A Quick Look Back Home, and Thanks

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the Moon, international politics looks so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.'” –Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut

It was nearly 50 years ago that we left Earth for the first time.

Image credit: B. Anders, Apollo 8, NASA, in 1968.

We’ve walked on the Moon.

Image credit: Voyager 1, NASA, in 1977.

We’ve sent spacecraft to all the planets in the Solar System, and subsequently out of the Solar System.

Image credit: Galileo Spacecraft, NASA, and JPL, in 1992.

We’ve used the Earth’s gravity (and that of other planets, too) to slingshot spacecraft to whatever destination we please within our Solar System, and taken the most unbelievable pictures of our Universe.

Image credit: Clementine Spacecraft, NASA, in 1994.

We’ve formed complete maps of not only the entire Earth, but many of the other bodies in the Solar System, including the Moon.

Image credit: Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft, NASA, in 1998.

And our journey through space, the stars, and the Universe continues. Our travels and explorations have taken us so far, but the Earth and Moon are still the only home we’ve ever known.

Thanks to all of you for all your support, curiosity, and interest over the years, and for the birthday wishes, too. We’ve got plenty of Universe still to explore, but I wanted to take a moment to share with you these great views of our universal home, and to say thanks for the great inspiration you’ve been to me along this journey so far. Let’s keep going! There’s always more to find out…


  1. #1 Hephaestus
    August 4, 2011

    Ethan –

    I’ve only been following you for a few months, but I’ll say thank you to you, too. It’s always fun to read your posts.

    As someone who was trained as a scientist through eight years of college(but who doesn’t do anything even remotely close for a living), I find myself appreciating the mysteries of science more and more as I get older.

    Ad astra per aspera!

  2. #2 RonJohnAlpha
    August 5, 2011


    Thank you for brightening my days with your love of science. I tend to lurk around here just reading, and I always love to see a post from you cheerfully revealing the beauty of the universe. May we never stop learning.

  3. #3 Loren Amacher
    August 5, 2011

    And thank you, Ethan, for being such a great tour-guide!

  4. #4 killinchy
    August 5, 2011

    Happy birthday and thanks for the posts. yours is a great blog

  5. #5 Glissade
    August 5, 2011

    Seesh! Ethan! I thought you were going to say goodbye and this was your last post! Almost gave me heart attack (well not quite). This is one of my favorite blogs and I was about to get depressed that you weren’t going to be around. Glad to see that you will still be around. I’m looking forward to the ride!

  6. #6 rob
    August 5, 2011

    right back at ya Ethan! you keep posting and we’ll keep reading.

  7. #7 Mike
    August 5, 2011

    Love your blog Ethan. Thanks for the work you put into it!

  8. #8 DataJack
    August 6, 2011

    Ethan, your blog is one of my favorite Internet destinations. You are an exceptional teacher, and I am very glad you do this.

  9. #9 Deborah
    August 6, 2011

    So say we all.

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