“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” -Frank A. Clark
There’s a lot to be thankful for, and some of those things are truly universal. The world we share, the Sun we orbit, the galaxy we reside in and the Universe itself plus the laws that govern it are cosmic stories we all share. And if you think about it really hard, you’ll realize that there are a whole slew of cosmic steps that needed to happen that are worth giving thanks to.
An infrared view from ESA’s Herschel observatory of a new star-forming region. Image credit: ESA / SPIRE / PACS / P. André (CEA Saclay).
From the Big Bang itself to the matter/antimatter asymmetry, from the existence of atoms to how the heavy ones form in stars, from the gravitational force that holds galaxies together to the supernovae that recycle elements, and from the nebulae that form stars and planets to the fortunate circumstances that led to Earth thriving, there are a huge number of things that needed to happen to bring us to today.
The Earth and Sun, not so different from how they might have appeared 4 billion years ago. Image credit: NASA/Terry Virts.