Perspective

Image courtesy fo NASA

The image above shows the Earth on the left and the Moon on the right.

It was acquired by a spacecraftOsiris Rex – a couple of months ago, 10 days after it had just been ‘slingshot’ into an orbit where it will eventually meet up with an asteroid.

The mission is fascinating: it will rendezvous with an asteroid, take a sample from it – and in September 2023, return it to Earth for analysis.

But for me, this picture is worth the project in itself. I find it haunting and surprising.

Most significant is the tiny fraction of the image taken up by the Earth and the Moon. I find it chilling to see this against the blackness of space.

Next is the sense of perspective. The figure below shows where the spacecraft was when it took the image.

Image courtesy of NASA

From my perspective on Earth, the Moon looms large, and its true distance is unimaginable.

In the image the Moon seems less significant than I would have expected, and yet it still drives our tides.

So…

If I place in one hand my anxiety about work, an anxiety which poisons so much of my life.

And in my other hand I place this image of my home in the cosmos.

Then I feel sure that if I could just gain the right perspective, and balance these two realities, then my anxiety would seem smaller and less significant.

And if I could manage that, then the view from a spacecraft deep in space would have meaningfully changed life back here on Earth. Mmmmm.

 

 

2 Responses to “Perspective”

  1. teddnet Says:

    I too was impressed by this photo. It’s the scaling- if the Earth and Moon were at that size on my desk, my first thought was that the gravitational attraction between them would be negligible. But then I thought, but if they were that size and the movement was also properly scaled, and it was in a vacuum and in orbit round the sun, would a little moon orbit a little earth at that distance? And that’s where my ‘feel’ for these things breaks down and tells me my maths isn’t up to it!
    Ed

  2. protonsforbreakfast Says:

    Thank you. You have reminded me of something else I meant to say…

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