There’s just something so grounding about stargazing. Most of the time, it reminds us that we’re just tiny specks of dust on a planet and our worries are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Other times, it reminds us that there’s a greater world out there worth exploring. NASA’s latest post is a case in point that the universe is a gift that keeps on giving. You just have to know where to look.
On it’s social media outlets, NASA has recently released some stunning and incomprehensible images of the universe. This includes galaxies, remnants of supernovas and planetary nebulas.
The images were processed by its ‘Chandra X-ray Observatory’ aka the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope.
These images aren’t really representative of what the human eye can perceive as they’ve been put together using data from Chandra and other resources.
Let’s go through some of the images:
This is definitely my favourite. I mean just look at it. It’s what Apple wallpapers aspire to be (love those wallpapers though). This is the Helix Nebula which is a star that’s running out of fuel. Real sad backstory.
This image just looks like a movie poster. Or if people could visit space and send postcards. Either way, I want it up on my wall. According to NASA, the cartwheel shape of this galaxy is the result of a violent galactic collision. This happens when a smaller galaxy passes through a large galaxy and produces shock waves.
This just has a really cool name. The M82 or the Cigar galaxy, according to NASA, experiences gravitational interactions with its neighbor, the M81, causing it to have a high rate of star formation. Essentially, a starburst.
I don’t know why but the name Supernova 1987A just screams indie band name. And the image above would be the perfect album art for them. However, according to NASA this is an image of one of the “brightest supernova explosions in centuries”.
You get the point though, space is wild. It’s also so insanely gorgeous that I’m not sure if my eyes are worthy of such a view.
If you’re interested in seeing all the pictures NASA shared including some background knowledge and insight on them, you can gaze in awe here.
Cover image sourced from Twitter