NASA Video on the Death of Our Sun Will Cure Your Holiday Existential Dread

As you wait in line to ship Christmas presents to far-flung family, mulling over questions of whether the FedEx insurance is a good value, and if fake or real Christmas trees are better for the environment, you might find yourself wondering, is any of this worth it? Why am I here? What happens if I die? What is the meaning of life?

The holidays are tough. Likely sensing our collective existential dread, NASA has released a video (watch it above) to treat your anxiety, and might just put to rest those questions in the dark corners of your mind that come out each December. After all, Earth was born of a star billions of years ago, it’s in middle-age now, and eventually, the sun will expand and become a red giant, and possibly swallow up the Earth and everything on it, in about 8 billion years. With this reminder, it’s easy to remember your problems are at once important and meaningless. May you find a little peace in the eventual fate of our solar system.

Also this week, a team of researchers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas will show the results of their recent exoplanet survey of 4,000 exoplanets and the proto-planetary disks of dust — the material in those space disks merge to eventually form planets — to learn more about how planets are created.

Their work will be published this week in Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL). On Monday, NASA released “Life and Death of a Planetary System,” by Elizabeth Landau, a seven-chapter story on its website that takes the reader through a rich multimedia experience, sure to bring anybody worried about the meaning of their life back down to Earth. Get the FedEx insurance already.

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