“INTERSTELLAR”: WHAT IS OUR PLACE AMONG THE STARS?

Good entertainment that expands horizons. Literally. “Interstellar” is the most fantastic movie of recent times, simply because it has no common boundaries. Based on the most modern Physics, it shakes prejudices and atavistic concepts that are repeated as if they were immutable truths.

“We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt”.

The quote from Cooper (protagonist played by Matthew McConaughey) in conversation with his father-in-law, Donald (John Lithgow), is about the human being and his philosophical questions. To be a spaceship pilot or a farmer on a planet Earth that is being decayed by acid dust created by man himself. Cooper ‘looks up’ as did William Herschel, German astronomer naturalized Englishman who, still in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, preferred to discover the rings of Saturn and infrared radiation rather than fight in bloody wars. Or as the Greek Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276 BC-195 BC) who showed that the Earth was round when everyone firmly believed it was flat. Or the Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi who discovered the first stars outside the Milky Way. There are dozens of these amazing wise men.

The possibility that we are cosmic beings scares us – citizens of an infinite cosmos – and not just citizens of a city among thousands in a small planet among billions and trillions that we don’t even know how many are there. The philosopher, writer and educator Mario Sergio Cortella has done wonderful lectures on the matter that are available on youtube: in our galaxy alone there are at least 200 billion suns like ours. There is no human mathematics that can account for the universe.

Besides being based on real science – the scientific adviser is the theoretical physicist Kip Thorne – “Interstellar” was possible because director Christopher Nolan stripped himself of any border that could blur the search for the future. If seeing the Moon is an illusion – this star is always one second in the past because it is 300,000 kilometers away – so what is there to say about what we really know? After all, ‘round Earth’ was the science fiction of the ancient …
There is plenty to talk about “Interstellar”.

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