Friday, April 29, 2011

We are the Convergence


~ Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

Of Note: Let's say that humanity is the eyes and ears of the Solar System, an unconscious Entity, which does not know Itself. That could mean that the international space programs and their various space probes provide our Solar System with a view of Itself through our eyes. That thought could give new meaning to the importance of exploration in the outer reaches of space. Take, for example, the twin Voyager probes that are very close to reaching the edge of the solar system. They have been speeding through space for 30 years and are still sending back data that continues to surprise the engineers and scientists at NASA. Dr Tony Philips said: "The adventure began in the late 1970's when the probes took advantage of a rare alignment of the outer planets for an unprecedented Grand Tour. Voyager 1 visited Jupiter and Saturn while Voyager 2 flew past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Voyager 2 is still the only probe to visit Uranus and Neptune." The twins are powered by the radioactive decay of Plutonium 238 and should keep the systems running until at least 2020. By then, they will have popped through the solar system's heliosphere and into outer space-- a place that has never been explored by humans. Even now, the space on the edge is called "frothy" by scientists and shows a zero solar wind velocity. From that distance, the sun is just a teeny dot in the sky. On board each probe is a Golden Record disc that carries information about Earth, including 118 photos of the planet; 90 minutes of music; an audio essay containing sounds from the planet; and greetings in 55 languages and one whale language. One awestruck researcher said: "Voyager 1 and 2 will become our silent ambassadors to the stars." Could be that the space probes are also the eyes and ears of the Solar System getting to know Itself and its neighbors for the first time.

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