Holiday perspective thanks to our eye in the sky

December 2, 2009 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Now that the holidays are officially all up in our collective face, be sure to take some time to have a slice of humble pie with the Boston Globe’s Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. SPACE!!!

When you’ve heard the Beach Boys croon “Little Saint Nick” one too many times (i.e. my seasonal job at Restoration Hardware in 2004), your credit card debt is percolating in the jittery part of your chest, and you can’t seem to find just the right gift for your younger sibling, think back to this caption:

This composite color infrared image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy reveals a new population of massive stars and new details in complex structures in the hot ionized gas swirling around the central 300 light-years. This view combines the sharp imaging of the Hubble Space Telescope’s Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) with color imagery from a previous Spitzer Space Telescope survey to make the sharpest infrared picture ever made of the Galactic core. The core is obscured in visible light by intervening dust clouds, but infrared light penetrates the dust. At this distance – 26,000 light-years away – Hubble reveals details in objects as small as 20 times the size of our own solar system.

We are tiny. That’s good to know sometimes.

Additional recommended viewing, if you don’t mind a little melodrama (and who does, really, when it comes to SPACE?!):

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Entry filed under: images, links, videos. Tags: , , .

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