Technical Shut Down of the Hubble Telescope and What We May Miss

After the Telescope Found a Mysterious Mass 11 Billion Light Years Away, the Incentive Should Be Strong to Get it Back into Working Order

It’s perplexing to see some comments in the media at the time of this writing saying that the unexpected shutdown of the Hubble Telescope won’t necessarily hurt us. That gives the insinuation that society has finally evolved to the point where we’ve taken for granted the stunning images the Hubble has provided for us within the ten to fifteen years.

Unidentified Object in Space
Hubble Finds Unidentified Object in Space. Source Picture: Gizmodo

When we first saw those images of the deepest regions of space (albeit being colorized to make them look prettier) back in the 1990’s following the missions to improve the telescope’s optics, it was arguably the closest we’ve come to a true spiritual awakening about space since the moon landing occurred in 1969. Those pictures we all saw of stars being born and crisper images of deep space created awe during a time in the 1990’s when people had time to assimilate it all.

Yes, that comment above was more than an insinuation that what’s going on in the world will make a big difference in whether we pay attention to things in the universe or not. Clearly, when the Phoenix Mars Lander landed on Mars late this last spring, all of the attention on the economy, the war in Iraq and you name it pretty much fizzled any inspiration behind the realization that we were witnessing things on Mars never before seen.

The proof behind the lack of interest was when I went on various websites discussing the Phoenix Lander during the summer and seeing nary a comment in the comment sections. And yet articles about celebrities and ones hashing over the very earthly problems we’re being overwhelmed with had myriad and overly obsessive comments.

It isn’t much different when you see online articles about the shutting down of the Hubble telescope, and the empty or sparse comment sections on those pretty much gives the metaphorical shrug of the shoulders by the American public.

Even with the realization the telescope may never again bring us images that frequently sent chills down most of our spines, the reaction seems to be by general consensus that we’ll all live if we don’t get astronauts up in time to repair it.

Well, welcome to our more recent world of people being too bogged down with solvable problems that we’re making them as big as the universe in our own minds. Amid all that, is it possible that the most recent images from the Hubble placed us at a precipice of discovering things we’ve never seen before?

It’d be plenty ironic that the telescope would shut down forever right at a point where the stunning images it was providing gave us a hint at something far greater.

While most astrophysicists say that the image can be explained, it was back in the middle of September when the Hubble found a mysterious spot 11 billion light years away that wasn’t there before, suddenly appeared and then quickly disappeared.

According to reports (Gizmodo), some scientists described it as looking like the flash you’d see from a ship in Star Trek going at warp speed. Plus, it’s been ruled out as a supernova that we’ve seen many a time in those Hubble images.

When you have scientists debating what the object might have been (other than the unlikely prospect of dust on the Hubble lens), it almost makes the technical shutdown of Hubble seem overly calculated.

What makes that unknown object so intriguing is that the universe the Hubble saw it in isn’t even known. We also realize that it’s something that happened eons ago considering how far away it is. But did the Hubble finally see something that would finally rouse people to their senses and feel inspired about the Hubble images again?

How anyone could tire of the previous images or spout the dreaded phrase of “If you’ve seen one nebula, you’ve seen them all” is almost incomprehensible on its own. Unfortunately, the mainstream media didn’t even bother to report the mysterious object Hubble found, maybe out of the thought that people wouldn’t care.

That’s really a misstep by the media, because anything in the deepest regions of space that confounds scientists should automatically intrigue the general populace and inspire support toward getting the Hubble repaired. It’s unfortunate then that NASA is dealing with situations that are beyond the public’s control on getting astronauts up there to repair Hubble so we can go back and look at that region of space again as well as other unknown quadrants of space.

While you’ll find those who stay away from thinking too much about the structure of history and how we may be guided in certain directions from on high, there seems to be at least an ounce of coincidence behind the finding of that object and the Hubble dying out just a week or two later.

It may be an arguable point, yet if that object was something that gave proof of something profoundly powerful, it might have been appropriate to give a breather to the Hubble so we can prepare ourselves for what may happen next. If the Hubble gets the repairs it needs, it’ll enable the telescope to see things we couldn’t even dream of just ten years ago.

Having to wait into the coming decade to see things that may give us definitive proof of our existence would somehow seem more appropriate. By that time, we’ll hope the economy will have turned around and a lot of the pesky problems we’re all dealing with now won’t at least consume our thoughts. In that regard, consider that a year or two break from discovering some of the most profound things in the history of humankind would probably work better from the standpoint of how the human mind works…

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