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  • Writer's pictureVivienne Boucherat


It cannot have escaped your notice that in the middle of July detailed images of

‘Deep Field’ space became available to us, courtesy of NASA.

According to NASA, these pictures, taken by Webb’s Near-infrared Camera (NIRCam)

are “the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the universe to date.” The Hubble

Space Telescope took many days to achieve extraordinary Deep Field images around

thirty years ago. NIRCam has delivered these superior quality results in mere hours.

In case you have somehow managed to miss these first pictures – you can see them

on the NASA website:

The numbers connected to these images all involve multiples of billions - referring to

both lightyears (distance) and years (time). Even though our brains cannot fully

digest these numbers, it seems they automatically trigger thoughts of the

significance and/or insignificance of our lives as human beings here on Earth!

These new perspectives remind us to think about the way we treat each other and

the way we treat our planet, the way we view our gifts and our problems. We think

about the possibility of life ‘out there’ and space travel, of infinity, Star Trek,

blackness, spirituality, science, technology and of our human potential!

As well as being tribal, irresponsible and violent, humans are also inspiring, loving,

creative, funny and inventive. It appears that seeing ourselves and our home planet

within this context of billions of lightyears, filled with ancient galaxies, either

inspires us or frightens us to death!

I think it should inspire! It should remind us to learn as much as we can, make the

most of everything we have and explore our creative, physical, mental and spiritual

selves and appreciate the value of our lives … investigate what it actually is to be a

human being!

So, how pointless or how miraculous do you think our lives are?

In the words of Tim Minchin: “It’s an incredibly exciting thing, this one, meaningless

life of yours!”

You can see the whole of his brilliant ‘9 life lessons’ speech from where these words

are taken, which he gave at his honorary degree ceremony at The University of

Western Australia here:

Well – this has all felt very deep for a summer’s day! Remember, next time you gaze

into the magnificence of the night sky - have a bit of respect for the miracle that is

you in this endless universe!

I suspect, like the vastness of space, we are all truly awesome!!

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