Space Missions Reveal New Wonders: Grace Still Waits in the Heavens as We Learn to Accept Our Humble Place in the Universe

By Lam, Andrew | National Catholic Reporter, January 16, 2004 | Go to article overview

Space Missions Reveal New Wonders: Grace Still Waits in the Heavens as We Learn to Accept Our Humble Place in the Universe


Lam, Andrew, National Catholic Reporter


Though barely middle-aged, I am old enough to remember a time when Earth was just a lonely blue planet amid the heavens. I remember, too, that precise moment when man's gaze turned upward, in awe. It was the winter of 1968, the worst period of the war, and I was a child living in Vietnam. But on TV, instead of the regular news about the war, three peculiar creatures danced on a barren landscape.

Until that moment, I had believed what my grandmother told me: that a beautiful moon goddess resided on the silver globe that hung outside my window. But by stirring up the lunar dust with their metallic boots, the American astronauts effectively debunked the goddess' corporeal existence.

In her place is a radical shift in human psyche regarding its relationship with the rest of universe.

Consider these astonishing discoveries made in the last decade:

* Using the Hubble Telescope, which orbits Earth, astronomers have discovered other solar systems--planets going around stars. One planet in particular is believed to have an atmosphere.

* We know that Earth is constantly bombarded by meteors when we look up into the night sky and spot shooting stars. But more astounding is what astronomer Lou Frank speculated about a decade ago and found new evidence for only recently. Using the Hubble Telescope to study Earth's atmosphere, Frank proved that Earth is constantly hit by snowballs from space. The implications are enormous: If snowballs from outer space bit Earth regularly, it is "snowing" elsewhere also, onto other planets, providing much-needed water for the primordial soup.

* A few years ago a meteorite from Mars found on Earth, known as the Allan Hills meteorite (ALH 84001 to scientists), astonished everyone when some scientists claimed they found tantalizing traces of fossilized life within it. Their findings have been contested, but the meteorite renewed enthusiasm for the idea of panspermia (Greek: all-seeding)--the interstellar exchange of DNA, a theory that was championed by Francis Crick, who discovered the DNA molecule with two other scientists hall a century ago.

* The Galileo space probe that orbited Jupiter showed us that on Europa, one of Jupiter's many moons, huge oceans lie beneath ah icy surface, as well as active volcanoes--that is to say, the ingredients that could spark and possibly support life.

Until quite recently, we humans have been egoceniric when explaining our place in the universe. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Space Missions Reveal New Wonders: Grace Still Waits in the Heavens as We Learn to Accept Our Humble Place in the Universe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.