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Seeing the workings of the universe at play, up close, how divinely beautiful. And absolutely facinating.

Now I'm no astrophysicist, but it must be simple really given the basic repetitive units - stars and galaxies. Is it not just one big chemistry set and physics lab of eternal birth and destruction between the basic forces of nature? I don't believe in the Big Bang theory, but there are plenty of regular colossal explosions

Matter, gravity, electromagnetic radiation and magnetism: all forms of energy, the fundamental master of it all.

Gravity pulls matter together, light dust and gases collapsing and igniting stars which burn. Solar matter fuses, emits radiation energy. Stars swirl around black holes, enormous magno-gravitational stores of crushed spent matter turned back into pure energy. At some point gravity must reduce, even bounce, allowing black holes to bleed off / erupt unstable energy in a conversion back to sub-atomic particles of matter ejected in gyroscopic axial jets.

As stars are born, they blow off matter forming the planets which settle into defined orbits. As stars age, they create heavier atoms; when stars die, expand then collapse, they explode a periodic table of new matter into space

I suspect most stars our size harbour an earth-like planet with oceans. Give it 8 billion or so years and - hey-presto - organic carbon based life forms. DNA. Intelligent life. Much just like us.

So if our fate is death by meteor strike or sun bomb nova - life will carry on. Somewhere, I feel certain.

Thanks to Stefan Nicolaescu for marrying up a space gallery video match quite literally made in heaven. Well, it is set to Karl Jenkins' peaceful Benedictus.

Here's waiting for the next Einstein or Hawking; SETI - keep looking!

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