Second image: the “Pillars of Creation” (a portion of the Eagle Nebula 7,000 light-years away) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Before I upload my next post on Galileo, sometimes wrongly credited as the inventor of the telescope, I wanted to whet your appetite for thinking about the profound change in not only our knowledge of the universe since the time of Galileo, but our view of ourselves in light of that knowledge, a view which has been opened up by image-making instruments.
Does one affect you more profoundly than the other: the one that looks back at us from afar, or the one that looks out from our position within the universe?
When you look attentively at each image, what do you feel and think?
Wonder? Fear? Delight? Dread? Gratitude? Indifference? Hope? Doom? Pride? Humility?
Be sure to have a listen to Sagan’s famous description of the pale blue dot I linked to above.