Today NASA published the first images captured by James Webb Space Telescope and they are stunning. James Webb was launched less than a year ago, on December 25th, 2021. It is believed to be a successor to the Hubble Telescope. For a very long time, Hubble was our eye in the deep sky staring outwards into the deep space. It has done a great job of observing our universe, sharing insights into our existence, and pushing us forward in advancement of our knowledge and understanding of the universe. For many years Hubbles served as an inspiration for humanity and hope for a better future.
While we still will refer to the Hubble telescope with great respect and admiration for its contributions to science, it seems time has come for a successor, the James Webb space telescope. This new $10 billion dollar space telescope is equipped with better technologies and is NASA's largest and most powerful space science telescope. Time will come James Webb will be replaced as well, as it happens will all great technologies. But this time is in far future, and the age of James Webb is just beginning. It too, hopefully will inspire new generations, help us understand our world better, and help us become better human beings.
Skies have always fascinated me. Even what we can see with our limited visions when observing the starts at night, sufficient enough to ponder upon questions we normally ignore in daily lives. Skies don't lie. Skies don't judge. Skies inspire and guide. Just like start guided sailors in the oceans long before we had navigation equipments, space telescopes like James Webb will help us to navigate the deep space in our understanding of the universe.
As I look at these first images by James Webb, I witness the incredible achievements humanity has made in terms of technology and knowledge. At the same time I have conflicting feelings. While this is a significant milestone of we humans are capable of doing with the right mindset, determination, and efforts, this also show how insignificant we may be in the grand scheme of things. While such achievement hopefully will inspire more advancement in knowledge and lead us to become space explorers, I can only hope we don't neglect the true treasure that has always been near.
This thought reminds of a novel, The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. It is a story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who has a dream about a treasure. Finding this treasure becomes the mission of his life. He travels across many countries, spends decent amount time in various places as he continues his journey to Egyptian pyramids. He thinks that's where the treasure he is looking for is. After many years, when he finally reaches his destination, it turns out the treasure he saw in his dream and dedicated his life to finding was actually buried under the church where he had the original dream.
Similarly, the treasure in knowledge and understanding we might be seeking in the deep space with the best technologies we have built, may just have been here all along. Our planet Earth. However, this doesn't mean we should stop dreaming and exploring the world around us. I only hope as we do so, we find inspiration, motivation, and courage to make Earth a better place for all. We may even find evidence in exploring the deep space, our Earth may just be the one of its kind. The kind that can provide for humanity effortlessly, without any need for technology, without any alterations. In fact, our planet is more than capable of taking care of itself and its inhabitants. One just wishes we stopped creating obstacles.
Some may even think or believe that fate of the Earth is doomed one way or the other. And the only way out to preserve the continuation of human species is taking on a space journey to find a new home and start new civilizations. If this notion is true, then I would say, perhaps finding new home is a bad idea. If we can't keep the home we have intact, what logical reason is there we won't repeat the same elsewhere. Such views are probably in a tiny minority. I am more optimistic about the future of the Earth and humanity.
We already are space explorers even without, Hubble, James Webb, space exploration ambitions. We have been since the very beginning. Our space craft, Earth, has been carrying us all around the universe. James Webb is a small window that lets us take a glance at what is out there, just like Hubble has been doing for decades. It is the age of James Webb. I hope it will inspire many generations in seeking knowledge, contributing to the collective human knowledge base, and making our world a better place.
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