It amazes me always how
little people know about the cosmic reality they live in. For
many it is undoubtedly enough to spend x hours a day turning
round bolts into round holes, take home the case of beer and
today's newspaper, then watch sport on TV, never considering that
they live in the biosphere of a rather ordinary planet, in the
ecosphere of a very typical type G dwarf star, one of a billion
in our local spiral galaxy, itself only one of billions, the
entire assembly moving at break-neck speed towards the
"Great Attractor" in the Virgo Cluster.
Here are a few photos to stimulate your astronomical appetite (pun un-intentional) where each thumbnail leads you to a dedicated page. More such astounding images may be seen at the Astronomy sites I have supplied in Favourite Links
How many others do you know who live here?
Abell 39, a very distant nebula, in fact a phase of a Red Giant star caused when the fusion reactions in a star can no longer continue stably towards the end of the star's life. The star collapses in on itself gravitationally and blows off its outer envelope leaving the core remnant to illuminate the expanding envelope of ejected gases. Such stars narrowly miss becoming supernovae.
One of the strangest phenomena in the universe, a "Gravitational Lens"
Mankind, maturing in the early childhood of its species on Earth, is reaching out of its cradle to the stars were you there when this photo was taken from Apollo 8?
Our nearest major galactic neighbour M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, which looks much like our own seen from far outside its spiral arms. This galaxy is regarded as the furthest astronomical object that can be seen with the naked eye, at 2,2 million light-years distance.
Are we really alone? Astrophysics and cosmogenetic science is discovering that planet formation is far more common than originally thought - it may well be more the rule than the exception...