Just As I Thought

A galactic disappointment

The more photos we get from space probes, the more… unimpressive it gets. This latest photo from the Cassini probe is the most detailed look at Saturn we’ve seen, yet it looks disappointingly like a perfect CGI image, an artist’s conception. It’s so perfectly what we expect. Gorgeous, yes. Unexpected? No.
The images coming back from Mars are so ordinary — a desolate plain strewn with rocks. It could be somewhere in New Mexico.
It turns out, as many have predicted, that our solar system (and possibly our entire galactic neighborhood) are pretty boring, all things considered. I hope that when we start landing probes on more distant planets and moons that we don’t find more of the same.
These places are beautiful from afar, but far from beautiful.
On the other hand, it really does impress upon me the incredible beauty of our own planet, and the astonishing diversity of life here. Earth rocks, man! We are totally the best planet in our neighborhood.

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