Friday, February 25, 2011

Wonders in Science

This is one of the Hubble deep field images:

It is important to note that every little bright smudge on this image is a galaxy with billions of stars. This image is a very small piece of the sky, around 1 out of 150 million, making estimates of galaxies in the visible universe around 100 billion. It is worth pausing and thinking about that. When I think about the majesty of the universe I find it infinitely more inspiring than the parochial, one-world God, of the major religions. Just trying to imagine our place in this vastness, and to imagine that there are other beings out there doing the same thing, wondering if they are alone, there is a sense of awe and wonder that is difficult to describe. Try it sometime: try to grasp, even for a few seconds, what billions of billions of worlds would be like, spread across a space that takes millions of years for light to cross when light can circle the earth in (literally) the snap of a finger.

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