As I was wrapping scallops in little bacon blankets this afternoon, I heard a great story on All Things Considered about plans for a new telescope to replace the Hubble Telescope, which has given us some amazing images of things we had never been able to see before. The new one, to be called the James Webb Space Telescope will be sent into orbit over a million miles away from Earth and will be able to capture light from over thirteen billion light years away, which means that light will be thirteen billion years old when we see it for the first time.
One of the most intriguing things they said in the story was when they first came up with the design for the Webb Telescope twenty years ago it required ten technologies that had not yet been invented. I love that their dream was not tethered to their sense of limitation. The story didn’t say whether the ones building the scope also invented the ten technologies they needed or if other folks did those parts. Either way, the brilliance of their dream is the first bit of light captured by the Webb Telescope, even before it is built.
One of the phrases that caught my ear was “capture the light.” The Webb will not take pictures per se, but will capture the light using infrared technology to generate images of things we would not normally be able to see. Capturing light is not an easy thing to do. The image is something I’ll take to work with me tomorrow since the orbit of the Inn might as well be taking place in a black hole. Even now, there is light to be captured somewhere in the Inn. So I keep cooking and trying to capture new light, or at least new to me.
For now, I’m going to go close my eyes and enjoy the dark.