This week’s topic showed me how incredibly massive our universe is. From the “Powers of Ten” video, a film dealing with the relative size of things in the universe and the effect of adding another power of zero, we started 1 meter away from a typical couple having picnic in Chicago and zoomed out ten times farther away every ten seconds. I’ve never really thought about anything further out into space than our solar system, but actually there are millions of galaxies that looks like dust scattered across the universe. The video was created in 1977, and the farthest vision at the time was ten to the twenty-fourth power, which was about 100 million light years away. I wonder if technology advancements have allowed us to look even further out into space today.
What surprised me most about this week’s material was how fast technology advanced in the space exploration field. The Space Race was sparked by Sputnik, a twenty-three inch aluminum sphere that was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. Sputnik inspired the creation of NASA a year later, and governments started investing more in the education system, particularly math and science courses. In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to travel into space. Shortly after in 1969, Neil Armstrong and his team were the first humans to land on the moon with Apollo 11.
I found a particular blog post, “Black Spidery Things on Mars,” quite interesting. It shows an overhead image of the Mars surface, mainly composed of sand dunes. However, there are little black flecks dotting the ridges, sort of like spiders sitting in rows. Scientists believe that this is the result from the underground layer of frozen CO2 turning into a roaring gas, expanding, and exploding rock and ice into the Martian air like geysers. There is so much of space that humans have not been able to explore physically yet. Many movies have been produced in recent years that help us depict how space exploration may be like: Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian.
|Image of "Spiders" on Mars|
The Martian Trailer