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A cosmic nearsightedness October 28, 2006

Posted by thebeam in The Byways.

The Hubble Space Telescope is arguably the pinnacle of mankind’s achievements. It represents a nearly pure effort to understand the universe around us, without much of the normal rancor that more earthbound debates generate. Almost any child who has gazed in wonder at a clear night sky can understand the gift of vision that the photos we’ve received from Hubble have given us.

Unfortunately, the Hubble Space Telescope is in dire need of repairs and maintenance. The Space Shuttle project, beset by the aftermath of the Challenger and Columbia diseasters, is really the only platform that might be available for the missions needed to make the necessary repairs. Efforts are being made in Congress, and in the scientific community, but there are always competing budgetary issues. Many of them are devoted to developing more cost-efficient ways to kill our fellow man, not all that many are given to ways to save our fellow man. And precious few are devoted to just understanding the rules that govern our universe without little hope for immediate gain.

When or if you wonder about what the Hubble is worth, play this amazing short video (Hubblesite.org) of an exploding star some 20,000 light years away and consider. Never in the history of man, have we been able to watch events like this, in this detail that unfold over the four year period of time given. If we lose the Hubble, we might never make a video like this again. It is not only beautiful, but it also helps to explain the nature of the universe that we live in.

The looming oil crisis might be upon us in five years, it might be upon us in fifty years, but it is coming. And only by having a vision of what we might accomplish, will we be able to make the decisions necessary to accomplish keep our priorities straight when our easy sources of energy dwindle.

Life and Hearts is in session. Are you ready to “Hunt the Bitch?”



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