploding. I instantly thought that this is probably what happened to the Earth-like planets mentioned in the article, that everyone’s iPhones and Macbooks were pulled into orbit and smashed into each other and created a cloud of oxygen, magnesium, iron and silicon.
If this happen on Earth, I hope someone, maybe an astronomer from some far off planet, calls this dust cloud the iCloud.
I couldn’t help but think this was funny.