crazy crazy...

just blows my dome, dudes.

so, so cool...

Thank you for this, Kip! It makes me wish we had less street and city lights, and more opportunity to just look up and see it all. Can you imagine what our ancestors saw at night on a regular basis???


2 of the best comments:

* Chickstick said, "Each of these little dots is a star. Many of those probably have planets, if not multiple ones. Billions and Trillions of opportunities for life, simple or complex, unaware of their surroundings or stargazing just like us.


Yes. It's very true, Mr. Chickstick. It's completely unbelievable and difficult for me to wrap my head around.

And from Brian Koberlein:

"My God It's Full of Stars

One of the more difficult ideas to grasp in astronomy is the sheer scale of the cosmos. Even as a professional in the field it’s much easier to focus on numbers and data than really step back and appreciate scale. Every now and then there is an image that forces you contemplate scale, such as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Now NASA and ESA have released a new image of the Andromeda galaxy. It is the most detailed image of Andromeda ever made,and you can check it out in this video.

The total image has about 1.5 billion pixels, and shows over 100 million stars across 40,000 light years. In the image you can see the brilliant swirls of Andromeda’s spiral arms, but when you zoom in the dusty swirls resolve into individual stars. A vast sea of stars.

Andromeda is relatively close by cosmic standards. It’s only 2.5 million light years away, which is why we can resolve the galaxy in such detail. But this shows only the brighter stars of Andromeda. It’s estimated that Andromeda contains about a trillion stars, most of which are too small and dim to resolve in this image. We’re still only seeing a fraction of the stars in this galaxy.

As you look on this image, keep in mind that this is only part of a nearby galaxy. Our own galaxy would look similar, as would many others. It’s estimated that there are 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe. That’s more than 10 galaxies for every man, woman and child on Earth. Multiply this image by ten, and for all of it there is only one single human being. The same is true for every person on the planet.

Images such as these often give a feeling of smallness. Within the vast cosmos we are merely dust upon dust. But to me it demonstrates just how rare and wondrous each of us are. We can look on an image such as this, see the spirals of stars, and we can understand the cosmos."

And to think we're part of it all...


It's TUESDAY (just think what lies beyond our doorstep...!)

"I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." from Herman Melville's "Moby Dick"

Wanderers - a short film by Erik Wernquist - more fully explained by the artist.

"Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Sometimes I forget that...


Our Star... (and a canyon of erupting fire...)

Visualizers at Goddard Space Flight Center made this video of a 'canyon of fire', created by the eruption of a 200,000 mile long solar filament ripping through the sun's corona.The different colors highlight different temperatures.

It's mesmerizing... Two. Hundred. Thousand. Miles... of some crazy fire balls... I can't wrap my brain around that...

And how often do I forget that our "Sun" is actually a star... Cool...

Well, not really "cool", per se.



Some Sunday Morning Worship

And the highest rated comment from this video:

"Brings to mind a conversation w/my mom the other day. She said she wished she'd given birth to me earlier than she did. I had to tell her that had she gotten pregnant earlier than she did with me that the child she would have given birth to would NOT have been me. That child may have been still been a girl (or not), but it would have been from a different egg and sperm. I am only one of over 64,000 possible births of my parents. Amazing."

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

~ Albert Einstein


The Very Same

The Rhodora On being asked, Whence is the flower?

"In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, To please the desert and the sluggish brook. The purple petals, fallen in the pool, Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array. Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson