I haven’t been at SkyNews that long. As such, I was intimidated by the idea of putting together a 25th anniversary edition.
Over the past 25 years, humanity has grown from the original “Hubble Deep Field” image to eXtreme and Ultra deep fields. We’ve gone from finding one exoplanet around a sunlike star to discovering thousands of exoplanets. We’ve seen the International Space Station launched into our regular lives, with astronaut Chris Hadfield showing us everything from “Space Oddity” in orbit to how to cut your nails at zero-gravity.
Practically speaking, however, even a couple weeks can make a big difference.
As I’m writing these words, I’m isolated like most others in Canada, in a world that has cut back on its normal activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The story is changing daily.
Space and astronomy sciences are not immune. Europe and Russia have pushed their Mars missions back. NASA has shut down some centres and suspended work on space missions.
In Canada, the government’s employees are working from home, including those at the Canadian Space Agency. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has cancelled its general assembly and is holding gatherings online.
Yes, I was daunted by the thought of putting this issue together. Doing it while we are socially distancing, as space programs and stargazing groups are isolating themselves — it was beyond anything I could have imagined.
As such, I tried to focus on the grander picture. A couple of weeks, 25 years — they are a mere drop in the astronomical bucket, with the current estimated age of the observable universe around 13.8 billion years old.
With that in mind, this SkyNews anniversary is a small step in what we hope is a continuing chronicle of Canada’s contributions to knowing the unknowable.
It’s a celebration, with stories by some of the country’s best science writers and editors. They look at what has occurred during the magazine’s lifespan while forecasting the near future. They have done beautiful work under trying conditions.
This is also meant to be a gift to the readers who have supported SkyNews through its existence, through its changes and developments. Many of you have reached out over the past few months, and I appreciate the time and effort you took to do so.
I hope this edition meets your expectations and we can continue to do so in the future, whether in a few weeks, months, centuries — perhaps even millennia, epochs or aeons.