Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Watching Over Earth

Sometimes late at night, when its quiet and I’m alone with my thoughts of mathematics and physics, I like to watch over our planet as only a person of the 21st century can, with a camera floating high above in orbit. Of course I’m talking about the International Space Station that circles the earth every 90 minutes. NASA TV provides a wonderful service to us dreamers who would rather ponder the cosmos late at night rather than sleep.

You can also use this applet to track the ISS’s orbit to judge whether the camera image is showing a daylight image, otherwise all you might see are some scattered lights on the ground.

I find that having a view of earth up on my computer screen while I do my scientific research provides a reassuring feeling of oneness with my place in the universe, and of being a beneficiary of millennia of human scientific progress. Such a view also urges me onward to explore the wonders of nature, and heck, it just makes me feel good!

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