Friday, March 02, 2007

Pics In Space--The Eye Of God Edition

I just got back from my monthly tour of space, with the MSNBC Space Slide Show, and I want to go again!! Really, I mean it. The phrase that kept popping to mind as I wandered through the images of planets and nebulas and galaxies (oh my!!) is, "I want to go there!!" I want to jump on a rocket-ship right now, one with time-condensing capabilities, and head out into the galaxy, to explore to my heart's content. Of course, my feet are pretty firmly planted in reality, and I know that the chances of me making it off the planet, while I'm still young enough to enjoy it, are so slim as to be put logically in the "impossible" category, but I'm not giving up hope long-term.

I had a pastor once who used to talk about space, and about the possibilities of intelligent alien life in the universe. When people would say there had to be other life out there, because all of that creation couldn't just be for the view from Earth, and what a waste that would be, his response basically boiled down to, "It's not going to be wasted. That's for later!!" He figured that part of our eternity was going to be spent exploring the vastness of creation, and seeing all the wonders up close that we can only glimpse from afar right now. I've always liked that notion--the idea that I'll get to indulge my passion for space some day, unhindered by physical limitations and time constraints. I don't know whether that pastor was right, but for now I'm going to let myself dream in that direction, and part of that dreaming is enjoying the wonderful pictures provided each month by NASA, the European Space Agency, the Cassini Spacecraft, and all the other contributors to MSNBC's glimpse into the glory that exists "out there."

Let me entice you with a few of the images that await you, should you choose to journey with me into space, via the monthly gift of MSNBC's slide show. You'll be greeted right away by the stunning sight of a Nebula that amateur astronomers have dubbed "The Eye of God." Simply amazing. From there, you'll cruise on to many wondrous places, both far and near. You'll see rockets surging toward the heavens, galaxies swirling in the great beyond, absolutely incredible Martian terrain, frosted in its bitter cold, and etched by the Martian winds. You'll come upon a colorful Supernova, and a true color picture of the planet Mars that will remind you what an artist God is. Our own Earth gets the chance to show her true colors, as well. Banded sand dunes reveal how very alien our own planet can be, and you'll get a look at the power our weather has to transform our world. You'll go flying with an astronaut-in-training, another of the new breed, a paying passenger who is about to travel to the International Space Station for a visit. You could probably go too--anybody have a spare $20 million? My favorite photo this time around is one of right here at home. It's a splendidly colorful image of the Mississippi River Delta that looks like an abstract painting with all the glowing pigment and indefinable motion of the river carving its way through the fertile land to the depths of the sea.

Feel like taking the trip now? Head on over, and then come back and tell me which place you'd most like to go if you got the chance. Personally, I'd visit 'em all. I sure hope my pastor was right!!