See, once there was this guy named Douglas.
In 1971 Douglas got drunk and wandered into a field near Innsbruck, Austria. There he lay on his back, gazing at the stars. Among his possessions was a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe and while considering the night sky he thought it would be swell if there was a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
He promptly forgot about it, but several years later he would turn that idea into a marvelous story told as a BBC radio program, a series of books, a play, a television series, a computer game, and a movie. And all of them are very, very funny and make a lot of people very happy. A large part of this idea originated from his rather healthy perspective on the universe.
“There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the world,” Douglas Adams said in a speech at Cambridge. “The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball ninety million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be, but we have done various things over intellectual history to slowly correct some of our misapprehensions.”
Thanks to the wonderful work of researchers, scientists, and engineers, we’re learning more and more every day about the universe, about planets, stars, and whole galaxies wildly different from our own. Someday humans might be able to see those places, to walk on distant planets.
How? That remains to be seen. But if we were to imagine that we could, that we could go anywhere in the whole of the Universe that we wanted in an instant… where?
Roaming the Cosmos is a series of posts seeking to answer that question and explore places that exist far from our island Earth.
Copernicus, Ocean of Storms, Luna
Noctis Labytinthus, Valles Marineris, Mars
Alpha Regio, Venus
The Caves of 87 Sylvia, Asteroid Belt
Verona Rupes, Miranda
Uhlanga Regio, Triton
Proxima Centauri B