How It Works

Video: The universe is huge

For your information, when the camera pans out of our galaxy it refers to the areas of the universe we have observed, which appear to be in a slightly odd and specific geometric shape. This is due to the positioning of telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres; they cannot see the entire night sky due to the curvature of the Earth. It is only now, with more telescopes in orbit around Earth, that we are beginning to observe these unseen regions.

  • George S

    Oh, my, lord.
    That was brilliant. I can’t believe we’ve that many satellites in orbit, and I can’t believe that scientists/astronomers have already mapped that many galaxys and stars. It’s unbelievable.



    • I know, it’s amazingly impressive! A famous quote from Carl Sagan from his book “Pale Blue Dot” really sums it up for me:

      “Look again at that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

      There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

  • Allan Beikmohamadi

    Absolutely amazing!

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  • Steve Wynn

    WOW this shows how small and insignificant we are really, it shows how easly we can be missed by onlookers, we are an amazing species on an amazing world in an amazing universe, and what do we do, we destroy, manipulate and take for granted what we have.

    We dont deserve what we have, if we carry on destroying our little speck of blue and carry on with greed before survival and evolution and advancment, we wont deserve to move on into the universe.

    We should respect nature and what she provides and shows us, if we pull together and stop war, hunger, pollution and greed we can accomplish anything.

    Why can all world powers band together and create a world space agency and each nation makes a contribution dependant on there nations ecomomy then we may branch out back to the moon then mars then to the nearest star, im sure if this happened science would come on leaps and bounds.

    These days people have forgotten what got humankind to the moon in the first place with the right stuff, if they didnt do it right it would of been death, but these days they have to go through red tape and procedures and meet standards and we are at a stand still.

    COME ON WE CAN DO BETTER WE ARE HUMAN WE RULE AND ARE AWSOME COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • A comment this video deserved, nice one Steve.

      However, I would like to make a point regarding the successful moon landings, the lack of further significant milestones to date and the red tape you mentioned.

      As I’m no doubt sure you are aware, the speed with which the Apollo mission was pushed through and launched was due in large part to competition from Russia, as seen throughout all early human space achievements from Yuri Gagarin to Mir. However, that isn’t to say there weren’t similar levels of red tape back in the day, and it is very important to remember that the moon landings were no easy achievement.

      In order to keep interest in space exploration and ensure funding is not cut, missions undertaken by NASA and other space agencies must do their utmost to ensure there are no failures. Imagine if Apollo 13 had not made it home; would the moon landings still have been so revered with such a loss of life?

      Then there’s the Columbia and Challenger disasters. Both went through this red tape, and both tragically ended in the loss of human life, showing that even the most stringent safety preparation can sometimes not be enough. When dealing with space exploration and possibly human landings on other worlds such as Mars, it is very much necessary to have a large degree of patience. While there is talk of setting foot on Mars by the 2030s, we must remain realistic and not rush into any mission which could fail. If humans were to perish on their way to Mars or the Moon, if the ISS suffered a life-threatening disaster, or if one of countless many other problems arose, space exploration as we know it would take a huge step backwards and the reverberations would be felt for years to come.

      Yes, a worldwide space exploration agency would be a great move and yes, quicker and more frequent missions could be potentially beneficial but we must not get ahead of ourselves and take things one step at a time. Space exploration is still an area in which we have barely 50 years of experience, and it will take tens or even hundreds of years before we are able to fully appreciate the benefits of manned space exploration.

      Otherwise, nice comment, just thought I should air some of my views…

  • eva

    CRICKEY! 🙂

  • Afton

    “- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” exquisite, Carl Sagan … gone too soon. Oh, what we could, if we only would!