Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

Looking back into Time.

   Once again NASA has launched a space shuttle back into space to perform life extending service to our own public “Time Machine” the Hubble.   If you have not yet logged onto http://hubblesite.org/, you really need to check it out.  Click on the Galley tab to view into the eyes of the earths best time-machine. 

   The photons of light the Hubble Telescope captures originated as far back in time as over 12.7 Billion years ago.  So we may only be able to go backward in time, but “Wow” what a backward glance it is.  The job of getting your mind around the fact that we are able to see light that is over 12 billion years old, is just as difficult as trying to start to grasp the distances being observed.  Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles every second.   Now think about how far a photon of light can travel in just one hour.  That’s well over 6 million miles in a single minute.  Now extend this by hours, days, weeks, months, and finally a single year.  You just might be starting to grasp the distance and then we start talking about thousands, millions and then billions of years, traveling at that same 186,000 miles each and every second of those billions of years.

   These numbers are so great, that if each of us represented a single atom, and we lined up each and every single atom that makes up the earth, we are still not reaching across the cosmos.  It is extremely difficult to comprehend these type of distances.  Now that you have perhaps started to understand that we are talking about distances beyond imagination less than 100 years ago, we have thus far only talked about looking in one single direction into space.

   Now consider that we can look in every other possible single direction outside of our world and see light coming at us from these same extreme distances.  About this time you may be feeling rather small and insignificant in the cosmic universe.  Though it is true each of us does not amount to even a grain of sand on the earth, in comparison, we can each look at the images captured by Hubble and revel in the knowledge that each and every one of us is unique in this same universe. 

   So at a time when we can each perhaps feel very small indeed, we should realize that in all the universe we have yet to find other life, be it intelligent or not.  Though the odds are greatly in favor of there being life elsewhere, somewhere, we know life appears to be very rare off the planet earth.  At least we have yet to find any.  So my wish is everyone could realize how precious life is, and what a shame it is that our history is filled with our willingness to destroy what is so rare in the universe.

This is an image taken by the Hubble Telescope. 

The Hubble telescope was pointed to what was thought to be one of the most empty regions in known space.  As can be seen in this image, the Hubble time-machine was still seeing hundreds and hundreds of galaxies even as far back as almost 13 Billion years ago.  And around each of these galaxies are millions or stars with their own solar systems in an area of space which is less than a grain of sand as far as we can see.

Myriad Galaxies in Hubble's Deep Field Image

No matter where we look, there is more to see.  What will the upgraded Hubble show us next?

A Gravitationally Lensed Quasar

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May 13, 2009 - Posted by | Space | , ,

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