To Boldly Go...
Speculations by Stefan Stenudd
A Sunday brunch conversation with a stranger slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).
NASA reports that Voyager 1 is reaching the end of our solar system. This is indicated by a dramatic increase in cosmic rays hitting the probe. The last month has seen a 9% increase, whereof the last week counts for 5%. It's shown by the figure below.
Actually, it would be more correct to describe our solar system as a peaceful little haven by a stormy sea. When Voyager 1 leaves this haven, the magnitude of that storm will be evident. The NASA illustration below gives a colorful glimpse of what's to be expected. And Voyager 2 is soon to follow.
V'ger of the first Star Trek movie.
We tend to smile at the misconceptions of past generations, but I'm convinced that we're not that much closer to the truth. We've observed a lot of manifestations of the universe and its components, we've even gotten far in describing it all mathematically – but we're yet to find how it all matches up. The big jigsaw puzzle of science is yet to reveal the picture. It will look quite different from what we assumed.
In spite of all that science, I still believe that it's through our imagination that we can come the closest to an understanding of the universe. Maybe our imagination and the way it works is a mimesis of sorts of what processes really lie behind the existence and dynamics of the cosmos and everything in it.
So, Voyager's voyage may be one from the world as we believe to know it, into one that changes it utterly and completely. So far, we've moved from a geocentric to a heliocentric perspective. That's still just a corner of a corner of a corner. Time to get cosmocentric.
Whatever that is, it's worth another movie.
June 24, 2012
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.