Sometimes, when your local spacetime coordinates seem particularly mundane, and the creatures with whom you share your gravity-well struggle to earn the term “sentient,” it’s good to remember that your light cone is huge — somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 light years across if you’re lucky — and there are some pretty amazing things to behold out there.
For instance, look at this fucking supernova:
Taken by the folks at the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the image above shows the Tycho supernova remnant in low energy X-rays (red) and high energy X-rays (blue).
Now look at this fucking motion-controlled time-lapse footage of the South Dakota night sky:
Now read this tragic fucking story. It’s about Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, who was killed on re-entry in his Soyuz-1 space capsule — a death he knew was coming and could not avoid. The complete harrowing account is detailed in the book Starman, by Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony.
And check out this random fucking space fact: First artificial orbiters, by year:
NASA’a MESSENGER orbiter entered Mercury orbit on St. Patrick’s Day and it’s been sending back the first-ever close up images of the surface of the Sun’s nearest companion.
I hope these little gems have soothed any existential angst or knee-jerk nihilism caused by the Universe’s undeniable vastness. As you were.