Getting there from here…

This is a post I made for my HNRS2030 students, reblogging to Write Science

HNRS 2030 - Our place in the Cosmos

“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from…We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

As Carl says, most of what we know we’ve learned from the surface of the planet. All of what we know has been gleaned from instruments sent by humans to the near and far reaches of our solar system. The sun is 93 million miles from Earth. α Centauri is 4.4 light years further. Andromeda, our nearest large galactic neighbor, is a 2.5 million light years away.

But only careful application of the scientific method to observations of the solar system, the galaxy, and our Universe has allowed us to deduce the…

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