By Nii B. Andrews.
Yesterday, Sunday, the fastest man made object in history was headed towards the sun so that we can probe its secrets more fully. We hope that it has been protected completely from the disaster that befell Icarus.
Has our technology once again caught up to our dreams?
This NASA vehicle, named the Parker probe will come within 4m miles of the sun’s visible surface after flying through the sun’s corona where temperatures reach 3m Celsius.
A Dagomba/Dagbamba myth tells us that the sun has a marketplace which is visible when a halo appears round the sun. It is in this region that the sun keeps a ram that stamps its feet to cause thunder; lightning occurs when it shakes its tail; when it rushes around it creates the wind and rain is the hair falling off its tail.
The solar wind has always been a mystery since it was first described in 1950 by the now 91 year old astrophysicist, Eugene Parker – after whom the probe is named. It is an ionized gas that moves away from the sun at more than one million miles per hour and sometimes disrupts communication and electronics on earth.
What a strong ram!
For the Luyia/Luhya, the sun was created after his elder brother, the bigger and brighter moon. They then fought two wrestling matches; the sun lost the first match and pleaded for mercy. Then they wrestled again and this time the moon was thrown in the mud and dirt splashed all over him.
God intervened and made the now brighter sun shine in the day and the moon at night. Here again the younger brother had taken the preeminent spot as in the story of Jacob and Esau.
“We are going to the last major region of our solar system that has yet to be explored. It is a voyage of discovery”, said a project scientist.
NASA has dubbed it “a mission to touch the sun” – our nearest star.
We wish them all the best; and they should give our greetings to the ram.