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Two intriguing investigations -- One flight-proven spacecraft




                                             Stuart Atkinson
                                             July 2008

Just think...
To the eyes of an alien Voyager,
built on and flung hard away from
an exotic, alien world whirling 'round
some faraway star, Earth would look like that:
a soft focus blue and white ball,
all its cultures and countries concealed
beneath congealed-cream, candyfloss clouds,
little more than a Christmas tree bauble
bobbing about in an ocean of ink...

Just think...
On one Far Future day, a pale,
proud martian kid will say "THAT's Earth?
Big deal!" as they gaze grudgingly
into a telescope eyepiece to peer
at Barsoom's Evening Star...
But they'll secretly marvel at the view,
wondering if all the blue really is cool,
clear water, as the computers they use at school say...

How strange...
To think that some day people will see
an image as vague and watery as this,
as a telescope aimed at a faraway star
sees a glint in the distant sun's glare;
a roomful of scientists will stare at its
magnified portrait and whisper "We've
found it, an ocean-washed world just like ours,
an Earth circling an alien sun..."

But for today...
See how dark the disc of Luna is
as she skates past Terra's face?
Against Earth's hues of white and blue
Selene's gown is as brown as dirt, as dark
as just-ploughed soil soaked by rain.
So strange to see the brilliant Moon
that has made so many lovers swoon
reduced to a mere muddy sphere...

© Stuart Atkinson 2008
reprinted with permission

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