20 July 2022

"My god, it's full of stars"

"The phrase is not from the movie itself, but from the novelization that screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke wrote at the same time as the screenplay. The book describes the scene in which Bowman is entering the star gate, and he says the following phrase just before losing contact with Mission Control: "The thing's hollow -- it goes on forever -- and -- oh my God! -- it's full of stars!""
With that phrase in mind, think back for a moment to Hubble's "Ultra-Deep-Field" photo and then view this video zoom of the Andromeda galaxy (a digital zoom of a billion-pixel image) (view full-screen please).  That's the galaxy that's nearest to earth.

Now let the James Webb Space Telescope show you what's in the Southern Ring Nebula:

"This video zooms through space to reveal Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) image of the Southern Ring Nebula.

The bright star at the centre of NGC 3132, while prominent when viewed by the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Telescope in near-infrared light, plays a supporting role in sculpting the surrounding nebula. A second star, barely visible at lower left along one of the bright star’s diffraction spikes, is the nebula’s source. It has ejected at least eight layers of gas and dust over thousands of years.

Data from Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) were used to make this extremely detailed image. It is teeming with scientific information — and research will begin following its release."
I don't think the human mind can properly comprehend this scale of vastness.


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp-pU8TFsg0

    1. I had forgotten about that skit. "... and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out there, because there's bugger all down here on earth..."

  2. The ol' Douglas Adams quote remains apt as ever:

    "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."

  3. Wait till you learn what St. Clare of Assisi is the patron saint of, and why :)

    1. "Pope Pius XII designated Clare as the patron saint of television in 1958 on the basis that when she was too ill to attend Mass, she had reportedly been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room."

      Drabkikker if you want to re-write your comment on the Isidore of Seville post, I can add my reply there and then erase this pair.


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