Tuesday, December 18, 2007

interdependent web of all existence?

The Unitarian Universalist seventh principle proposes that there is a meaningful connection between all existence. That's not an objective fact. That there is a physical connection doesn't mean there's a meaningful connection. And although I believe the entire universe is meaningfully connected I would defend any UU's right not to believe that some particle floating out in the middle of some distant galaxy really has anything to do with our religious mission here on earth.

But we do have a meaningful connection to at least two very distant, and growing further distant, objects in space: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The Voyager 2 space probe is now about eight billion miles away from earth. On August 30 of this year Voyager 2 passed through the Termination Shock (a sudden decrease in the velocity of solar particles) on the way to the heliopause (the boundary of the sun's influence and thus the defined edge of the solar system). Voyager 1 passed through the termination shock in December 2004. Both Voyager's still have power and are still communicating with the earth. Both should reach the heliopause within the next 20 years.

And by the way the Voyagers are moving away from the earth in different directions. Source NASA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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