Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Final Frontier

Many popular current movies are set in the uncharted territories of outer space; take recent blockbusters like Star Trek and Avatar (two movies Tommie and I saw this past weekend). While entertainment has explored the mysteries of outer space for years (Star Trek, of course, coming from the old T.V. series), it's becoming more and more true that space really is "the final frontier."

As each year passes on Earth, we push our depths of discovery further. Think about how thrilling it must have been for someone like Jacques Cousteau when he explored the depths of the ocean no one had yet ventured to. And now we can rent DVDs that show, in high definition, the ocean that many since Cousteau have ventured to film and study. While we make leaps and bounds with our discoveries here on Earth, our discoveries in space seem relatively slow in comparison because of how vast and dangerous it is. It's not that we aren't making progress--NASA has amazing photos to prove it--it's just that we know so little about what's on these countless other planets as opposed to all the information we have collected over the years about our own. When I think about it, it makes even the most mysterious places on Earth seem tame.

Sure, there is still a lot on Earth to study, but the more we uncover, the smaller and less mysterious our own planet becomes and so we turn to the great beyond. I'm still amazed by Earth's beauty and differences across the globe, but as I get older and spend more time traveling, and watching those HD movies, or seeing photos of just about every place imaginable on the Web...the more obvious it becomes that man has touched just about everything here. The age of discovery is winding down and soon enough astronauts will be the only people who get to stumble across anything for the first time.

(NASA, Hubble photo: Spiral galaxy about 100 million light years away.)

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