Monday 28 January 2019

A Prayer.

Earthrise. [A]

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV)

With those words, Bill Anders, lunar module pilot of the Apollo 8 mission, began the crew’s Christmas Eve 1968 message to the peoples of the Earth. That blue and white sphere, so beautiful and tiny and delicate, emerging from beyond the grey and lifeless lunar horizon, greeted Apollo 8 as it finished its flight over the dark side of the Moon.

Anders himself took that photo.

Many astronauts and cosmonauts have talked about their reaction -- “spiritual” is the word that comes to my mind -- when seeing similar images. Even though I never saw the Earth from space, I somehow can share their reaction and, in my perhaps clumsy way, hope to communicate it to the reader: our Milky Way galaxy is only one among some 100 billion other galaxies. In it there are between 100 and 400 billion stars. In all that unimaginably large universe we know of only one star with only one blue and white sphere. In it life is abundant and full of wonders.

To let this happen is unforgivable:


It’s time to stop sleepwalking towards planetary death.

Image Credits:
[A] Earthrise. Author: Bill Anders/NASA. Date: 24 December 1968, 15:40. Source: Wikimedia. File in the public domain.

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