Wait! Before we go any further. Can we just have a moment of silence for Pluto, who 12 years ago today left our solar system as a “Planet” and suffered the humiliating demotion to “dwarf planet,” thanks to some cranky members of the International Astronomical Union? You can leave your kind remembrances in the comments section of this post.
Factoid #1: In 1968 NASA got sued for reading the bible from the moon. Watch this rad video of astronauts reading Genesis 1 (by Sam, 9).
Factoid #2: We saw Mars through our telescope. We watched a video called 7 Minutes of Terror about Curiosity ‘s risky landing in August 2012. NASA just sent a new space craft to Mars and it is exactly 1/2 way there (by Nate, 11).
Factoid #3: We got an Orion reflecting telescope and looked at the moon. We saw a bunch of craters and bumps, which led us to discover on-line that the moon has a massive lunar bulge on its surface caused by the earth’s strong gravitational pull on the moon (by Joel, 13).
Teacher’s Two-Cents: Every couple of weeks we drive down into civilization for errands, appointments, music lessons and to visit Tom’s folks whom we love dearly and who, unlike ourselves, have internet and a TV. The youtube videos linked above are evidence of our most recent wifi binge. We didn’t include a link to the Netflix documentary I’m going to talk about now because I only recommend it for mature viewers. The Furthest: Voyager in Space, stands in sharp contrast to the Apollo 8 Genesis Reading we linked above. During the Apollo 8 mission, the astronauts came around the dark side of the moon and their first glimpse of the earth inspired them to read aloud on a live, televised broadcast the very words that are meant to come to all our minds when we view the world around us, “In the beginning, God created…”
But the Voyager mission seemed to be motivated by the opposite kind of response. In this frenzied pursuit of human achievement, we were given a first-time close up look at 4 awe-inspiring planets. And while people on earth reacted with wonder and surprise, the truth of Genesis 1 was noticeably absent from the conversation. Instead, the guiding principle of the mission seemed to be the possibility that there was other life somewhere in the universe and Voyager was our attempt to find it or be found. The Golden Record encapsulated on the craft, and itself encapsulating music and images selected to best represent our own achievements on earth are still out there, waiting for some other beings to discover it and be amazed at us. And while those associated with the Voyager mission seemed absolutely certain that it was possible for other forms of life to exist, they seemed equally certain of the impossibility of that other life being the God who made them and those planets they now stood in awe of. The Golden Record of human achievement they sent out into the universe is merely a record of our own humanistic idolatry and foolish defiance. The Voyager carries with it an offering of dross, despite its senders claims that it would in all likelihood out-live the planet it came from.
That’s my two-cents worth.
And finally, here’s a flashback to what was going on in our Hawaiian homeschool 6 years ago this week.