Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beauty - Invisible

People who know me, and some of the jobs I do, would probably find it a little surprising that there are many times that I find technology to be invasive and disillusioning. Times like that bring to mind a song from Marillion:

This is the 21st century
I heard everything you said
The universe demystified
Astronomy instead
This is the 21st century
Can't you get it through your head
This ain't the way it was meant to be
Magic isn't dead...

There are definitely many times technology seems to demystify and take the wonder out of the world. Life just seems to speed by.

Then technology - and astronomy - will bring across something like this.

Beauty can be seen in many things: the large, the small, the close, the far, the growing, and the There is a type of magic to it all. Now, with the help of technology, we can see the beauty in the dying and invisible.

The picture here was taken by the Chandra X-Ray observatory. It is of a dying star called a pulsar. This spins around extremely fast and spews forth x-rays in all directions. The high energy x-rays are colored blue, mid-range green, and low-energy red. The whole scene is 150 light years in size and is 17,000 light years away from us - so we are seeing something that is 17,000 years old!

The beauty of it all is quite evident, and we would never be able to see it with the naked eye. It is an invisible beauty that I was truly surprised and happy to see.

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