As you read these words and listen to our podcast, we’re all riding on a ball about 8000 miles (13,000 km) across. Our rotating disco ball in space is dancing around the sun at about 67,000 mph (107,000 km/h).

Our sun is about 93 million miles (150 million km away), shooting us with subatomic particles. Probably not maliciously, but who knows? The sun might be a trickster. It’s also filling our solar system with light so we can see all the other planets, comets, asteroids, dwarf planets, and moons in orbit.

As humans, it’s nearly impossible to not put ourselves at the center of the world — we all have main-character energy. For millions of years, we puny humans have looked up at the sky and tried to understand just what the devil is going on and where we belong in the whole situation.

In this episode, we try to unpack many of the mind-blowing facts we know about space and our expanding universe — and we get real about the emotional impact of embracing our stardust origins. We talk about the condition called the Overview Effect and whether or not space smells funny. Then we recommend great books that took us there on the page, including a hopepunk story set on an orbiting space fleet, a thrilling novel about a lady astronaut, a sci-fi love story set on Mars, the autobiography of the Milky Way, and a gorgeous book about what aliens can reveal about our humanity.

transcript

Read the full transcript of Outer Space: We Are All Made of Stars.

other books we mentioned

other cool stuff we talked about

Perhaps you’d like to listen to John Williams’ incredible Star Wars soundtrack while you dig into these links.

And some photos to set the scene. All of these photos are from the amazing resource NASA Image of the Day.

Read more.

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outer space 101

two truths and a lie

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowell

The Mars House by Natasha Pulley

The Milky Way by Moiya McTier

Beautyland by Marie-Helene Bertolino

Congratulations! You made it to the end. Here are your rewards:

finally…

patreon

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SSoP Podcast Episode 60 — Outer Space: We Are All Made of Stars

As you read these words and listen to our podcast, we’re all riding on a ball about 8000 miles (13,000 km) across. Our rotating disco ball in space is dancing around the sun at about 67,000 mph (107,000 km/h).

Our sun is about 93 million miles (150 million km away), shooting us with subatomic particles. Probably not maliciously, but who knows? The sun might be a trickster. It’s also filling our solar system with light so we can see all the other planets, comets, asteroids, dwarf planets, and moons in orbit.

As humans, it’s nearly impossible to not put ourselves at the center of the world — we all have main-character energy. For millions of years, we puny humans have looked up at the sky and tried to understand just what the devil is going on and where we belong in the whole situation.

In this episode, we try to unpack many of the mind-blowing facts we know about space and our expanding universe — and we get real about the emotional impact of embracing our stardust origins. We talk about the condition called the Overview Effect and whether or not space smells funny. Then we recommend great books that took us there on the page:

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowell

The Mars House by Natasha Pulley

The Milky Way by Moiya McTier

Beautyland by Marie-Helene Bertolino

For more on the books we recommend, plus the other cool stuff we talk about, visit show notes.

Sign up for our free Substack to connect with us and other lovely readers who are curious about the world.

Transcript of Outer Space: We Are All Made of Stars

Do you enjoy our show? Do you want be friends with other (lovely) people who love books and travel? Please support our work on Patreon! Strong Sense of Place is an audience-funded endeavor, and we need your support to continue making this show. Get all the info you need right here. Thank you!