Ever since I was a child, I have anticipated the arrival of an alien life form on Earth. Proof positive that we are not alone in the limitless universe.
However, I had long since given up on the chance of this happening before I died. Or ever in the future.
Then I read this…
The new James Webb space telescope is soon to be operating, and sending back images from parts of our universe never seen before.
That made me think about something that happened when I was in junior school, around seven or eight years old. (Before space travel) We were learning about the planets, and their distances from Earth.
Then the teacher showed us a photo of The Milky Way, taken by a telescope on a high mountain somewhere. Someone asked her how far away The Milky Way was. She talked about estimates, and said it was around 30,000 light years from us.
I had no concept of what a light year was. (To be honest, I still haven’t.)
Someone else asked her if The Milky Way was the end of outer space. She smiled, and shook her head. Then she said something I have never forgotten.
“The universe is limitless, so it has no end. The next nearest galaxy is two million light years from Earth.”.
Ten years before I ever tried mind-expanding drugs, her statement completely blew my mind.
Sixty-two years later, I still cannot get my head around the concept.