Some real insights in here such as seeing the sun as ‘a star’ floating in the blackness of space instead of in a blue sky – I’d never really even thought of that. Brilliant.. gonna watch their feature film trailer next.
What I found was that the number of stars was just so immense. In fact I couldn’t pick up individual stars, it was like a sheet of light. I found that fascinating because it changed my ideas about how we think about the Universe.
There are billions of stars out there – the Milky Way galaxy that we’re in contains billions of stars, not just a few. And there are billions of galaxies out there. So what does that tell you about the Universe? That tells you we just don’t think big enough. To my mind that’s the whole purpose of the space programme, to figure out what that’s all about.
If you believe in evolution then there must have been a moment in time when everything changed. Some very distant ancestor of ours by some rare event had some new thought – or line of thought that had been established but was first engaged and from then on – something new was born in this universe.
There are a millions ways it could have happened but the mere extrapolation of that idea is exhilarating to me and that’s what this picture represents or rather it represents the mindset – the condition if you like which may have given birth to that moment.
It’s the image in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001 where one of the pre-human ape creatures are sleeping/restlessly cowering in the lee of a rock – eyeing the approaching dawn with fear and wonder – in just about equal parts.
They seem to have just enough awareness to know that they are fragile creatures, cradling this precarious thing called life in a harsh world where there are no second chances but also they have a sense of something else… something larger.. that maybe they have a power to change the odds..
It’s only a couple of seconds on the screen but there it is – everything it means to be human.