Texas summer stars.
See up there, future and past.
Predominantly, I study the weather. For me it's fun to unravel the puzzle. Like poetic acrostics, sometimes the answer is right in front of you while other times it's hiding in the data. That curiosity has lead me to explore beyond: space, relativity (as referenced above in the context of 'time') and quantum theory. These are interrelated because it may require use of all three to take our next step to the stars. Our nearest neighboring star is 4.25 light years away. It's generally accepted that it would take 76,000 years to get there using our fastest current space craft. To get there and back in one lifetime would require an exotic technology we can only dream of today!
Reality dictates that to get from point A to point B, you must travel there... physically. We know it's 3 hours from Houston to San Antonio, down I-10. But what if through the manipulation of dimensions, the trip could be completed instantaneously? What about Earth to ... wherever?
On the Silver Screen we've been there and done that, but in reality we're far from it. While we are nowhere close today, the concept of warping around the universe by slipping into a slightly different dimensional plane to achieve faster-than-light travel has been theorized, but those who know more about this than me say it would take enormous amounts of energy, currently not possible to generate. But we don't take, "you can't" for an answer.
Just 115 years ago, we had yet to fly in an airplane. People flying was for the birds. Today, we have jetliners that can take you from Houston to Qatar in 16 hours. Flying machines we see today were theorized by Divinci, around the time Columbus landed in the New World in the 15th century. Where will we be in another 500 years?
Expecting a future where the Enterprise revs up to zip away at Warp 9 may not be too tall of an order considering our technological leaps. It's amazing to me to think that in 1903 we took our first flight on what looked like a balsa wood glider, from Kitty Hawk Beach, NC and 66 years later we walked on the moon. To think, 135 years since our first airplane flight, we may set foot on The Red Planet!
Counting down the days is one thing, but first we must dream. The far fetched theories largely written off by pop culture have time and time been proven. In one infamous example, Dennis Gabor, a British physicist said in 1962 that, 'electronic data transmission' was "never going to happen". Well, if you're reading this, you know he was wrong.
Then there's the ago old question: are alone in the universe? Many reputable scientists say we can't be alone, though the chance that we will ever be able to physically travel to see them in far away galaxies is remote. We're imprisoned in relative isolation by distance and time.
Begs the question: Are we seeing UFO's? Has another species figured out how to solve the distance and time problem? Have they found dimensions to travel through? Science can not confirm. There are tens of thousands of witness reports, but no hard evidence yet. Just fuzzy pictures, shaky videos and artistic renderings. Some will swear they're here, while others cite lunacy and confusion.
Leaders have publicly agreed that, "the phenomena is real." That was a quote from Edgar Mitchell, a man who walked on the moon with NASA's Apollo program. President Jimmy Carter said he saw one in Georgia. Truman said in 1950, "I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on earth." Sounds pretty convincing. Or, maybe they were just really into Sci Fi novels.
UFOs? Really, Brooks? I know, I know... but you can't talk about space and space travel, without mentioning little green men. (Or are they gray?) Regardless, it makes one take pause. I try to open minded regarding the potential. I certainly can't confirm they exist, since I have no scientific evidence in hand to prove it.
Evolution in scientific (and paranormal) theories are a constant. In each passing decade something new is discovered. Copernicus and Galileo proved Earth was not the center of the universe -- as was popular theory before the advent of the telescope. It was even once thought (and still is in some 'circles') that the world is not round, but flat. Who knows what tomorrow's theory might harbor.
Be that as it may (haha), science is 'debate'. It's healthy to throw around discussions which are seemingly silly at times, in an attempt at finding a solution -- or even formulating an appropriate question. Of course, the biggest controversy in meteorology is whether or not global warming is caused by humans or natural processes, or both. Some suggest it's not happening at all.
Eventually we'll find out without a doubt. Time will tell, as it seems to dictate everything in this realm. Hopefully it's not too late! The warmers say we're toast and the deniers say it's a money grab.
All we have is here on Earth. All of what we are, where we are, who we are, how we are, what we'll be, is on this tiny planet Earth. Carl Sagan said it best.
My take is that there is so much to learn, so much to discover and so much ahead for humanity. No doubt, one day our foot print in the universe will expand beyond, "a pale blue dot" and encompass a host of planets. Perhaps we'll unite as one planet, to explore the many beyond our sight.
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