One of the most commonly asked questions is about whether space exploration is worth the extremely hgih cost. The numbers are pretty huge, and we currently don’t know how much has been spent in the last 4 years, but we do know that up to 2014 NASA spent an estimated $900 billion dollars on space exploration. Crazy.
Whilst you will get many criticisms of this, there are still many NASA supporters who think that the costs are supported justifyably by what we are discovering about space and other planets. The reality is that earth will not be inhabitable forever, so space exploration is a necessity if we want to prolong the human existence for a longer period of time.
I have had this debate with a few friends recently, and came to a few conclusions as to why space exploration is extremely important to all of us and why it is definitely not a waste of money. Here are a few of my reasonings as to why space exploration is a good use of cash.
Comets and asteroids have the potential to destroy the earth – period. This is a known thing, and delving into space could help us to prevent this in the not too distant future. If you have’t watched this documentary on space then you definitely need to; it’s one of the most interesting documentaries you’ll find online!
There are not an infinite amount of resources here on earth. We don’t however, know what rare resources we may find on ither planets that may prove invaluable. Not necessarily now, but most certainly further down the line. Ensuring that we can get to other planets safety, not necessarily now but in hundreds of years, could prove crucial to the existence of humans.
Learning is important
Do you think humans would be where we are now if we didn’t continually explore? Is it right to tell geniuses of the world that they can’t explore and find potentially invaluable things because of cash? If this had happened 50 years ago, technology would undoubtedly not be where it is today.
At the end of the day, the cash spent on space exploration is insignificant to the possible impact that it may have on society.
Another day, another use for laser technology. This time around, we’re here to report on the European Space Observatory’s Paranal Observatory using four extremely powerful lasers alongside a large telescope for space exploration.
The four lasers used look resemble something like Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon seen in Star Wars. While the Death Star may be fictional and use seemingly far-fetched technology during its first appearance back in 1977, we’ve actually reached a point where we’re capable of building such a thing.
Anyway, this set of four highly powerful lasers was first turned on this past week at the European Space Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in a remote desert in Chile known as the Atacama Desert. After being in development for years and years, these four lasers, designed as a guide for telescopes, were finally illuminated.
While many astronomers out there use lasers to point out constellations while stargazing or help guide their telescopes, we’ve never seen a setup as powerful as this one. With this new technology, scientists are looking to get a clearer view of the universe beyond our humble abode we call Earth.
Being on Mother Earth, we’ve separated from other galaxies by the Earth’s atmospheric turbulence. While the atmosphere may make for some pretty skies and twinkling stars, it makes it difficult to capture crisp images of the night sky. This is why such powerful laser technology is being used currently.
Once the lasers are turned on, they excite sodium atoms that reside within the Earth’s upper atmosphere, creating a fluorescent glow among the atmosphere’s molecules.
While the main purpose of these powerful lasers is to help us take better pictures of the night sky and our surrounding galaxies, there are some scientists who believe we should be using this technology to help hide ourselves from aliens. One of those scientists is Stephen Hawking, who believes that by making ourselves known we’re inviting intelligent aliens who could potentially destroy humanity as we know it.
If you’re a stargazer and want a good laser for astronomy, check out our page dedicated to astronomy laser pointers!