Journal / A.M.N.H

yesterday i went to the american museum of natural history and i flew around the known universe.
i could elaborate, but to elaborate would be to do a disservice to the experience.
they have a ginormous sgi computer (4 terrabytes of data storage) and they are building an atlas of the known universe. and they can project this atlas onto the domed ceiling of the planetarium and you can fly at will through the known universe while lying on your back.
in 3-d.

needless to say it was completely awe-inspiring and amazing.
i’m guessing it’s the closest to flying at will through outerspace that i’ll experience while i’m alive.
while flying through the universe we also looked at some dark matter and even stood outside of the universe to see the microwave perimeter that marks the edge of the big bang.
you know, the normal sort of stuff that one does on a friday night.
apparently they’re going to go-live with this in the spring. when it’s live, you have to experience it. the earth is tiny. i’ve known that my whole life, but i’ve never seen it before. tiny. a little dust speck in a miniscule solar system orbiting around a small, normal star. which is one of a billion stars in the milky way. which is one of billions and billions of galaxies in the known universe.

i’ve had a glimpse, it’s very big this universe.
the rose center for earth and space at the american museum of natural history is really, really remarkable. go visit. and while you’re there take a look a the rest of the museum. the a.m.n.h is very special to me, cos the first time that i went there i was 6 months old. it’s such an amazing building, with such remarkable time-capsule dioramas. if you’ve never been to the a.m.n.h you have to go. it’s one of the top 5 best things about manhattan.
i wanna go back and fly around the universe.
i’ve now stood just outside of the milky way and i’ve seen it stretch into infinity. you have no idea how amazing this software/display is.
because it surrounds you. it’s a domed ceiling, so when you’re looking at the software-display in a pitch black room you feel as if you’re in space. it’s amazing. apparently some high ranking politician/diplomat saw the same software/display and was crying because he’d never realized just how tiny and precious the earth is. every politician needs to see this.
it’s hard to hold on to a provincial terran attitude after flying through the known universe.
thanks,
moby