Monday, October 3, 2011

outer space

 Space is beautiful and so mysterious in that it is infinite. I can't even comprehend that there is no end, it just goes on forever. These astounding pictures were taken by the Hubble space telescope. You can go look at all the pictures here. Just a hint, the Nebulae gallery is amazing.

So as I was looking through all these pictures of space, it got me interested in learning more about it.

The above picture is a nebula. If you haven't learned anything about space since elementary school and are wondering what the heck a nebula is (like me), read on. I googled it and found a whole bunch of information. A nebula is "an interstellar cloud in outer space that is made up of dust, hydrogen and helium gas, and plasma". So basically when all this stuff (proper name: interstellar medium) collapses, the gravitational pull of all the particles holds it together thus forming a nebula. This is also the beginnining formation of a star. Super cool, right?

Oh, and nebula's can be several light years big. I can't even imagine how large that is.

This is our universe. When I look at this and think of how small I am compared to our universe, it boggles my mind.
Space is supposed to be infinite (at least that's the theory), so as I read here, does that mean there are an infinite number galaxies, possibly one like ours that has planets that can sustain life? It's pretty fascinating to think about.

If you were to travel through space (how lucky you would be!) and go in a straight line like a beam of light, you would eventually end up back where you started (and you would also be very, very old!). The theory is that space has a wraparound effect, and like being in a hall of mirrors, multiple images of everything inside would be produced. This means "the light from one galaxy could follow two different routes to the Earth, so the same galaxy would appear in two different parts of the sky.
I've always secretly wanted to be an astronaut, especially after watching The Right Stuff with my dad when I was younger. (Excellent movie, by the way, if you have 3+ hours to watch it. It's long!). I was so upset when I found out the NASA Shuttle Program is ending. And I know this does not mean NASA is shutting down, now NASA is working on exploring the rest of our solar system, maybe even going to Mars! But who knows how long that will take, so any dreams I had of going to space, or the moon, are not realistic. Unless of course I'm willing to shell out millions of dollars I don't have to take a commercial space flight. But I still won't be able to say I'm an astronaut. So for now, I'll just continue looking at these pictures in awe at how spectacular they are!

All pictures via Hubble Site


  1. Love this post:) Space always amazes me with it's beauty (sparkle!) and possibilities! Thanks for sharing such amazing photos:)

  2. Thanks for the lovely comment! And your welcome! :)