I was reading this and I started thinking of The Earth as a spaceship moving through space. As much as we all believe Galileo, it's still pretty hard to think of us as moving around the Sun, no? It's pretty much feels like the Sun and Moon zip around us so we never really think about it.
So I'm thinking about it.
Okay, so the first thought is this: we're moving through space, right now. The next time I am in this exact location will be in one year. Or, more exactly, 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds from now. Say I was able to drop off a marker which stayed right where I am now. Like this dot --> . Okay, so as soon as I let go of that dot, it zips off like a cigarette butt out a car window (remember, we're moving). Now we travel off into space and come back and if things are timed just right and the orbit is steady (which I don't think it is), I should be able to pick it up as we pass by again. That's kind of a neat thought right there no? I can just leave something floating out in space to grab on the way back. Makes you really grok the whole idea of a year in a different light.
I wonder why we don't have satellites like that? Maybe there's ANOTHER EARTH on the exact opposite side of the sun from us! But we can never seen it because we're always zipping along. We should leave some satellites behind to check that out. Just to make sure.
Okay, back to the moving thing. Since the Earth wobbles, and we crawl around the surface of it all the time, the liklihood that we ever pass through the *exact* same spot in space more than once is probably close to nill. Think about that. We're constantly flying through space, but we're never in the same spot twice. Relatively, of course, I'm sitting at my desk just like I was 30 minutes ago. But since we're orbiting at 29,780 meters per second, than means I'm miles away from where I was in the universe just moments ago. I wonder how much overlap there is? What I mean is, the Earth is spinning and also circling the Sun. How many "widths" of the Earth does the earth move in one day. Say you could sit vertically above the plane of the planets and look down, and I was holding a bright light that left a glowing trail behind me, how big would the loop-de-loops be? In other words, are there thousands of people moving through the spot I was in right now? Or are the chances that two people are ever in the same spot in space really low as well?
Wouldn't it be cool if you could drop mental messages off in space to be picked up by whoever happened to pass by that spot, moments or millenia from now? Man, here we are, riding really fast on the top of a thin crust of this huge wobbly ball of iron as it flails around this ball of fire, which is all floating around this ball of nothingness way out in the middle of the galaxy...
It's amazing we don't get motion sick.
Ooops. Almost forgot to credit Doug for the link.