Monday, January 30, 2006

Look on the bright side

"My God, it's full of stars!"-2001, a Space Odyssey.

"Many people believe that current physics and mathematics are, on balance, contributing usefully to the survival of mankind in a state of dignity. We disagree. But should humans survive, gazing at stars in a clear night will remain one of the things that make existence nontrivial. We hope that at some point this book will remind you of the first time you looked up."-Sachs, Wu, General Relativity for Mathematicians

The center of our galaxy, as seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope, in the infrared range. Right at the brightest spot lies a supermassive black hole, like a ruling Neptune in the eye of the storm.

Follow this link and go to the bottom of the page if you want to see an amazing 40 Megabyte version of this picture. Now, how big does your ego feel?

(this one is for you, M.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

gazing at the sky in a clear night allows me to experience self-alienation in the most gratifying way... i am not “here” anymore, i am nowhere, i am everywhere…there are laws of magnetism (or whatever) of other kind…but also that impotence, that somewhat despair feeling…of not being able to “be” (or at least to absorb) the universe itself… yes…gazing at the stars makes our little petty existence pointless…in a comfortably relieving way

…and indeed that “is” the (ultimate – needless to say) question – what of one’s self now…

many thanks,