These amazing photos of space will totally boggle your mind by making you realize just how small we are in the grand scheme of things. People tend to forget that space, like that which we see in movies, is just above our heads and not just in people’s imaginations or on TV screens.
If we look up, just behind that blue haze we call the sky, is a vast emptiness which may as well go on for infinity. The reality is that we simply don’t know anything when it comes to the world around us. Literally! The whole of human understanding when it comes to the universe, or multiverse for that matter, is comparable to only a drop of water in the ocean.
1. We see a bit more than just half the Moon at night
We only see one side of the moon every night because of a phenomena known as “tidal locking“. This basically means that it takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its partner (the Earth). But as you can see, our Moon reveals a bit more than just half.
2. The Sun’s reflection off of Titan’s oceans
This image was taken by the Cassini Spacecraft which was, lets say at the right place at the right time. It shows the Sun‘s reflection of off Saturn‘s moon, Titan. The ocean the light reflects from is not water however, but actually hydrocarbon.
3. The real distance between the Moon and Earth
The distance between the Earth and our Moon is greater than you think. 384,400 km may not sound that much, but when looking at this image, we realize that it’s a lot. And just as a fun fact, if we were to stretch out our own DNA strands and put them end to end, they would reach the Moon and back 1500 times! Now that’s a lot of information!
4. Olympus Mons is the largest mountain in our Solar System
If you think Mount Everest is large, just take a look at this monstrosity. Located on the surface of Mars, Olympus Mons towers some 21,229 meters (88,600 feet) as compared to Everest which is only 8,848 meters. It’s caldera at the summit is 53 miles across and the whole mountain is the size of the state of Arizona.
It’s so large that if you were standing at the edge of the caldera, the base of this huge volcano would be off the horizon. It practically curves with the surface of the planet. It’s top is so high up that it sticks out of the Martian atmosphere.
5. A star went Supernova
A star similar to our own Sun went Supernova some 600 years ago in southern constellation of Dorado (The Dolphinfish) some 150,000 light-years from Earth. what we see here are are the remains of that powerful explosion which took place in a time when Europeans were just beginning to set sail for the Americas.
6. This is how it looks when two galaxies collide
A new Very Large Telescope (VLT) image of the Antennae Galaxies gives us what may be the second-best visible-light view yet of this striking pair of colliding galaxies with dramatically distorted shapes.
This amazing object takes its name from the long antenna-like “arms” extending far out from the nuclei of the two galaxies, best seen in wider-field images by ground-based telescopes such as the one at this link. This VLT view focuses instead on the galaxies nuclei, where the real action is taking place as the two galaxies merge into a single giant galaxy.
7. This is how the skyline will look like 2 billion years from now
Similar to the Antennae Galaxies mentioned before, our own galaxy, The Milky Way will have the same fate. The Andromeda Galaxy at 2.5 million light years away and the closest to our own is coming towards us. Predictions say that in some 4 billion years these two galaxies will form a larger one. The fate of our Earth is uncertain for when this will happen, since it will be a possibility that it will be flung into deep space, but by that time it’s more likely that the Sun will die out, taking us with it.
8. The heart of the Tarantula Nebula. A place where stars are born
Within the Tarantula Nebula, 30 Doradus is the brightest star-forming region in our galactic neighborhood and home to the most massive stars ever seen. The nebula resides 170 000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. No known star-forming region in our galaxy is as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus.
9. Hubble reveals heart of Lagoon Nebula
The Lagoon Nebula is estimated to be between 4,000-6,000 light years from the Earth. Beautiful, isn’t it!
10. The surface of Venus
Believe it or not, the high atmosphere of Venus is the most welcoming of environments in the entire Solar System, capable of sustaining human life. It’s surface on the other hand is another matter altogether. With pressures similar to over a kilometer of water and temperatures above 450 degrees Celsius, not to mention the sulfuric acid rains, visiting this planet’s surface is not such a great idea.