Earth, the Final Frontier

Space Earth, the final frontier.

I was greeted this morning by this article, which explains how NASA scientists have recreated the aurora borealis in a lab. Seeing as how witnessing the Northern Lights is at the top of my bucket list, I was automatically intrigued with the prospect of avoiding a trip to the North Pole. But avoiding the trip and reducing the size of my bucket list were not the only things this article got me thinking about.

By The High Fin Sperm Whale (Self-taken photo) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

By The High Fin Sperm Whale (Self-taken photo) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s easy to wonder about things in the sky. The vastness of our atmosphere and the universe beyond it are as inviting to our imaginations as a blank canvas. As an adult I have grown into a space enthusiast, but even as a kid I was not exempt from endless star gazing, wishing on those that zipped across my line of sight.

Yet what about the things that are right here on earth? There is so much mystery that exists right in front of us if we have the eyes to see it. I admit that words like physics and geology (and even biology to a certain extent) used to invoke in me feelings of dread, but the more I learn about these fields of study, the more they intrigue me.

NASA scientists were able to recreate a beautiful atmospheric phenomenon using physical properties like magnetic force and charged particles. Science teachers have told me time and again about “the building blocks of our universe,” and an article like this provides a wonderful example of what this really means. Physics, geology, chemistry, biology—all of these subjects dance together to explain our world, our universe, and beyond.  Our planet and its components provide infinite possibilities for exploration and discovery.

I’ve said it before—I come from the place of a former sciencephobe. Yet in a way I credit my early aversion to science with a renewed sense of wonder in my adult years. I’m late to the science party, but now I am ready to rock! (get it?) So join the party by defending the following statement:

Earth, the final frontier.

By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons