Friday, May 04, 2007

A few days ago European astronomers announced that they have discovered a planet that is very similar to earth. Conditions on the planet are very much like those on earth and the temperatures range from 32 to 104 degrees, which means that liquid water may exist. Water is the essential ingredient to support live, as we know it.
Other planets have been detected in the universe but most of these are big fireballs of poisonous gases which would reduce us to a cinder in seconds. The new planet is called Gliese 581c and is about half as big as earth and five times heavier. It’s about 20.5 light-years away and located in the constellation Libra. To get an idea of really how far that is, one light-year is about 5.9 trillion miles. In other words it’s about 121 trillion miles away. The distance might be a problem for all of us to consider moving there when we have finished destroying our planet with global warming. The new planet also rotates around it’s sun much more often than does earth. A year on Gliese 581c is only 13 days, which means I would be over 1,900 years old The only good thing about the time factor is that politicians wouldn’t be able to stay in office more than about 4 months if we restricted them to two four year terms.
I have always loved astronomy and enjoy studying the night sky. It’s hard not to be a believer in a Supreme Being when you study the stars. I get the same feeling when I study the human body. It’s too much there for it to have just happened. Studying the stars can cause some confusion when you start thinking about time and the creation of the earth in 6 days. I have always thought that time is another dimension and can vary. We already know that a clock ticks slower when it is in motion. From what I understand about heaven it may be that there is no time, so God may not even recognize it as we do with our little finite minds. The song Amazing Grace sums up the time question in its lyrics. “When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”
Even Huck Finn and Jim contemplated the stars as they floated down the Mississippi on their raft. They would discuss if the stars were made or only just happened. Huck said, “I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn’t say nothing against it, because I’ve seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they’d got spoiled and was hove out of the nest.”
Who am I to disagree with my heroes Huck and Jim. Jim probably had it right. The stars could have been made if a frog could lay almost as many eggs. Surely, God could create as many stars and time doesn’t mean anything to him like it does to us poor simple minded humans who are limited in our thought process by a stationary clock.
I’m ready to move to Gliese 581c, the taxes and gasoline are too high on earth and there is no intelligent life down here. I need to start packing because the trip may take awhile.


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