Humbling Hubble

Ultra-Deep Field  by Hubble

Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF)

You are looking at a photograph of a tiny patch of the Universe as it appeared in the heavens over 13 billion years ago. To put that in perspective – light travels at approximately 10 trillion kilometres in a year. The light emitted from these galaxies travelled 13 billion of those light years before hitting the imaging sensors aboard the most sophisticated telescope every made by man. It’s called the Hubble Space Telescope and it is the ultimate time machine. Positioned in low earth orbit since 1990 by the Space Shuttle, it has been busy clicking away at the cosmos and delivering spectacular photography of an immense universe ever since. As Douglas Adams wrote in the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” To add to the mind-boggling aspect of the photograph above, it is just a small fraction of the visible night sky, roughly measuring one-tenth of the diameter of the moon. Next time you are angry or upset at some seemingly calamitous event in your life – you may find it helpful to look up at the night sky. It puts things in perspective. Humbling indeed.

Hubble Space Telescope in orbit.

The Hubble Space Telescope in orbit.

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