Sunday, 24 August 2014

Visions of a Far Future

Galaxy Galore - Hubble Ultra Deep Field View - NASA

"By the time we are ready to settle even the nearest other planetary systems, we will have changed. The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us. Necessity will have changed us. We are an adaptable species. It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby star systems on our interstellar arks. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses; more confident, far-seeing, capable and wise.

For all our failings, despite our flaws and limitations, we humans are capable of greatness. What new wonders, undreamt of in our time, will we have accomplished in another generation and another? How far will our nomadic species have wandered by the end of the next century, and the next millennium? 

Our remote descendants safely arrayed on many worlds throughout the solar system and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by their knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe came from Earth. They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross before we found our way."

(Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey - Episode 11 - The Immortals)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

World as a Riddle

Earth as viewed from Lunar orbit during the Apollo 8 mission - Dec 24,1968

“I’ll never cease to be amazed that the world exists… Circus performers and variety shows will never captivate me in the same way as steppes or rain forest, or the sky’s uncountable galaxies and all the billions of light years that separate them. 

I am more concerned with the world as a riddle than riddles in the world.”

(The Castle in the Pyrenees by Jostein Gaarder)