Monday, October 15, 2012

Leaving Earth


I came across this staggering video the other day.

It's nothing new.  Been around for several years but I just now got around to seeing it.  It's a video taken from the MESSENGER space probe.  Launched in 2004, the mission for MESSENGER was to explore the planet Mercury.  Despite Mercury's close proximity to Earth, at least in astronomical terms, we really know little about it.  Towards the purpose of exploration, MESSENGER became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet, sending back photos and readings on Mercury's geological and chemical composition as well as studies of its magnetic field.

The video is from the perspective of MESSENGER as it leaves Earth.  In time-elapse, we watch one full rotation from the Earth, truly looking like a big blue/white/versicolor marble in space.

We humans tend to think that the universe was created just for us.  That's a specious assumption.  Watch the video.  Watch as everything you know and have grows smaller and smaller the more distant you get from it.  Everything your entire life is wrapped up on one, minor-sized planet within an enormous, almost infinite, black void.  Just watch it all disappear into a tiny speck.  Sort of puts things in perspective, I think.

Whatever your views, this video is worth a couple two or three watches.

"This is planet Earth...
-Duran Duran



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