Every dot in this picture is a galaxy. There are 3,000 in this, alone.
If you held up a dime at arm's length, the area of sky that contains these galaxies is about the size of Roosevelt's eye on the coin.
There are globular clusters so massive, they bend light around themselves. Those blue streaks are all one galaxy, reflected multiple times around the mass of stars in the middle. That blue galaxy is actually behind the globular cluster.
Ionized hydrogen gas, light years across, glowing with stunning colors as solar winds and radiation strip electrons from hydrogen atoms.
A 500 light year (2,939,249,910,000,000 miles!!!!!) long jet of plasma screaming from a supermassive black hole in M87
Milky Way, home sweet home. The bright part is thought to be a supermassive black hole that is attracting millions of stars. It could be anything, though. We don't know!
Our solar system is located in a small spur off the Saggitarius Arm.
Earth and Moon, from Messenger. Look at how small and lonely we are.
Earth, from Mars.
I'm not very good with words. I just wanted to share one of my favourite quotes about this tiny, insignificant little ball of rock and metal, screaming through space around a massive ball of fire, in a backwater spur off the arm of an average galaxy, spinning through space so empty, so vast, with so many other galaxies that our minds can't even comprehend it.
"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
Watch this too.
I think, even with all our problems, most of which we cause — we'll be okay.