Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Speck of a Shuttle!

Titled “One Speck of a Shuttle” this photo was taken by photographer Thierry Legault. It shows the space shuttle Atlantis in silhouette as it crosses in front of the sun's disk on May 12. The other photo was taken from the space shuttle after undocking from the International Space station. It shows the earth against a backdrop of the utter and severe blackness of space.
As you may well recall, I recently posted a blog titled, "Inatentional Blindness," in which I alluded to the idea that we tend to take for granted things that should ordinarily be spectacular (but have become mundane and ordinary), simply because we’re around them often enough that we become oblivious to them. I wanted to be sure that you didn’t miss out on these spectacular occurrences simply because you’ve ceased to be fascinated by the technological mastery of man encountering the vastness and harshness of outer space.

So, here are some facts for you:

The distance of the sun from the moon is approximately 93 million miles. If that doesn’t fascinate you, let’s try this: The moon is roughly 240,000 miles from the earth, and it makes a complete orbit around the earth every 27.3 days. The moons diameter is approximately 2118 miles, a little more than a quarter of the earth’s diameter. Still not impressed? Okay try this: the International Space Station is approximately 220 miles from the earth at any given time. Now get this, both these photographs were taken from the vicinity of the International Space station against the backdrops of the earth and the sun. Look at the size of the space station relative to the earth at only 220 miles away, and then compare it to the size of the shuttle against the backdrop of the sun at significantly more than 93 million miles away. Do you know that it would take the space shuttle approximately 221.5 days to get to the sun (if it were able to actually get that close) traveling at its top speed of 17,500 miles an hour? If you’re still not fascinated, I give up!

Oh, by the way, I’d like to remind you that this masterpiece of creation was suspended in space by our God, Who, the Bible tells me, holds the waters of the seas in the palm of His hand. Bet you’re fascinated now!!