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And speaking of wonder, and mystery...

Hubble Deep Field Telescope Image


This picture was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's powerful deep-field telescope instrument. It shows a patch of sky about one millimeter square.

With the exception of the bright white object with diffraction lines radiating from it to the lower left of center (which is a star here in our own Milky Way galaxy), every single thing you see here is a galaxy. An entire galaxy, each with tens of millions or billions of stars.

This is not a remarkable section of sky. It looks like this no matter where you point the Deep Field Telescope.

Every one of the things in this picture. Every dot, every fleck of light. An entire galaxy.

So much for the notion that there is no wonder in science.

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
tacit
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
Re: baaah?
That's the point, isn't it? Science does not diminish wonde,r nor have anything to do with spirituality.
edwarddain
Jan. 20th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
Re: baaah?
Agreed.

Science, at it's best, increases wonder, just as dogma stifles it. Much the same in spirituality IMHO.
datan0de
Jan. 21st, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
I've seen the pic before (it was on APotD a while back) and I'm still in awe of it. Thanks for the reminder!

One question, though. This is the second time you've made reference to "one millimeter of sky", and I'm unable to translate that into something I can grasp. 1 mm at what range? As far as I know (and I could be mistaken), millimeter is not used as a measurement of arc. Am I missing something or just being overly precise?
tacit
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
"One square millimeter of sky" in this case means the amount of sky you'd see if you held a card with a hole one millimeter square infront of you--at least that's the way I interpret the press release.

NASA released a couple of press releases with this image, one of which says "one square millimeter of field" and the other of which says "a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime located 75 feet away." Neither one describes the field in terms of degrees of arc, and I haven't been able to find a description of this image which does.
tacit
Jan. 26th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
Hey! I have an answer for you, courtesy of math sex goddess Shelly.

The key is in "a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime located 75 feet away." A dime is 17mm in diameter; a dime located 75 feet away covers, with a relatively trivial (for her) calculation of theta=2(tan^-1((.017m/2)/22.86m)), 0.04261 degrees of arc.

Geek chicks are HAWT!

*epilogue* Goddamn Netscape is posting multiple copies of my replies again. If you get this in your inbox a bunch of times, that's why.
scathedobsidian
Jan. 23rd, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
"My God, it's full of stars."
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )