Post written by Mike Staton.
# # #
Just what is a guy to do when he has nothing to write about?
Well, sometimes you just have to write about nothing.
When you look at the sky and the air, you might be forgiven for thinking: It’s full of nothingness. Yet when you think deeper, you realize it’s what sustains life.
The sky is a blanket of gas around Earth that we call the atmosphere. It’s composed of a mixture of gas molecules, nitrogen (78 percent) and oxygen (21 percent). The remaining 1 percent? Argon gas and water in the form of vapor, droplets and ice crystals – and stuff you can smell, dust, soot and ashes, pollen and salt from the oceans. From all this you get clouds, winds, rain and lightning.
hen the Earth formed about 4.6 billion years ago, the atmosphere was very thin and just made of hydrogen and helium. Volcanoes formed and pumped out other gases like carbon dioxide and water vapor in the form of steam.
Beyond the atmosphere is outer space. Just a lot of black nothingness, right? In a way, yes. It’s nearly a perfect vacuum, but it does contain a few hydrogen atoms per cubic meter.
Remember, after the Big Bang, the universe contained only hydrogen. Gravity formed clumps of hydrogen, and those clumps formed into huge stars made up of hydrogen. They burned away the hydrogen fog, and God said let there be light.
Those first stars had short lives, going supernova. But in dying they produced and dispersed those heavy elements, paving the way for the eventual formation of solar systems like our own. The collapse of some of the first stars most likely seeded supermassive black holes that formed in the hearts of galaxies and became the spectacular power sources of quasars.
So you can thank your lucky stars that those earliest stars made possible the emergence of the universe that we see today – everything from galaxies and quasars to planets and people. And thanks to the vacuum of outer space and its lack of friction, stars, planets, moons, asteroids and comets can move along their orbits.
So nothing has a lot of something it turns out – if we’re talking about the sky and outer space.
# # #
I’m an author with four published novels that include a sword-and-sorcery fantasy trilogy – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The fourth novel is a historical romance set during the Civil War. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.