The above image comes to us courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory website. The images they send me via my email subscription never disappoint. For a full caption, and to learn which landscape is featured, visit Earth Observatory.
Literature may come as pamphlets and books. Literature nowadays may arrive as blog posts and status updates. But can literature be expressed as measured footsteps, trudging over space and time in a quest to celebrate cosmic scale? If a physical activity can be defined as literature, then I say planet walks are literature.
After visiting family in western Michigan this weekend, I stopped by Aquinas College. There, for the third time, I did the Foster Planet Walk. By walking a carefully measured route marked with boulders, this walk allows you to experience the scale of our solar system. Following a map available on the college’s website, you walk from planet to planet in about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace. You begin at Mercury on the south side of campus and wind up all the way out at dwarf planet Pluto in the distant Kuiper Belt (aka the north side of campus).
For my third visit, I measured time. Standing around 6’1″ tall and walking at an average speed, here is how long it took me to stroll from planet to planet. Notice how the elapsed time dramatically increases beginning with the walk to Jupiter:
Recently I created a new banner image to head the Lit for Space blog. I selected two images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope gallery. After playing in Photoshop, adding a gradient homage to the astronomical phenomena of red shift and blue shift, I posted the above banner. Here are Hubble’s contributions.
Hubble image of galaxy NGC 6814
Hubble image of dwarf galaxy Leo A
For both images, here is the credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt