Billions and billions of stars…
Carl Sagan, you are missed. You were the Mr. Rogers of humanism and astrobiology, and your influence was (and is) incalculable.
The concepts for my comics come in all manner of maturity and understanding. Sometimes they are completely drawn out in my head before I ever approach the canvas. Other times I am dealing with loose concepts, like mood, or perhaps a punch line (sans the joke).
I knew I'd have myself laying on my back, staring up at the sky, and saying something deep. But as to what that would be, that would fit concisely inside the negative space in the panel, was more elusive.
I have a hard time accepting the concept of Dark Energy. Or, more precisely, writing it off, as physicists do, as Dark Energy. What is it? Is it an it? Is it a repellent force, like Gravity's evil sister? Or is it, as I suspect, the product of mass transitioning to energy, through some sort of calamity or degeneration? There's an intriguing thought, no? We can guess from perturbative equations that under extreme temperatures and pressures, the four known forces (Gravity, Electromagnetism, Weak, and Strong) unify, much as elements in the periodic table can all be reduced to Hydrogen. As the universe cooled, the forces distinguished themselves and their behaviors. But what if further cooling disambiguates the strong force into two forces, and at that, two forces that might cancel each other. As the atomic age has proven, tearing apart atoms generates an incredible amount of energy. Perhaps lonely particles in the boonies of the universe, cool, forgotten, dark, turn their mass into energy. And perhaps they do it with greater frequency, thus accelerating the expansion of space itself.
This is what I had originally thought of including in the comic. Obviously, it was a bit too deep. Haha. Oh well.