A Little Earth

And amazing facts along the way.

**Many choices to garner information.

                Like many a novice, we still are curious, and with time, appreciate the efforts of the many true scientists sharing the information they’ve collected with us.   For myself, I find the best way to go about reading and researching is to take in the “facts” and data, as is, and hopefully collaborate with other sources.  But I also must remind myself that the information available is “defined” by our ability to utilize  a growing pool of resources, how scientists interpret, and separating data, information, and opinion.  As best I can, when I read, observe, research, and listen to speakers, I leave the information as presented, adding nothing of my opinions (at first), allowing for changes should new information arrive. For I have my own opinions, so I try to separate by just reading and observing first, letting ideas and considerations occur after.

                For instance, the Hubble telescope, launched in the early 1990’s, opened a huge opportunity to gather information on our solar system, galaxy, and the universe: gathering information on space dust, nebulas, comets, and a growing outer world. However, as I was reading, I questioned the reliability of information as the gathering is always based upon our ability to devise technology to collect.  In other words, while they’re collecting, what are they not seeing, what are they not detecting, and how accurate is the information they have collected?  We must always appreciate what we do gather, but also realize there are things beyond our knowing, for we keep finding out more and more. And these are some question I’m certain they ask as they endeavor to obtain more and more information.

**Effects from terrestrial and outer space.

For instance, when the Hubble telescope first attempted seeing stars, nebulas, and other objects, mistakes and quality affected the pictures, and so we sent astronauts into orbit to “repair” and amend. But here’s a question. What we “see” out there is light dependent, but also on the quality of our instrumentation. In other words, we get pictures, and say this is what’s out there. But we can only report on the “light” we collect (and light has varying wavelenghths), how well the telescope organizes the light, and remember there are things not included for we don’t have the understanding as yet.

**Some data available with current technology.

                This article is a bit tough for me to write.  There’s so much to learn and so much I have yet to see, which will never be what many real scientists have learned, and never what future generations will garner.  However, in looking at the pictures of our magnetic field, the solar wave influences on them, and our atmospheric levels, then reading, I grow constantly amazed at how many “things” affect our planet.  Not only the planet itself, what’s beneath, but also what’s beyond our skies.  For instance, the changing from atmospheric layer to layer, how cosmic radiation and the sun affect, the interactions of layers, our gravity, and the magnetic distortions that come with changes.  **And what are cosmic radiation, where do they originate, and what is the interplay with our planet?

                I was reading this part about how the Hubble telescope has difficulty taking pictures of space approaching the South Atlantic due to a changing magnetism/gravity there, different from other areas of the Earth.  What this tells me is our own planet is not the completely stable orb we take for granted, that energy is in flux, and that we only know a small amount.  For instance, gravity is not the same throughout the planet.  Yes, that means depending upon where you’re standing, you might weigh a bit more or less.  Of course, that might only mean a tenth of a pound, but for those vegan dieting gurus, they can log the data.  But the question is, how do scientist catalogue all the data?  Soil interactions and chemical changes?  Atmospheric levels and the interplay?  Understanding the effects of cosmic radiation, solar radiation, and all the cycles and changes that bombard and are a part of this planet? And how do we, if we choose, to separate the effects?

                And here’s something else we write to encourage more and more people to learn about science and space.  Much of this is new information.  Remember, the Hubble telescope has only been in space about 30 years, but also undergoing repairs and advancements as technology improves.  And just a hundred years ago, I believe, most people thought the Earth was the center of the universe.  We’re still in our infancy of understanding our own planet much less the universe.  And this is exciting, for young people growing up have much to learn.  Furthermore, while some will be akin to me:  enjoying the learning process and appreciating the efforts of other true scientists, some will decide to pursue a career in the science fields.  We could certainly gain from more real scientists.

**Cooperating with the Sun and solar system.

                Let me share a small item from the book regarding the Van Allen belts which is in the second to the last picture.  “The Van Allen belts, stable trapping zones in which particles bounce back and forth along the lines of force whilst rotating about the Earth.  Electrons complete this rotation in times from 1 – 10 hours in the sense of Earth’s rotation, whilst protons move in the retrograde sense with a period of 5 seconds to 30 minutes.”  There’s much more, including forms and sources of energy, and this is just one aspect of a picture with much left out.  But it’s a source of information and we can learn.  We’ll learn more the more we delve into available information.

**Again, what I guess I’m trying to impress upon those I meet and discuss is we Earthlings are in the infancy stage of understanding our own planet and solar system. Our own weather is affected by so many things: under the Earth (i.e. magma, a metal core, underwater volcanoes, etc.), on the Earth, in our atmosphere, and beyond, not to mention the interplay and attempting to quantify and qualify the effects (**I wonder how many readers know the scientists utilize an “error” range, meaning what they write down often has a range of possibles?). I obviously cannot imagine what might be discovered in the years ahead, but it’s interesting. And perhaps others will find the reading enlightening on two of more levels: 1) We have so much yet to learn, and 2) It can be an enjoyable and wonderful ride, with patience, along the discovery curve.

**One of the things I’ve hopefully been getting better at is the realization I don’t know anything. Yes, I have done this and that, learned this and that, but in the overall scheme of things, like all so many, we really don’t know anything. And that’s okay. There will never come a time, in this life, where we’ll know a tiny fraction about the wonders of our planet and space. But it’s fun to learn, opening understanding and appreciation.

**Following the rabbit of reason along the trail of understanding.

**When we become more aware of what we know and what we don’t know, then we set about the resources to better find and understand.

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