i know this image has already been posted so many times today, but i’ve been looking at it all night, sitting in awe. a renewed feeling of what i have often felt when looking up at a clear night sky – a combination of the smallness of my life and this moment, yet the vastness of the entire thing, and immense gratitude to be a part of it. stardust looking onto stardust.
this galaxy cluster is SMACS 0723. NASA states on their website, “This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground…The image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago.”
i wonder what cluster SMACS 0723 looks like now.galaxy clusters can contain 100s to 1000s of galaxies in them. our own Milky Way galaxy has at least 100 billion stars in it (some say possibly up to 400 billion). on average each star has at least one planet orbiting it. some estimate there to be 100 to 200 billion planets or more in our Milky Way galaxy.
there’s no place for hubris in such vastness. no place for pride or ego. no place for trying to control and oppress. no place for taking away rights. no place for war and conquering. awe and gratitude are the only appropriate response, and love. those can be our offerings to each other and to the universe.
looking forward to the release of more photos today (7/12) from the James Webb Telescope.
#JamesWebbTelesope #NASA #space #life #universe #GalaxyClusters #SMACS0723 #JinpaLhaga
information via nasa.gov
📸 Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI