The Most Astounding Fact in the Universe
Neil deGrasse Tyson is highly regarded for his proficiency in astronomy and astrophysics, but even more so for his unbelievable ability to educate and inspire. Recently, Tyson has been featured on a variety of media outlets to talk about his newly released book, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier. Amidst his current medley of radio, magazine, and television interviews, all of which showcase Tyson's refreshing candor and soaring rhetoric, an astronomical gem has surfaced from his past.
In 2008, Tyson sat down with Time Magazine to answer ten reader-submitted questions. One of them asked, "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?"
Now, first let me say this: I've had the opportunity to view a great many of Tyson's stirring off-the-cuff orations, but the one he gave in response to this question outdoes them all. It was, quite simply, out of this world. His answer is now commemorated in a dazzling three-minute video, the popularity of which will undoubtedly go supernova. Here's a snippet from Tyson's uplifting answer, and you can watch the full video below:
"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..."
"...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."