Have you seen the sky tonight?

Have you ever looked up to the immense sky late at night after arriving home?
Have you ever wondered about the perspective of astronauts looking down from Earth’s orbit?
Have you ever contemplated the moon when is hiding behind the clouds?

As the sun sinks over the horizon and the sky transitions to dusk, the night quickly uncovers shining bright stars. When I arrive home late at night, the sky is putting a show and I can’t ignore it. It is a composition of the moon, the planets, the stars, and the clouds competing to guide my path.

The sky is more than I can see with the naked eye. It is a universe stretching for billions of light years; and our generation has seen a tiny fraction thanks to the space race between the Soviet Union and United States. On February 14, 1990 from a distance of 4 billion miles, the spacecraft Voyager 1 turned around and took a photograph of Earth, a pale blue dot.

Inspired by this image Carl Sagan wrote:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was lived out their lives…”

“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark…”

“The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life…”

“Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand…”

“It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits that this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

If we can beat the barriers of sound and reach the frontiers outside Earth’s atmosphere, we can reach unity by understanding our differences.

So I ask again: Have you seen the sky tonight? Because no matter where you are, we share the same roof and our distant moon shines and illuminates our path in moments of darkness. In its absence, I see a star, a star shining bright through the clouds, a star looking down, a star questioning why I don’t visit, a star looking for company, a lonely little star.

When I look at the sky, I think about every human being on Earth, we represent each star in the sky, with some forming families, and others always by our side as good friends do, no matter the circumstances. Surrounded by many stars, some are visible and others are distant. Distant stars are looking to get noticed and it takes a brilliant mind to recognize the brightness in it. Even though I have found distant starts that I guard inside my heart, they are all now chasing their dreams and we may cross paths again in life.

Someone once said to me: there are many fish in the sea. Yes, as many stars I can see in the sky. They may look similar but never the same. Every time I look at the sky, I see the beauty of the stars, and I pay close attention because one of them belongs to me.

Alvaro Rodriguez

I am from Colombia and I am very proud to be from that beautiful country. One of my great passions is life because I have walked this path by sharing it with amazing people. People that have taught me to see the world in a very different way. Extraordinary individuals have showed me what I have never could discover by myself. I am an eager reader of science, poetry, politics, and music (yes, the meaning and composition of song lyrics). I have a great appreciation for art, languages, and the expression of everyone's perspective seen from the lens of a camera. I love Astronomy and one day I will be in space. I am a Research Scientist in Corrosion Engineering and writing is a great way for me to tell the world how I feel.

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