Monday, January 12, 2009

I discovered Discover!

When I was young, I used to like to lay on the front lawn at night and contemplate the night sky. Where I grew up there were no street lights so it was easy to see the Milky Way and all the constellations laid out before you, making it easy to ponder and wonder. I would look up and say "For every star there could be an Earth orbiting around it - a planet at just the same distance from its star as we are from our sun. There could be more people out there."

In the February issue of Discover magazine there is a short article that I find fascinating, First Light for Alien Worlds. Here is part of what the article says:

Achieving a feat that seemed impossible not so long ago, a team of scientists working with the Hubble Space Telescope captured the first visible-light image of a planet orbiting another star. On the same day as this announcement, last November 14, came the report of a related breakthrough using the ground-based Gemini and Keck observatories in Hawaii, with which astronomers captured the first infrared image of three planets orbiting a star. A week later, another exoplanet candidate was spotted in infrared - this time by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope - orbiting the hot, bright star Beta Pictoris.

I just wish that more could be discovered during my lifetime. I wish I could know, before I die, that what I think is logical is, indeed, fact. How thrilling it would be to find out that there is life similar to ours within the Milky Way! Can you imagine how that could change the priorities of people here on Earth! Maybe we would start focusing on working together to obtain more knowledge of and work toward communication with those beyond our Earth.

And to think that I am not a fan of science fiction novels or movies.

1 comment:

detroit dog said...

Oh, I am nowhere as bold as you. I don't want to know about life on other planets.

Geez. I feel guilty just even thinking that, besides writing it. Damn Catholocism.