COSMIC WONDER

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Sometimes I just forget our tiny place in the universe. How minuscule an area our atoms occupy, our Earth dwarfed by the enormity of the cosmos. Too large to fathom, to comprehend.

Moonlight reflecting off the Adriatic Sea and highlighting the boot of Italy.

Moonlight reflecting off the Adriatic Sea and highlighting the boot of Italy.

Like the proverbial kick in the solar plexus I ached in awe at the glorious power, space and size of these images and what they represent. My mind started doing gymnastics before conceding defeat and instead stopped to admire the sheer beauty, scope and energy of the images. Enjoy.

Europa - one of Jupiter's dozens moons - has a an icy surface filled with sprawling faults and deep flowing ridges.

Europa – one of Jupiter’s many moons – has an icy surface filled with sprawling faults and deep flowing ridges.

The pictures form part of a photographic exhibition at the National History Museum, London starting 22nd January 2016.  Called Otherworlds, the exhibition is an exploration of the solar system using some of the hundreds of thousands of images taken by robotic interplanetary probe cameras since the 1960s and recreated by Michael Benson to form the final composite images of the exhibition.

Calm day on Mars overlooking Husband Hill, which was named after Commander Rick Husband. He was the pilot of Colombia Space Shuttle which disintegrated on re-entry in 2003.

A calm day on Mars overlooking Husband Hill, which was named after Commander Rick Husband. He was the pilot of the Columbia Space Shuttle which disintegrated on re-entry in 2003.

 ‘Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.’ Stephen Hawking

 

A giant dust storm on Mars which can last months at a time.

A giant dust storm on Mars which can last months at a time.

Fog at the bottom of the 4,000km long & 6.5 km deep canyon on Mars.

Fog at the bottom of the 4,000km long & 6.5 km deep canyon on Mars.

‘Music in the soul can be heard by the whole universe.’  Lao Tzu

Ginormous solar flares.

Ginormous solar flares.

Credit: Nasa/JPL/Michael Benson, Kinetikon Pictures & BBC News.

https://youtu.be/HOQtTgrdljE