Posted by: bwoof | September 10, 2009

Small and significant with thanks to Hubble

Today I learned that the Hubble space telescope is almost 20 years old! Amazing. I sort of remember it launching as if it were yesterday. And I also remember that its lenses were out of whack and couldn’t focus properly. And, I also remember that the equivalent of bifocals were sent up there to correct the Hubble’s vision.

hubbleBut today scientists reported that the vision problems are corrected and the universe is open for viewing like never before.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” — Albert Einstein

While I don’t understand all the science (we have two PhD physicists at school so perhaps they can explain the fine print) it’s clear that the earth’s atmosphere obscures and/or alters what we can see with traditional telescopes. The Hubble telescope will probe the composition and structure of the atmospheres of other worlds. And astronomers have ambitious plans to use Hubble to make the deepest-ever portrait of the universe in near-infrared light including glimpses of never-before-seen infant galaxies.

I feel small and significant at the same time.

Why?

Because someone I care about deeply is the one who tipped me off abouthubble2 today’s Hubble news. And when someone loves you and cares for you and wants to learn with you, well, that’s significant! Sadly, today I met teens who only see the vastness of their aloneness, like far-flung stars in a dark universe.

Grateful for:

  • phone plans that traverse the country
  • Galileo and telescopes, even though I don’t own one
  • scientists

Curious about:

  • alter ed programs that work
  • IB
  • how to have mums stay beautiful in my office when there’s no outside window or sunshine, only flourescent lighting
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