Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Virgin's Veil and Star Gazing

I've been sitting on a couple of links for a while, and being as I have work I should be doing but don't want to... well, now is obviously the moment to do post them!

Thomas D. Jones is a Catholic who went into space. I'd like to be one of those. He writes a reflection of the experience worth reading, but this is my favorite part:

Our silent reflection was interrupted by a sudden burst of dazzling white light. The sun had risen (as it did 16 times each day) just as we finished Communion, and now its pure radiance streamed through Endeavour’s cockpit windows and bathed us in its warmth. To me, this was a beautiful sign, God’s gentle touch confirming our union with him.

I rolled away from my crewmates, unable to stem the tears evoked by that singular sunrise. My gaze turned to the overhead windows and the Pacific Ocean, the dawn lighting its surface in a rich, limitless blue.

I called out to Kevin and Sid, “Look at that ocean—what an incredible color!” They both turned and drank in hues unmatched by the palette of any human artist. After a moment, Kevin said simply, “It’s the blue of the Virgin’s veil, Tom.” He was right. There were no other words for that vision out the window.

I apologize to whoever I got that link from in the first place, because I've forgotten where exactly that was.

Meanwhile, back in the farthest reaches of space, as I understand it we have our first pictures of planets in another star system (correct me if I'm wrong). I think that's pretty cool.

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