Our Pale Blue Dot
Last updated 9/24/2012 at 11:12pm
Two space probes, Voyagers 1 and 2, began their long journey across our solar system 35 years ago. They sent back images and information never before seen or imagined. Scientists not only saw Jupiter’s huge red spot up close, but they watched a volcano exploding on Jupiter’s moon Io. The spacecraft revealed icy details of Saturn’s rings and discovered atmosphere on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. Voyager 2 relayed the sight of geysers erupting on Neptune’s moon, Triton.
Voyager 1 is now entering the outermost layer of the heliosphere, the edge of the great magnetic bubble created by the sun’s magnetic field and inflated by the solar wind (which travels over one million kilometers—about 621,371 miles) an hour—for the first ten billion kilometers (6,213,711,900 miles before slowing down). The spacecraft, now over 11 billion miles from earth, is nearing the edge of our solar system; it will soon travel into the unknown area of interstellar space. (There is fascinating information on Wikipedia and NASA websites.)
I knew that Earth had an atmosphere, but I did not know that we also had a heliosphere. Our Creator mixed the gases in our atmosphere so we could breathe. He made it thick enough to protect us from flying debris and insulate us from space’s bitter cold. His atmospheric utility system distributes water to every continent and scatters diffused light rays through tiny air molecules so we can live in relative comfort.
I wonder what our heliosphere does for us. It seems that we really do live our lives in a bubble.
For me, the most sobering photo from Voyager 1 was taken in 1990 when it was six billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) from earth. Scientists commanded the probe to turn around and take a picture of the solar system. The probe’s camera sent back 640,000 pixels. One pixel revealed a pale blue dot suspended in a sunbeam. Earth had never looked so small!
We can’t see continents, mountains or oceans. We can’t see cities or communities; yet all of earth’s history, its challenges, tragedies and triumphs, has taken place on this tiny blue dot.
At first, I felt the overwhelming impression that our lives must not be worth much. How can our lives possibly matter in such a grand display? Fortunately, the Bible reveals an unbelievably awesome mystery. It is the only reasonable explanation for our remarkable existence! Something big is happening here! Romans 8:19 gives us a clue when it says: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”
Who are these sons of God? Why is creation waiting for such a revelation?
The answers are as amazing as the heliosphere. The Bible is full of answers. I looked through the books of John, Romans, Hebrews, and 1 John and saw too much to relate in this article. I wish we could all get together and form a discussion group. I’d like to hear what you discovered too.
I also recommend Louis Giglio’s DVD called Indescribable. He not only shows us the pale blue dot, but he sends us valuable data from our heavenly Father.
© Sue Carlisle, 2012. Sue Carlisle is a member of the Ponca tribe and spent much of her youth on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Her passion is to encourage people to look at creation and see our awesome Creator.