When I was in high school, the foreign language teachers would say that dreaming in a language other than your native one was the sign you had grasped it.
What can be said about dreaming of life in another star system?
Last night I had a very vivid dream about traveling to and then starting to live on a planet outside of our Solar System. I usually don’t ponder such things, but as it is still very fresh in my memory and the topic so relevant to this blog, it seems as good of a dream sequence as any to document.
This was the type of dream from which you leave and feel it as your reality, if only for a moment. As I awakened in the pre-dawn hour to the sounds of high winds beckoning in an arctic blast, I believed for an instant of my life that I was still on a planet in the Alpha Centauri system.
What caused this type of dream, and why now? I have not done a lot of stargazing recently. I did have my homemade Dobsonian out on Friday evening to look at the Moon. And I had been taking quick pictures of the Moon throughout the week, but none of these activities are what I would consider in-depth astronomy.
It began with my landing on the planet. I noted to myself the journey from Earth and the ship taken. The journey was long, but not years long, so the means of travel was by some advanced, as-yet undiscovered technology. Only a handful of people were fellow passengers. Everyone had a very tight and cramped seat for the initial liftoff, but then we had the liberty of modest quarters for the duration of the voyage in deep space.
I was not there permanently, but was visiting the planet, like on a very extended vacation. I remember thinking how amazing it was to be on another planet, in a different star system, even though I was clearly not the first to be here. We had landed and departed the spaceship and were now in a hanger.
I really wanted to go outside and look up at the sky, to see the galaxy from this different vantage point. I was hoping I could see some familiar star patterns, thinking that I should be able to recognize familiar constellations if I gazed in the direction towards home, towards Earth. This is because I would be seeing Earth’s angle to the galaxy from that side, just a few light years farther away.
Getting outside was difficult, for a reason I cannot explain. It was dusk. When I finally got outside and into an open clearing, I observed animals I had never seen before along with horses native to Earth. Looking into the distance, I saw a mountain range bathed in a golden light, a reflection of this planet’s star as it was setting below its horizon. Heavy purple clouds hung shallow over the mountains’ peaks.
There were clouds throughout the sky and still too early to see stars. I looked in another direction and saw the markings of a budding civilization. There was a town, along with a developed highway, and the clear signs of a manufacturing industry already present. My last thoughts were focused on how that very alien sky would soon be tainted by the tragedy of the forthcoming light pollution onto this colony of Earth.