Oh Space, how I love it. Catch me at any point and I will happily spurt random knowledge about the stars and black holes to anyone willing to listen. Sometimes, I may even be factually correct (but more likely not). There’s something about its infiniteness, its resistance to being truly understood and comprehended, or even because Brian Cox simply exists; I fall in love with Space every time I think about it.
My fascination with Space started when I was a child. I remember turning over to documentary channels and watching some of the greatest minds on Earth discuss the planets in our Solar System, stars, and even black holes. I could never fully comprehend everything they said, but to have something that felt like science-fiction be genuinely real was the closest my brain had ever got to magic. I rewatched these same documentaries over and over, explaining the tidbits I understood to my parents and slowly letting my grasp of the unknown become a little more known.
When I was ten, I went on a school trip to the Science Museum in London and all I wanted to explore was their Space exhibition. I was even willing to pass on the interactive “playpark” of the museum designed to make science experiments fun for children so that I could read about planets and look up at the objects that have defined our understanding of space. Rockets, probes, and satellites were all fascinating parts of history and space exploration that I wanted to know more about, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
During GCSE Physics, my favourite three lessons were on our Solar System. When I had my first two cracks at A-Levels, I tried doing Physics and Maths so that I could go on to study Astrophysics at University, but sadly no matter how much the theory of space intrigued me, the maths of it always alluded me. Yet I didn’t let that end my love of space, and instead, I encouraged it in new ways.
Now I’ll try and read science-fiction novels set amongst the stars, even if not technically grounded in realism. To this day, I still watch space documentaries about anything I can, and recently I’ve discovered a newfound love for podcasts and Brain Cox (beware, I am about to fangirl pretty hard). The Infinite Monkey Cage, a podcast hosted by Robin Ince and Brian Cox, is my current favourite, covering everything you can think of about space as well as science in general.
Plus… BRIAN COX! The University of Manchester physicist, host of a great podcast, star of many space documentaries and author of multiple books – he brings charisma and humour to the world of space and I just can’t get enough of him. There’s something about Brian Cox’s approach to space that never veers into the realm of being too complex to grasp; he breaks it down while never assuming that his listeners are too idiotic to understand. In essence, he understands that space doesn’t have to be complex to be learnt about – even grasping the fundamentals without the maths is worth something.
So, why do I love space? Simple, Brian Cox. No, I actually love space because it’s intellectually stimulating and infinitely fascinating. It’s the playing ground of physics and the beholder of many unknown things. In fact, it’s the resistance to being completely understood (is time real? is there a multiverse? what’s inside a black hole?) that makes me love it so much more.