Incomplete Theories / Big Telescopes

Today I paid a visit to Jodrell Bank.  I’d been here once as a kid and I referenced in a few recent blog posts so I thought, seeing as it was a nice day, I may as well go and check it out again.  I’ve put a load of pictures below (I wouldn’t look at them all unless you have unlimited wifi or data if I were you!) and you can read about the Lovell Telescope here.  However, what I left thinking about were two stories of something being incomplete.

The first was one of the information boards around the main telescope.  It showed a photograph of the incomplete telescope as it was being built (the featured image for this post).  Apparently 90 miles of scaffolding were used to help build it! I’m struggling to get my head around 90 miles of scaffolding!

The second was brought to mind because of the statue of Nicolaus Copernicus that I took a selfie with!  Copernicus was the Polish astronomer who first put forward the idea of the heliocentric system whereby the Sun is static at the centre of the universe with the Earth moving around it, spinning on its own axis.

Nicolaus and Me

Nicolaus and Me

Copernicus worked on this theory for three decades but still hesitated to publish it for fear that it was incomplete.  The legend is that he first saw a copy of his published work while on his death bed succumbing to a cerebral haemorrhage.

It got be thinking about what trigger my mate Nic would have needed to convince himself that it was finished.  I wonder what would have given him the confidence to say that the theory was done and that he was happy with it.  In our own lives, how can we convince ourselves that we’ve found what we’re looking for, that we don’t need to carry on and that that part of our lives is now complete?

The world will turn and we’ll grow, we’ll learn how to be
To be incomplete
This here now, it’s where we touch down
You and me, let’s be incomplete

Incomplete by James Bay

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