Feelings of Microcosmic Insignificance.
That’s what the hubble deep space field evokes. The picture below is the most important picture ever taken by humankind, at least according to Tony Darnell, amateur astronomer and creator of www.deepastronomy.com.
He even made a video about it on Youtube.
That is the Hubble Deep Space Field, and what you’re looking at are thousands of galaxies, billions of light years away from us. The Hubble Telescope essentially got corrective surgery one year, and scientists decided that they’d test this out by looking as far as they possibly could, and that’s what they saw, a picture of the absolute minuteness of our existence.
My apologies for the warm fuzzy feelings I’ve probably been giving you, but the awe of it is just incredible, and given that NASA is working to wake the Hubble out of its current stupor, we could be looking at even more amazing photographs soon.
Other aspects of space are equally nifty, like how scientists are proposing solutions to solve catastrophes six billion years before they happen; Congress can’t even look a year into the future to stop a recession and scientists is planning an appointment with Armaggedon further in advance than the Earth has even been around.
Just because Hubble is temporarily out of commission, don’t think that NASA is out of tricks. NASA also has the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, formerly the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, before NASA decided to give a shout out to Enrico Fermi, an Italian physicist who worked to develop the first nuclear reactor. Fermi (the telescope) has recently been credited with discovering a great, cosmic-sized glowstick, a pulsar that “blinks” out pure gamma rays in three second intervals. The discovery occured while observing CTA 1, a 10,000 year old supernova, essentially the corpse of a star that exploded back when our species was mastering the art of harvesting wheat.
Oh, and for those of you who are curious about the LHC, right now it’s broken, but it’s staff is still… productive.
– Fernando Arrue