This French photographer captured in 0.6 of a second the shuttle Atlantis and ISS (the international space station) as they transited the sun back in 2006. Recently, he was able to travel to Florida to capture Atlantis just before it grabbed Hubble in 0.8 seconds:
What makes this so amazing is that our human eyes cannot look at the sun. And even if we could, the shuttle zips by the sun so quickly, we could not focus on it. But, telescopes, filters, and cameras can. And this photographer captures some amazing shots. I love the cows in the first series. He positioned the telescope after careful calculations and eye on the weather, right next to some cows in a field.
There is so much we don't see. Can't see. And while we think of the sun as a big object in the sky, the shuttle and ISS and Hubble are traveling at over 17,500 miles an hour in orbits around the earth---and yet they appear to be hardly moving at all when they meet each other. It seems agonizingly slow to watch them be in "free drift" as they touch or make contact. But, planned out way in advance, and with the help of myriads of computers and watchful engineers on the ground, they make it look easy.
There are so many lessons here. To make an amazing picture of such beauty takes time, money, desire, travel, calculations, good weather (clear skies) and all the expensive cameras, telescopes, filters, exact timing, health and expertise to succeed. I can't show you the pictures because they are copyrighted, so you will have to copy and paste to go there and see them. I found one set and the links on spaceweather dot com.
So what? You say.
The universe is so beautiful, so vast, so precise, that it speaks of a wonderful Creator. And God designed us with eyes to see, and brains to figure out how to capture what we cannot see. Everything is moving, either being pulled or pushed or expanding to God's perfect end. And it is amazing to me that God created, showed it all to us, left some parts hidden, and created us as very intricate, complicated creatures that have the free will to marvel, to worship, to ignore, to not even care, to notice, and ponder what God is up to. What is His plan? We seem so small. Our lives zip by and some are cut short when the laws of physics are disturbed.
In Lawton, Oklahoma, just three hours down the road, a soldier was killed when his motorcycle hit a patch of gravel and flipped. And just three weeks before, another soldier was killed when a minivan struck him while he was riding his bicycle. What a waste, we think. Accidents. They left behind grieving families, property, jobs, medals. They both experienced a lot more danger flying in airplanes, traveling through Europe, deployed to Iraq, and even in training, and both had to be in great physical shape. Disciplined. Sometimes God seems to overrule the laws of physics and prevents an accident. We have all experienced near misses in the crazy traffic that is DFW. And sometimes God allows a crazy person to snap and take out five other soldiers. And sometimes God allows an empty suit, an arrogant liberal to percolate to the top and become president of the United States of America.
The what ifs---what if the divorce papers of his opponent had not been made public and Obama had not won the contested seat in Illinois? What if Elizabeth Edwards had done the right thing and exposed her husband for the fraud and cheat he was before the North or South Carolina primary and Hillary had won? Would we be better off with Hillary cramming her idea of socialized health care down our throats?? What if the media was not so biased and in love with Obama? What if John McCain had won? Would our country be still knee deep in stupid bailouts?
No one is asking me. But, something happened last September. Some strange computer run on the banks. And they said unto President George Bush that a crash was sure and that he must do something. And he believed them, and so did McCain. And Obama was handed a country in "crisis" which was very convenient because he can now blame President Bush for problems. And he can hide his own incompetence and stir up unrest, and "use" this crisis to ram through his liberal agenda called socialism.
But, God is in control. Remember? There are no accidents with God. Our time on this earth is like the brief transit of a manmade spacecraft across the sun. God puts kings on thrones, and controls the weather. God blesses the righteous, and sometimes He takes home an Enoch or a soldier seemingly before their time. Others live to be almost one hundred, like my grandpa, and enjoy and appreciate the farm God gave them to work and make productive. Others, God infuses with the spark to start church, or write a program or join the Army.
Maybe I should keep it for another post---but one funny: when you live and love an engineer, a very literal, precise engineer, a patient man, a loving, strong and gentle man, he will look over your shoulder when you are gazing at the crazy magazine pictures online of weddings and children and parties and he can't help it---he does not see beauty, but a waste. A waste of time and money and energy. But, ask that same man to talk deep---as I love his deep sounds--ask that man to talk dirty, and he will say unto you: dirt, filth, dust, grime, soil, grit, and then he will roll over and go back to sleep.
I guess the honeymoon is over if dear husband does not have time to relight the water heater pilot. Oh, well. I asked, as he walked out the door, why the cowboy boots---as with jeans (dress down day) boots are his dress up shoes. He said that he did not have any clean black socks. So, I bought some more black socks at Walmart today. And found him some snazzy boxer briefs. One is in his college colors!
And he left his coffee in the microwave. It was not a great start. Maybe it will rain and he won't have to do any yard work. Brother Charlie is in town, so Bob should enjoy getting to see his best friend brother, Roy, too.
Later---Bob let ME relight the pilot!!! I learn by DOING. So, for me to get down on the floor with the flashlight and candle on the end of the pencil and relight the thing was wonderful. Now I can do it all by myself. ha.
We ate supper with Ben-Ben at Cracker Barrel---because Friday night is catfish night. Then we came home and went to bed early, because Bob was falling asleep in his chair.