Saturday, April 28, 2007

How about a Sextillion or 70?

...Night skies in the great Australian outback are simply awesome! Sleeping under a sparkling dome of a sextillion or 70 stars has always been a soul-reviver for me. Memories return of laying in my warm sleeping bag next to slow-burning embers of a campfire, breathing the fragrant scent of the bush, and trying to keep my eyes open as long as I possibly could to watch 'falling stars' or spot a satellite or two tracking across the heavens. All too soon sleep would take over, but periodically throughout the night I would wake for a moment to glimpse the changing position of the stars with the rotation of the Earth.

I recall when as a child growing up in Melbourne in 1957, I stood with my grandparents, parents and brother and watched Sputnik as its trajectory took it directly overhead.

Launched by the Soviet Union on 4th October 1957, Sputnik was the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, which it did in 98 minutes. It was only the size of a large basketball.

Experiencing this historic event sparked in me my life-long fascination with the heavens and spaceflight, and my spiritual heart beats faster as I ponder distance in light years, the wonder of creation, of our planet Earth, and my minute yet unique part of history. I yearn for my tiny contribution to make a difference.