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Photos of the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko by the Rosetta spacecraft
Title: Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker

Also: The Singing Comet

Photography by Gerald Rhemann
Title: H. P. Lovecraft

NGC 7293 Helix Nebula/Aquarius




Comet C/2009 R1 McNaught June 10 2010 UT 00h30m

NGC 6726

Reflection and Emission Nebulas Scorpius/Ophiuchus

Comet Hale-Bopp April 1997

Horsehead Nebula

Comet Hyakutake at Perihel April 1996

M82 Ursa Major

NGC 4565 Coma Berenices

IC 4592 / Scorpius

NGC3372 overview/CARINA

3D compositions (concepts for Iron Man 2) by Prologue
Title: Steven Pinker

Via Motionographer


The Vela program was not designed to carry out scientific investigations. Rather, it was initiated to verify the Limited Test Ban Treaty. That treaty had been negotiated between the United States and the Soviet Union and signed in 1963. Its prime purpose was to put a halt to testing of nuclear weapons in space and in Earth's atmosphere. Vela was a set of satellites, launched in pairs in the years 1963 to 1970, that orbited far above the Earth and kept watch for clandestine tests. The program was run by the Department of Defense. What makes Vela interesting from a astrophysical perspective is that the satellites were the first to detect gamma ray bursts. The first of these detections occurred in 1967, but because of the secret nature of the satellite program the detections remained classified until 1973.

I was continuing to shrink, to become... what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close — the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet — like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God’s silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man’s own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends in man’s conception, not nature’s. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!

From Jack Arnold’s The Incredible Shrinking Man
Posted on SpaceCollective by Rene Daalder in a comment on Claire Evans’ Very Big and Very Small

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