Here is an update on the “Pillars of Creation”. The image shows an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases, which cosmologists call a nebula. This one, called the Eagle Nebula is within the Andromeda Galaxy seven thousand light years away. The massive clumps of matter will attract and eventually become massive enough to form a star, planets, and other objects like our own solar system.
How big is big - almost 10 light years in length. How big is our solar system in light years - a mere 3.7 light years in diameter. And from the sun to the earth, eight minutes.
|Eagle Nebula, original image NASA|
Time enough for a little poetry by William Wordsworth. Ode 536 from Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;