Friday, December 11, 2009

The universe is in our blood

Galaxies, from the Hubble telescope (photo: NASA)

I grew up with the synth-pop band Adolphson & Falk in the 1980s in Sweden, and even if I have loved their music from the beginning I never really realized until recently how scientific and astronomic it is. After seeing the nebulas, stars and galaxies last night, this is suddenly put in some perspective. I think there is life on Mars! What do you think?

Some lyrics from the song 'Vidare' [Further] on the album 'Med rymden i blodet' [With the universe in our blood]

Vi söker efter ljus igenom teleskopen. [We look for lights through the telescopes]
Vi letar efter liv där andra solar rår. [We search for life where other suns rule]
Vi sänder ut ett rop och lyssnar efter ekon. [We send out a shout and listen for echos]
Vi sträcker ut vår tro så långt det nånsin går. [We stretch our belief, as far as possible]
Vi drivs att finna svar, att se igenom illusioner, [We are driven to find answers, see through illusions]
att sträva mot en gräns i en oändlighet, [to aim for a border in an infinity]
att lösa varje del av universums ekvationer [to solve all parts of the universe's equations]
för att stilla för en stund vår vetgirighet. [to calm for a moment our quest for knowledge]
Vi söker vidare, [We seek further,]
vi vill inte stå kvar [we don't want to be left behind]
med en syn på vår omvärld [with a view of our world]
som är begränsad och smal. [that is restricted and narrow]
Vi vill se vidare [We want to see further]
förbi kända perspektiv. [behind known perspectives.]
Vi har rymden i blodet. [We have the universe in our blood.]
Den är en del av vårt liv. [It is a part of our life.]
Likt äventyrens skepp som besegrat oceaner, [Like the explorers' ship that conquered oceans,]
sänder vi vårt hopp på en hoppfull färd. [we send our hope out on a hopeful quest.]
Vi låter tanken sväva runt i galaxernas banor [We let our thought float around in the orbit of the galaxies]
och letar kunskap om oss själva i varje främmande värld. [and look for knowledge about ourselves in every foreign world.]
För även du och jag består av stoft från en stjärna [Because even you and I, consist of dust from a star]
liksom varje planet som snurrar okänd och skymd. [like every planet swirling unknown and hidden.]
Fast vi är ljusår från varann står vi varann så nära, [Even if we are light years apart, we are so close,]
för vi är alla barn av en och samma rymd. [because we are all children of the one and same universe.]

They also made songs about standing radio waves, binary numbers, etc. ... :) I can't find this song on youtube, but there is another one, Krafter vi aldrig känner ["Powers we never feel", about gravity]. This reminds me a lot of Harry Martinsson's Aniara, written in the 1950s, a classic long poem about a starship looking for a new planet after humanity has destroyed the earth. I grew up reading science fiction (Asimov, Heinlein, etc.), and with the new data about methane on Mars and water on the moon I am starting to think we are coming full circle... Science is really an amazing thing and we are living in really interesting times.

1 comment:

berith said...

Thanks for this poem, these words.
So good in this cold decembernight.