A little white dot

There’s a probe, far away from this little planet. Named Cassini, kicked in the deep space by our fabulous friends at NASA. Its work is almost done, soon it will take its last dive into the Saturn’s atmosphere, sending data until it will be crushed.

But this is not about Cassini. No, this isn’t about NASA or the joys of deep space exploration. Maybe another time. It’s about that little white dot. For those who haven’t understood it yet, it’s the Earth. Yeah, our glorious home world, the goddamn cradle that could turn in a mass grave sooner or later.

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Looking for a new planet

English: Kepler space telescope orbit

English: Kepler space telescope orbit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apparently the world discovered yesterday about the existence of the Kepler project and the social media today are full of news about one of the exoplanets discovered by the scientist that are manning this project… since 2009.

The golden arguments are the similarities between our solar system and Kepler-452’s own. Same kind of star, a planet in the “goldilocks zone“, other planets in the system that are probably the like of Jupiter and Saturn. The message is clear, “another Earth!”, and let there be a million of artist renditions of this newfound planet.

Well, take five. Or ten.

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La vigilia dell’Apollo 8

Nel 1968, proprio il 24 dicembre, l’Apollo 8 entrò in orbita lunare. Per la prima volta una missione con equipaggio umano a bordo raggiungeva questo obiettivo.

Data la vigilia di Natale la NASA decise di far leggere ai tre astronauti a bordo i primi dieci versetti del libro della Genesi, il pubblico della Terra seguì la cosa tramite radio e televisione.

Apollo-8-patch

Di seguito la trascrizione della lettura (prelevata di peso dall’edizione in lingua inglese di Wikipedia).

William Anders
“We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Jim Lovell
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Frank Borman
“And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters He called seas: and God saw that it was good.
And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”

Note:

William Anders partecipò attivamente solo alla missione 8 del programma Apollo, Jim Lovell era già veterano del programma Gemini (7 e 12) e partecipò alle missioni 8 e 13 del programma Apollo, Frank Borman era anche lui un veterano del programma Gemini (missione 7, insieme a Lovell), partecipò solo alla missione 8 del programma Apollo.

Fuori dal sistema solare

Un altro emissario della civiltà umana sta per lasciare il nostro sistema solare, una sorta di passaggio simbolico di testimone tra una generazione di esploratori dello spazio (il programma Voyager) e le missioni del presente, tornate finalmente sui media con il successo di Curiosity su Marte.

Buffo pensare come un hardware di 35 anni fa, ridicolo come potenziale rispetto alla generazione attuale di dispositivi, sia in grado di continuare la sua missione di scoperta. Amaro invece confrontarlo con tanti prodotti di oggi, fabbricati senza cura e con la prospettiva di vita utile misurabile in pochi mesi.

Il Voyager 2 continua la sua corsa, memento della volontà di scoperta del genere umano. Buon viaggio!