Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Self. Centred

When I was younger, much, much younger than today, and growing up in the Westcountry, after a hard day I’d relax by waiting until long after nightfall and stepping out into the garden or the fields (depending on where we were living at the time), tilt my head back and lose myself looking up at the stars. It’s a remarkably relaxing experience, and one I suggest everyone should try.

With so much light pollution in the city knocking out everything but the brightest of stars, there isn’t really much to see. Not only that but when the sky is clear and the night is crisp, giving a better view, standing out and the pavement and looking up usually means that anyone walking past gives me a wide berth and a puzzled look. So instead I stay indoors, kick back and browse through HubbleSite.

It’s the perfect antidote for pretty much everything. Especially yesterday when I was pissed about the current state of television drama. You know, I wish I could get all warm and fuzzy about Doctor Who or Primeval or Merlin or Demons or Casualty, Holby City and the rest of all the stinking crap made by clock-watching fucktards. But since I’m not a registered drooling retard, there’s no way that can happen. And I still think anyone who bigs up these trivial little nonsenses while eschewing the far better, more thought-provoking dramas should be beaten around the face and neck with a two-by-four until their head is loose enough to be kicked clean off.

So with that roiling around in my head, I flicked though the images on the Hubble pages until I found this:

click to seriously enlarge

This is the centre of the Milky Way. Combining the sharp imaging of NICMOS, the Hubble Space Telescope's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer, which penetrates the intervening dust clouds obscuring the galactic core, with colour imagery from the Infrared Astronomy Camera from a previous Spitzer Space Telescope survey, the image reveals massive stars and new details in complex structures in the hot ionized gas swirling around the central 300 light-years.

Revel in its beauty and then read more about it here.


At 6:01 pm, Blogger Jon Peacey said...

Still do look up at the stars- I thought I was the last to do so. Thankfully, I've not so much light pollution (or noise) and nobody to look at me askance.

(Agree with you on several of the named programmes.)

At 4:15 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

I stop for stars, sunsets and leaves changing colour. It's amazing the people who glance in the same direction and then look puzzled because they obviously don't see anything of interest. It's the natural world, numpties!


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