Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I used to see the sky as a ceiling. I was on the Earth, the ground, the world. The moon and sun were just passersby in this skylight window.
But seeing the blood eclipse today—my first eclipse—my perception changed. I imagined the moon there, and the sun behind us, behind the Earth.
I am science-literate. I have learned about the solar system in school and I understand how it works, how there are planets and planetoids revolving around a star, and how moons revolve around these planets. But I never realized how ignorant I was to the astronomical implications regarding the human condition. (Pun not intended.)
The idea that we are now standing between the moon and the sun is profound to me. I stood on the Parkside lawn and looked up. The sun was no longer out there, above our heads, but directionally beneath our feet. But that would be the wrong perspective. "Beneath" implies that I am the center. I am not the center. We Earthlings are not the center. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that our feet are pointing toward the center of not just the Earth, but also the sun and thus the Solar System.
The universe is magical and I am glad to be here, even if we are just "tiny specks on a planet particle".