In a jaw-dropping, stunning development this past week, scientists directing the Rosetta mission to plant the Philae probe onto a three-billion year old comet streaking around our sun four billion miles away at 84,000 miles per hour stumbled onto something none of them expected to find. The comet is singing as it flies through space!
It was picked up by one of the five instruments on the Rosetta that measure the plasma environment surrounding the comet. The plasma is charged vapor and dust that interacts with the solar wind and the unique shape of the comet. When recording signals of this, the scientists came across an unexpected noise.
It can be heard at http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/11/the-singing-comet/. Yes, you, I and the entire world here can listen to it challenging our sensibilities from deep space.
Too many on this planet may have become too jaundiced to appreciate the significance of this, more worried about secondary, tangential issues associated with the mission, or the other major news of the day, Internet photos of a Kardashian bum.
But, people! With all the fantasy fixations on communications from deep space that we devour routinely along with all the undead dramas that constitute our cultural diet, how can this comet’s song be ignored? How can it be grasped as little less than, well, even cosmically or spiritually revelatory?
Is there anything in our human experience that comes even close to this? Some have suggested that the music of Coyote Oldman, such as recorded on his Rainbird album, emulates the song of the comet, causing them to insist that Native Americans were tuned into such larger cosmic realities long ago.
Whatever, this song of the comet comes to us from deep, deep space while we can’t turn our attention away from our day to day issues of war, cruelty, exploitation and disease.
When it comes to matters like this, there is plenty of room for reality to become what you make it. One can chose to believe this is nothing special, or that it is.
There is no doubt to me that it is very special, just because we, the inhabitants of this particular planet, have never heard anything like it before, coming from a known destination millions of miles away (except maybe for some Native Americans).
But while stupid fundamental religious hacks may dismiss it as un-this or un-that, because there is no reference to their favorite deity mentioned, it may be hard for more open minded people to dismiss an opportunity to derive cosmic insights.
I am one such person. I am willing to suggest some of what the comet may be singing about, intended for audio sensors of all types and places in the cosmos to detect.
It’s message is made up of the following:
“I am relentless. I persist for eons and will not be deterred.
“I am compassionate. My song can be heard by others, therefore it impacts an audience and by so doing, it is a form of reaching out, to communicate, to be a source of comfort and insight to anyone who can pick it up.
“I am way bigger than you. If there is nothing else, I aim to dash arrogance and the kind of arrogance that too often permits acts of cruelty to be perpetrated against others.
“I will not be mocked. Other entities in this cosmos who would diminish my impact stand in the way of the subordinating reality that I am, and will be subjected to the consequences accordingly.”
Can you hear this message in this comet’s song? Call me crazy, but I can.
It’s a message for not only to those of us on this tiny orb, but for a cosmos that is teeming with life.
Scientists are now becoming convinced that there are undoubtedly an almost countless number of earth-like spheres constituting the massive reality soup in which we live that is called the universe. The comet’s song is intended for everyone on all of them.
The comet’s song comes to us not as some tyrant who’s taken over all our TV channels to present us with ultimatums, but with humility and comforting certitude.