Guide to the Cosmos
Making the Wonders of our Universe

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Robert L. Piccioni, Ph.D.

Our Place in the Universe


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The most amazing thing about our universe is that is comprehensible.

Einstein was amazed that a human mind, weighing only 3 pounds, could fathom a universe so vast. This is possible only because the universe is incredibly less diverse and complex than it might well have been.

We define “our universe” as all we could possibly observe or be influenced by. The green arrow indicates the maximum distance light can have traveled since the beginning of time. Light from the galaxy at the bottom hasn’t had enough time to reach us, so it isn’t in our universe. Due to the universe’s expansion, whatever lies beyond, even a dreadful monster, can never reach us.

Definition of 'our universe'.

The Earth lies in the goldilocks zone.

Even in a peaceful galaxy like our Milk Way, its center is non-survivable and its outskirts have too little carbon to support life. Life is possible only in the narrow “Goldilocks Zone” — not too close and not too far from the center. Our Solar System is in just the right place.

The more science learns about our world and our universe, the more amazing are all the incredible circumstances that enable our existence. The Earth is in the right Place, in the right Galaxy, in the right Orbit.