Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Say Cheese

Despite the natural outcome of my nature to imagine itself to be more than what it really is, I enjoy looking at pictures of outer space. I say despite because it can only lead me to one conclusion. I'm small. But it doesn't matter. I still like to view pictures of outer space. I like to take pause during my day and look up in the sky. And although my telscope would like to see farther and more variety than the Indiana sky, I do enjoy seeing what I can see.

There is such beauty and vastness, it is nothing short of awe-inspiring. But then I ran across this article while cruising the information superhighway. “The Planck telescope was sent by Europe into space to take pictures of the entire universe to try to understand the origin of the universe and how stars are formed.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7872190/Planck-telescope-reveals-universe-image.html)

I didn't italicize anything on purpose. I want to be sure you are paying attention. They sent a telescope into space to take a picture of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE! Are you kidding me? Entire. Universe. The whole thing.

First of all, who even decides this is possible? I've been part of family photos where the guy taking the picture (usually the dumbest Uncle who somehow married in) can't seem to fit the whole family into the frame. Even Leonardo daVinci had to have all the apostles move to the same side of the table in order for them to fit in the picture of the Last Supper.

So how in the world does a telescope find its way outside of the universe in order to turn around, tell the universe to say 'cheese', and then snap a picture? I'm not saying I was the brightest philosophy major ever, but thinking abstractly isn't exactly a mystery to me. But stepping outside the known universe in order to capture it on film seems like one of those things our parents would have left for God.

Secondly, and perhaps less importantly, how in the world can the Europeans control a telescope from outside the universe and AT&T can only provide coverage for 97% of the United States? Like I said, perhaps this is of less importance, but I would just like to see if I can get a cell phone from Europe. Shouldn't every call be local?

Can you imagine the scientists working with this telescope? 'Don't click the button until Pluto passes by, or we'll get a fuzzy picture.'

All of this universe picture taking leaves me realizing that, ridiculous idea or not, I am infintely small. I can remember as a kid looking at a map of the United States I would enjoy finding my home town. This is so far beyond that that it does not even allow for comparison.

We're small. Specks of dust on a ball on a string in the lost area somewhat off-center of the total known universe. Accepting it is the only response we can use in order to move forward. Because only when we accept this truth and begin to look outside of ourselves will we be able to catch a glimpse of the One who made this universe.

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