The crazy pictures from the Webb Telescope, a story about a galaxy’s mysterious heartbeat, Jerry Sienfeld’s cosmic trick, and a close encounter with Public Service Broadcasting’s The Race for Space all have helped to keep things in perspective today.
Space is rad.
First, the album I’ve been listening to from the UK group Public Service Broadcasting: The Race for Space. It was released back in 2015 and blends electronica and guitar-driven soundtracks with archival recordings of various milestone events in space exploration during the 1960’s, including John F. Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech. It’s hypnotic.
Here is my favorite track: The Other Side
Second, the story about the mysterious radio burst. Not much info available about it. That makes it even better. Space is still almost completely mysterious. How cool is that! I need more of these reminders in my life.
Astronomers have detected a mysterious radio burst with a pattern akin to a heartbeat emerging from a galaxy about a billion light years away.
The fast radio burst, named FRB 20191221A, was picked up on radio telescope by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (Chime) at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia. Its cause and the galaxy from which it came are unknown.
Next, these recently released images from the Webb Telescope are crazy cool.
This landscape of ‘mountains’ and ‘valleys’ speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth.
Called the Cosmic Cliffs, Webb’s seemingly three-dimensional picture looks like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening. In reality, it is the edge of the giant, gaseous cavity within NGC 3324, and the tallest ‘peaks’ in this image are about 7 light-years high. The cavernous area has been carved from the nebula by the intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from extremely massive, hot, young stars located in the center of the bubble, above the area shown in this image.
Finally, I love this little anecdote about how Jerry Seinfeld kept things in perspective using photos from space.
Jerry Seinfeld kept photos from the Hubble Space Telescope up on the wall in the Seinfeld writing room. “It would calm me when I would start to think that what I was doing was important,” he told Judd Apatow, in Sick in the Head. “You look at some pictures from the Hubble Telescope and you snap out of it.” When Apatow said that sounded depressing, Seinfeld replied, “People always say it makes them feel insignificant, but I don’t find being insignificant depressing. I find it uplifting.”