The Year in Space Photography 2009

December 23, 2009


The attitude this holiday season is very much anti-Big Government (whatever that even means in a country of 308 million people). There’s a widespread doctrine today that says the gummit cain’t never do nuthin right. So here’s something that, I think, Big Government is doing well: taking pictures of our amazing, astounding universe.

The shot above is a Hubble false-color image of glowing gas and dark dust clouds in a star-forming region in the constellation Cassiopeia just over 6,000 light-years away.  Click on image for larger size.

There’s a great selection of images at the Telegraph UK site here, taken in 2009 from the Hubble Space telescope, the Chandra X-Ray telescope, and the Spitzer Space telescope. Your tax dollars at work.

I always find these images of the vasty deep sky humbling. In one way they seem to be the ultimate rebuke to religion. Oh yeah, obviously the folklore and superstition of a Bronze Age desert tribe is the best way to filter and interpret our knowledge of the Universe. For sure.

I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that all the problems of our little planet don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy Universe. Someday you’ll understand that. Here’s looking at you, Cassiopeia.


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