Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D. was asked the following question in a 2008 TIME Magazine interview:
“What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?”This was his answer:
The most astounding fact…The video editor, Max Schlickenmeyer, concluded that Neil DeGrasse Tyson went on to say:
The most astounding fact, is the knowledge, that the atoms that comprise life on Earth, the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core, under extreme temperatures and pressures.
These stars, the high mass ones among them, went unstable in their later years. They collapsed and then exploded scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy. Guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself.
These ingredients become part of gas cloud that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems, stars with orbiting planets, and those planets now have the ingredients for life itself.
So that when I look up at the night sky and I know that yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the Universe is in us.
When I reflect on that fact, I look up. Many people feel small because they’re small and the Universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars.
There’s a level of connectivity.
That’s really what you want in life, you want to feel connected you want to feel relevant.
You want to feel like you’re a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you.
That’s precisely what we are, just by being alive…
For me, that is the most profound revelation of 20th century astrophysics and I look forward to what the 21st century will bring us, given the frontiers that are now unfolding.Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D. (born October 5, 1958) is an American astrophysicist. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space science, and a Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Credit: Video Edited by Max Schlickenmeyer