These pages chronicle the work and ruminations of Carolyn Collins Petersen, also known as TheSpacewriter.
I am CEO of Loch Ness Productions. I am also a producer for Astrocast.TV, an online magazine about astronomy and space science.
For the past few years, I've also been a voice actor, appearing in a variety of productions. You can see and hear samples of my work by clicking on the "Voice-Overs, Videos and 'Casts tab.
My blog, TheSpacewriter's Ramblings, is about astronomy, space science, and other sciences.
Ideas and opinions expressed here do not represent those of my employer or of any other organization to which I am affiliated. They're mine.
Visit my main site at: TheSpacewriter.com.
**I encourage comments and discussion; please keep it polite and respectful. I do moderate them to weed out spam, but I also refuse to post any messages that contain harassing, demeaning, rude, or profane language. I run a respectable establishment here.
Contact me for writing and voice-over projects at: cc(dot)petersen(at)gmail(dot)com
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Blog entry posting times are U.S. Mountain Time (GMT-6:00) All postings Copyright 2003-2011 C.C. Petersen
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June 30, 2004 at 19:24 pm | Leave a Comment
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my first experience covering a planetary mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1981. It was Saturn, and in a great deja vu experience, 23 years later, I’m watching from the comfort of my home office while another mission prepares to explore Saturn in greater depth. It’s not nearly as heart-pounding (for me, anyway), but for the mission planners who have been waiting for 7 years for this moment, it is astoundingly exciting, the chance of a lifetime to study Saturn. The Saturn image here was taken a couple of days ago and it brings all those memories back… and entices us to imagine what the next months of exploration will bring us. Stay tuned!
June 29, 2004 at 19:10 pm | Leave a Comment
When I was a teenager there was a popular poster with a poem called “Desiderata.” One stanza of this work particularly caught my attention:
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
That poster hung on my wall for a couple of years until I headed off to college, but I credit it with reawakening my interest in all things cosmological. (Though I doubt I thought of an interest in the origin and evolution of everything in the universe as an interest in cosmology.) I think that reading that piece was the first time I heard a glimmering of the idea that right down to our blood and bones and the air we breathe and the light we see we are intimately tied to the stars and galaxies.
Radical idea that, especially if one believes in alternate theories of creation. It seems only natural that an evolving universe would eventually come up with stuff like human beings, although we now know that life (at least as we know it) is the result of many rare confluences of events and processes. Some say that argues for a creator, or some organizing influence. Others say that it doesn’t. In truth we’ll never really know because so much of the universe, particularly the instant of its birth (the Big Bang) is forever veiled from us. But we use astronomy and astrophysics to probe as much as we can into the depths of the cosmos to find clues to the origins of everything we know.
It’s my opinion that the universe has no conscious, overarching planner shoving the cosmic chess pieces here and there just to see how things will turn out. Sure there are laws which govern the actions of matter (all forms) and forces, but those aren’t evidence of such a planner. Is there an organizing principle? Sure. But again, that’s no evidence of a planner.
In truth, it’s not important (in the cosmic scheme of things) that a set of life forms on a planet hidden away in the outskirts of a galaxy (one of billions of galaxies) has devised some cosmic architect and insists that everyone was created by that unseen influence. What IS important that we continually search the cosmos for answers to how everything we can detect came about, how the stars and galaxies were formed, and what processes lead the constant unfolding of the universe. In the end, that’s all we can really do—strive to learn.
June 24, 2004 at 19:58 pm | Leave a Comment
Back when I was in college and we used to hang around the planetarium, the laser light show started with a song from the Jefferson Starship album, “Blows Against the Empire” called “Have You Seen the Stars Tonight?” It was a song from a man to a woman, both aboard a starship in the future, and he’s inviting her up to A Deck to see the stars. I always thought that was a romantic thing, embodying so much about stars and space exploration. Here’s how it goes:
Words/Music: Kantner, Crosby
Have You Seen The Stars Tonight?
Would you like to go up on ‘A’ Deck and look at them with me?
Have You Seen The Stars Tonight?
Would you like to go up for a stroll and keep me company?
Do you know
We could go?
We are free
Anyplace you can think of
We could be
Have you seen the stars tonight?
Have you looked at all the family of stars?
Maybe we’ll never get to the stars, but humans have a powerful link to the stars built into their bodies and thoughts. All we have to do is look up, and we’re looking at our past, and maybe our future.
So, have YOU seen the stars tonight?
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This blog a wholly pwnd subsidiary of Carolyn Collins Petersen, a.k.a. TheSpacewriter.
Copyright 2013, Carolyn Collins Petersen
Image of Horsehead Nebula: T.A.Rector (NOAO/AURA/NSF) and Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA/NASA)
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