Who likes to feel small? Well sometimes I like to remember how small I am in the context of our solar system — our galaxy — neighbors to the Milky Way — even beyond, you get the point. One of my favorite exhibits is back up at STScI – the huge panorama of the Andromeda galaxy.
Through 16 days worth of exposures Hubble was able to see down to individual stars across Andromeda in multiple filters, as a part of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program.
I like to pick a spot on this poster and get very close to see the individual points of light. I like the the reminder of how vast our universe is, something that can be easy to forget on day-to-day routine, even if you’re studying it. Beyond the awesome science coming out of these observations, it’s a fantastic example of not only what we are capable of doing, but what excites us, scientist or otherwise. If you see the exhibit, I’d definitely recommend taking a few minutes to admire.
More info about the project: http://www.astro.washington.edu/groups/phat/Home.html