It’s a Small, Small World!

March 10, 2008

earth_moon.jpg

Photo of Earth and its Moon from deep space. NASA Johnson Space Center Image ID. S92-52043.

When you look at this picture taken by the Galileo spacecraft on its way to Jupiter, remember that this is also a photo of you, your family and friends, and all that you know in this life. This photo was taken at a distance of 62 million kilometres from Earth. Earth’s moon is in the foreground of the photo.

Galileo was launched by NASA from the Space Shuttle on October 18, 1989 to explore Jupiter and its moons. It arrived at Jupiter December 7, 1995 just less than six years later. After its mission was complete in 2003, it was intentionally crashed into Jupiter making sure it didn’t contaminate any of the moons. Jupiter’s hostile environment destroyed the probe completely.

The Earth is truly a lifeboat in space. Our blue planet is insignificant against the backdrop of our galaxy and our universe. It contains the only life that we know as of this date. An educated guess based on the number of stars in the universe tells us the mathematical odds of other life are high, but to date we earthlings have no hard-evidence to support this.

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