we’re so small

spitzer space telescope image of sombrero galaxy

In case I don’t have the chance to write anything profound and meaningful before the holiday (I’ve got quite a bit to do before Dana and I leave town for a week), I wanted to leave the year on a high note. There are, as always, a multitude of infuriating things in the news. And I’m all over the place on most of them. When faced with so many questions, when I find my mind wandering in different directions, unable to get settled, unable to express myself in a way that feels right, I am often overwhelmed with the beauty and simplicity that exists in the world all around me. I am overwhelmed, grounded, and humbled.

Or, in this case, right in my own backyard, 8.6 million parsecs away.

This image, taken by NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope, is of an edge-on galaxy, NGC 4594, Messier 104, a.k.a. M104, a.k.a., the Sombrero Galaxy, that’s a mere 28 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo.

We are small, small things, adrift in a vast and limitless universe. And all at once, we are all so close.

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