Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Exploration of Mars

In the last month or so the Mars lander "Phoenix" touched down at the Mars arctic, and has begun research. So far it has dug a small trench into the soil and come upon a white substance which is believed to be either ice or salt, both of which indicate the presence of water now or in the past. The two older Mars rovers are still functioning as well, long after they were supposed to shut down. I find the exploration of this planet fascinating, we know so little about it and it's so very far away from us. Still I'm surprised how little we can explore in the universe. Mars is far in human terms but as far as the sheer size of the universe, the distance is nothing.
During the late 70's the Voyager probes were launched to explore the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. Now the Voyager 1 probe is leaving the confines of the suns effects in the solar system, and traveling at something near 38000 MPH. According to the probes website, it will continue to function till around 2025, when it will cease functioning completely. STILL , after more than 30 years it will barely leave the solar system and the sun's effects.
From my point of view many scientists act as if we have a strong fundamental knowledge of the Earth and a decent understanding of the universe. It is my personal believe that we know nothing. The universe can only be seen so far, what lies beyond that no one can tell. We have only explored 1% of the abyssal plane of the ocean on our own planet, and our space limitations are enormous, we can't even reach Mars without takes many many months and literally millions of dollars.
Then there are the "crazy" questions of multiple universes, the consistency of time over travel at high speeds (time travel?), black holes, and the understanding of reality. I've seen scientists quoted as saying the idea of multiple universes, time travel and other similar ideas as being ridiculous. Here I'm going to point to the story of Galileo and the Catholic Church at the time, who was ridiculed for saying the Sun was the center of the solar system. Because an idea sounds beyond the current possibility of existence, doesn't mean it is. People have to stop thinking their small vision of the universe as it is NOW is true and will be true forever. Because books, theories, television, the internet, says something does not mean it is a universal truth.
We really are so arrogant because of the small knowledge we have. There must be so much more driving things that can't be seen. We can't even tell right now if our little hole on Mars has water in it or not, nor do we know what's at the bottom of our own ocean.
Who knows what is beyond the edge of the universe as we see it. Maybe it would be better to stop thinking in a bubble, and get creative.... just an idea I've been driving to death in my head..

Friday, June 13, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008