When I worked at Quest, my friend Mark loaned me a poster of the Hubble Deep Field for me to hang on my office wall. Occasionally I would just sit and stare at it, trying to fathom the immensity of the universe. For those unfamiliar with the poster, the Hubble telescope chose a random coordinate in the night sky and took a long exposure of it. The targeted area was about the size of your thumb if you held out your extended arm against the nighttime star field. What it revealed was astounding: not only thousands of stars, but thousands (if not more) of galaxies as well, and this was only one tiny section of the night sky.
This morning I read an article by Phil Plait on Slate.com and it featured a similar photograph. I was going to post the photo directly in here, but it’s over 11 MB and I only bought 250 MB for this site. I may have to upgrade sooner than anticipated.
But you really ought to look at the photo, preferably in all its enlarged glory. So here’s the link.
Be sure to view it in its max size and just take it all in (yes, that’s what she said), then scroll around a bit. The galaxy in the center is cool, but look around the edges as well. What you’re seeing is a panoply of not merely other stars, but other galaxies! Can you wrap your head around that?