Take a moment to gaze at this photo:
There are over 10,000 galaxies in this photograph. Each made up of billions of stars. Every single point of light that you can see is a galaxy, a galaxy that may be home to worlds very much like our own. How many triumphant civilizations are there? How many races on the brink of self destruction? How many wonders that we shall never see? We live in a universe that is unimaginably vast, and this picture gives us the merest glimpse into that incredible enormity.
This picture was taken when scientists decided to point the Hubble telescope at an apparently blank area of sky, and this is what they saw. The most incredible sight. As Carl Sagan once said of the tiny image of Earth as a pale blue dot, taken from the Voyager space craft as it drifted away from its home; “astronomy is a humbling and character building exercise”. This is perhaps the most profoundly humbling thing that we shall ever see in our lifetimes. Profoundly humbling, and profoundly inspiring. We might be small, and insignificant on this massive scale, but how can one not be filled with awe at the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos we inhabit?
This is the most important image ever taken.