Tonight, go out into the streets or into the yard and look up at the sky knowing this: our worries are so small in the grand scheme of life. Here are the two biggest announcements in space news this week that got my mind off my worries and piqued my curiosity:
The Pillars of Creation
Oh, Hubble. You never disappoint. 20 years ago, Hubble Space Telescope snapped the first photos of the “Pillars of Creation”, three columns of gas and stars of the Eagle Nebula. Thanks to advances in technology, Hubble snapped a photo this week with much higher definition and the results are even more stunning that the ones that have fascinated us for two decades. Majestic and haunting, they are 7,000 light years from Earth. Through them, we are witnessing the creation of new stars. The finger-like protrusions at the top of the pillars are each larger than our solar system.
I’m working on a science fiction short story about a young girl, Marin, who travels the Universe with her father. They land on Earth after the apocalypse so that her father can teach her the cautionary tale of human consumption habits. As I was doing some research for the story, I came across a story in Scientific American. This week, NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft discovered two more Earth-like worlds. That brings the total of planets similar to ours to over 1,000.
When life gets a little overwhelming, I’m grateful for space. It reminds me that there is so much more to the universe than us. It lets me escape, for a little while, into the deepest depths of my imagination, so I can face whatever it is that needs facing with fresh eyes and less ego. I hope it helps you, too.