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Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Hubble Deep Field: The Most Important Image Ever Taken (Video)

In 2003, the Hubble Space Telescope took the image of a millennium, an image that shows exactly how insignificantly small we are. Anyone who understands what this image represents is forever changed by it. If you are the kind of person who has an over-exaggerated sense of his own importance, just take a few minutes of your time and watch this video. I can guarantee that you will be humbled by what you see in it. Enjoy the show.

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  • Absolutely amazing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:54 PM  

  • Wow!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 PM  

  • Wow! How absolutely amazing it is that some people can watch a video with such awe inspiring images, and still find something petty to complain about. How small-minded can you get?

    Truly amazing video!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:02 AM  

  • This makes me want to kill myself because I am so worthless and insignificant!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:19 AM  

  • If you are a thinking person, you would have stopped breathing out of amazement, and not thought a think of the narrator or tissues - or of yourself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 AM  

  • If you are a thinking person, you would have stopped breathing out of amazement, and not thought of the narrator, or tissues - or of yourself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 AM  

  • It's a shame that we're still so grounded, I can't help but feel the need to investigate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:59 AM  

  • Certainly the most important image ever captured by humanity

    By Blogger Spacewatcher, at 2:24 AM  

  • I watched this and realised I'm not insignificant at all! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:46 AM  

  • 78 billion galaxies and w are the one's stuck with Zamfir flute soundtracks for our short astronomical features.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 AM  

  • this is an amazing vid. thanks for posting it. though i have to admit, i chuckled when the narrator said "and we got this..." and it looked like my old Win 95 "star field" screensaver came on.

    don't miss my point. it was a good vid.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:05 AM  

  • What is truley amazing is that someone makes claims about having the most important picture ever take. Bold statement, but since you have such a super important picture here I'm pretty sure you will be recognized for all your efforts. And if someone say anything else it just because they don't get 'it'.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:16 AM  

  • absolutely awesome.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:19 AM  

  • wow thats awesome, numa numa ruined it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:19 AM  

  • A question - in US English is a billion commonly used to mean a thousan million or a million million these days (it varies around the world)

    By Blogger Steve, at 7:24 AM  

  • The Music is annoying??? It's Pink Floyd man!! it's great... Great video too....

    By Blogger ALRO, at 7:26 AM  

  • Good video

    Too bad I still have to go to work to put food on the table...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:56 AM  

  • i swear that a lot of this work i had scene almost 3 years ago at the denver museum of science and nature. the narration sounds the same as when i first saw the show on the imax screen. many of the graphics are the same. i can't remmeber who did it. i couldn't find any information on the site. all i have to say is that if it is the same one that i saw back then, at least it wasn't the numa numa kid.lu

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:19 AM  

  • Not sure who originally wrote the music, but I know it as "Ride on" by Christy Moore (with lyrics)

    (legal) Sample found here : http://www.amazon.com/Christy-Moore/dp/B000002IMA

    The vid itself is cool, but the numa numa part was a poor attempt at humor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:33 AM  

  • "A picture of 78 billion light-years."

    WTF? The universe is only like 14 billion LY across...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:51 AM  

  • "WTF? The universe is only like 14 billion LY across..."

    No, Mr. Smartypants. The universe is about 14 billion years old.

    Now, being a self-styled smartypants, I'm sure you'll immediately think, "But it started at a point, and the maximum speed is the speed of light, so it can only be 14 billion light years across!"

    No, Mr. Smartypants, that would mean -- if that logic were correct -- that it could only be twenty-eight billion light years across.

    "Fine, fine," you think, still confident in your self-styled smartypantsitude, "but 28 is not 78".

    That's the first correct thing you've said, Mr. Smartypants: 28 is not 78. Congratulations. However, Mr. Smartypants, that simplistic "28" fails to take into account cosmic inflation.

    The universe is generally agreed to be 14 billion years old and 156 billion light years across (just to be clear, Mr. Smartypants, that's 78 billion light years in radius).

    One would think that an actual smartypants would have known this. Nonetheless, it's somewhat esoteric, so I suppose it's believable that there might be some actual smartypants somewhere who has thus far missed this information.

    But one would be amazed to find an actual smartypants who didn't know the difference between radius and diameter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 AM  

  • start -> run -> calc ->
    1000000x1000 = 100000000000

    1 million million... 1 billion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 AM  

  • Em... can I really have been the only person to wanna comment on that guy in the middle of the film dancing to the techno music? Like seriously? WTF was that about? :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:03 AM  

  • God did a pretty good job eh?

    By Blogger platts42, at 10:07 AM  

  • I think the main reason the author added the numa numa guy in the video is to show us that people, even if our galaxy is so huge, continue to live their lives without thinking about the universe that surrounds them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:09 AM  

  • Was this extrapolated from a piece of strawberry shortcake? I feel like I'm the most important person in it.

    Zaphod Beeblebrox

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:46 AM  

  • what does it matter how big the universe is? you're all so hung up on size! the point is , it's in all probability too big for even the highest I.Q. to comprehend! properly. As other comments have outlined perfectly as a race we have an overwhelming need to show everybody how clever they are? but if the only thing you can take away from watching this is an aloof! sense of pride that you can point out a mistake! then all your doing is helping the narrator outline how insignificant we really are! and how small minded and petty we prove to be! in short-GROW UP!! & get yourself a girlfriend!
    i think it was worth watching if for nothing more than reminding me how awe inspiring our solar system is!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 AM  

  • Meh. I've understood the size of the universe for ages. Or at least roughly - The mind cannot comfortably conceive what is, in essence, infinity. We will never see the edge of the universe as it is moving too fast for us to see.

    Very well-made video.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 AM  

  • Damn we are ignorant to think that WE are the only life in the Universe. Great video it really puts how big the universe really is into perspective for us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 AM  

  • Thats the most amazing thing i have ever seen in my entire life, that kid could dance and he makes me feel so small in the world now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:52 AM  

  • Honestly, that music has to go. Not the Pink Floyd but that cheesy ass electronic flute thing needs to go. I can't comprehend the size of the universe simply because that thing was screeching the whole video, it has nothing to do with the actual size.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:08 PM  

  • Great video, despite the pointless Numa Numa cut and slightly annoying music (it seemed to be on a short loop!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:09 PM  

  • Here is a better version:

    "A Tiny Glimpse"


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 PM  

  • I think Douglas Adams says it better than this video, "Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space." I don't think a picture of what's out there is as important as the first picture taken looking back at us, i.e. the Earth. It is apparently one of the most popular photos on the planet. These Hubble photos may be pin-ups in the calendars of "smart" people, but even with a Pink Floyd soundtrack and a comatose narrator, it doesn't say to me it's important. In fact, it's taken plenty of other much more important photos. Alas, they don't look so pretty, and only "smart" people understand what they represent.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 PM  

  • Incredible and humbling. As George W. Bush so eloquently stated in Rome on July 22, 2001, "I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe — I believe what I believe is right." Amen.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:50 PM  

  • it is amazing, and i have been studying this stuff for years.
    just the simple fact that we as human beings, there still are colors that we have never seen before, and without seeing, our brains cannot comprehend a thought of a color that we have never witnessed. your brain can only use what you put into your mind, to think outside the box is almost impossible, unless we learn to use the other percentage of our unused brain.
    its absolutely astonishing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:47 PM  

  • well... if it's great pictures you want ... i grab images from here for backgrounds:


    awesome pics there... some of mars, others of galaxies - some of the shuttle... it's awe-inspiring.

    By Blogger ALRO, at 3:49 PM  

  • The entire premise of this video is fallacious...

    The mere fact that we human beings are physically small compared to the cosmos as a whole means nothing in terms of our significance. Surely if mere physical size were the deciding factor then elementary particles such as electrons, quarks, etc should be so utterly without significance as to be barely worth mentioning.

    As I watched the video I recalled an ancient Taoist aphorism: 'We are that in which the earth comes to appreciate itself.' Because what is truly amazing about this video is the consciousness that allowed it to come into being.

    Personally, I could care less about stars, galaxies, spiral nebulae... They don't care about us, and they don't care about themselves. What I care about is sentient life, wherever it is in the universe, and whatever shape it takes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:01 PM  

  • amazing video!! we can look at it from one point of view and say we are insignificant. but maybe the reason for this magnificense is something else... maybe it shows us how awesome and magnificent God is... cheers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 PM  

  • that video made me feel the need to quote calvin and hobbes here:

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."w

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 PM  

  • It's true that, until fairly recent times, human beings believed the universe to be vastly smaller than we know it to be today. But we also have to remember than during mediaeval times physical distances in general seemed much greater. A thousand miles was a gigantic distance for the ordinary person in the middle ages. So even though the medieval conception of the size of the universe was, by our standards, a gross underestimate, it still must have seemed incomprehensibly large to the common man at that time.

    Interestingly, it's also a myth that prior to the Renaissance the earth was generally believed to be flat. For example, Dante refers to the earth as a sphere in 'The Divine Comedy'. And Bede (c.672–735) said the same thing in 'The Reckoning of Time'. Indeed, the idea that people in the middle ages believed the earth to be flat is a misconception which only arose in the 19th century.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 PM  

  • As amazing as all of this is, what's most important is happening right down here on Earth. We can not stare into the heavens in awe and forget to live our our lives.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 PM  

  • a billon is a thousand-millon not a millon-millon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:41 PM  

  • One of the many Anonymous commenters said:

    "Personally, I could care less about stars, galaxies, spiral nebulae... They don't care about us, and they don't care about themselves. What I care about is sentient life, wherever it is in the universe, and whatever shape it takes."

    The point here, too, is that there must be sentient life elsewhere other than on earth. And so, to find it, we must care about what is up there. We have to look for it. It's human nature to be curious. WE look towards the stars because it's there!

    Sure - as one of the last commenters pointed out: "We can not stare into the heavens in awe and forget to live our our lives." This is true. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't look into space and learn all we can.

    By Blogger ALRO, at 4:44 PM  

  • The heavens declare the glory of God.... Look at these remarkable photos and ask yourself "Who created this?" " How did this occur?" "What power holds everything in place?" The atheist says it's all an accident. The believer says there's intelligent design at work here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:20 PM  

  • Lots of galaxies, lots of stars, lots of planets. By sheer weight of numbers, many of them must support life, and some of it must be intelligent. So we aren't alone in the universe after all.

    That's fine on the surface, but this is not a numbers game exclusively. Not only is the distance of the Earth's orbit critical to life, but so is the Earth's rotation. And so is having a moon of the right size and distance. And so is being in an area of space where we're not pelted with asteroids every few years. Then there's all the lucky breaks we got growing up. That the dinosaurs got zapped - however they got zapped. That left a worldwide niche for mammals to expand and evolve. And I could go on - way on.

    What I'm getting at is that if each of these factors eliminates a few billion planets out there, the remaining ones that may support life of any kind, let alone intelligent, then it starts to look like planets that support long-term, civilized, intelligent life are not so numerous - perhaps very few overall. So the nearest one might still be immensely far away.

    And, hey, they may be the kind of interstellar explorers we've always wanted to meet. Klatu (however it's spelled) from "Forbidden Planet." But, given our own miserable experience of the (relatively) sophisticated civilizations of the Old World interacting with the natives of the New World, I am content to let the space people stay wither they are. Far, far away.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:20 PM  

  • Fantastic video. The depth is staggering. Made me tingle. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:28 PM  

  • "shine on you crazy diamond"
    indeed shine on... good touch with the pink floyd song

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:37 PM  

  • Well anonymous, just keep on believing, too bad your choice of what to believe in is completely unsupported by the facts.. but hey you can always make something new up to fit in somewhere eh?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:15 PM  

  • this post is the equivilant of a 7-10 split in hyperboling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:16 PM  

  • Too bad we can't see it on dial-up.
    For Steve: A thousand million is a Billion. A million million is a Trillion. To see a thousand million just add three zeros to a million, 1,000,000,000 Wah-Lah you have a billion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:18 PM  

  • Your logic is clouded, cloudman. Go ahead and assign a probability for all of your 'life' criteria. What's the % chance of all those things happening? 0.0000000001%? Smaller? Larger? Why?

    Until you can quantify your argument it means nothing. The information in the vid provides quantitative information for the number of stars in the deep-field view. What you did was argue qualitatively, which provides no real value other than to sway the weak-minded.

    For those that are interested in a parameter-driven calculator for the probability of extraterrestrial life, check out the Drake Equation calculator at http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/SETI/drake_equation.html


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 PM  

  • The Hubble Deep Field picture always amazes me. I liked the video but there is a thought that I think makes it even easier (or harder...) to comprehend: if you picked up a grain of sand and held it about arms length from you face against the night sky, that is how much of the sky the Deep Field image takes up.

    How many grains of sand can you fit in the sky? How many Galaxies are in one "grain of sand"? How many more galaxies might we see if Hubble looked for 30 days instead of 10? How many more galaxies are in the dark spots on the Deep Field image?

    How good God is to us, that we live in a place were life can be so pleasant, we shouldn't take that for granted. In my college Astronomy class we have already learned dozens of details that if changed minutely would make life here impossible (not to say we must be the only ones)

    PS. In America, 1 billion is a thousand million. 1,999,000,000 is 'one billion nine-hundred-ninety-nine million'

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:14 AM  

  • Were looking at the past. That was 78 billion years ago, by definition light years means how fast light travels in a year. So if thats 78 billion light years away, then thats what it looked like 78 billion years ago. It'd be different now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:54 AM  

  • Just makes you realize, there is noone looking over us. There is no god. And you'd have to be a fool to think otherwise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:51 AM  

  • Let's go and visit them :-).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:53 AM  

  • "start -> run -> calc ->
    1000000x1000 = 100000000000

    1 million million... 1 billion

    By Anonymous, at 9:20 AM"

    So after trying to be a smartass and teach others how to answer their own questions, you show your utter ignorance even with the help of a calculator. Baffling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:18 AM  

  • God tells us.. Wait a minit.. Sorry, just joking. This was absolutely AMAZING. Just to think that is what we are missing as we look at orion's belt, for example. It is Awe inspiring. and it is still expanding.. Wow, kudos.

    By Blogger Graehaus, at 6:25 AM  

  • I guess importance is judged by how much of a realization, or impact, it has on the life and beliefs of others. For example, being the Kind of England might be considered important because you can potentially affect millions of people's lives, and like it or not, their "belief" over who's king will change to include your name.

    Same with this photo. In the category of all pictures ever taken, we would have to factor in its impact over the number of people who have seen it, and compare it with other important photos.

    This photo has probably not gotten enough publication to be considered THE most important photo ever taken.

    I'd say the first photo showing the Earth really is round, or of man on the moon, have affected people's beliefs a lot more than this photo. All it does is put into perspective something that a lot of people already knew. At least that's the way I see it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:26 AM  

  • Why is it anytime someone mentions their believe in god - cussing always ensues...

    Please, people... be topical .. let's all be friendly geeks and view the video for what it is .. and leave rhetoric out of the discussion???

    By Blogger ALRO, at 4:38 PM  

  • I agree that the most powerful images have been of earth from space. Every astronaut of every nation has said something about how small it looks and how thin and fragile it's atmosphere. That's why I'm a big supporter of the space program. Too bad that the Israeli and Palestinian astronauts were lost with the Challenger - they had beautiful things to say that they likely would have brought back to their people after working together in science.
    Once we realize how fragile our planet is and how far away any _possilbe_ life would have to be, and how unhospitable the rest of our solar system is, we certainly must understand that we are all have to work together so that all people (and even non-sentient earthlings) can continue to thrive in our humble, beautiful home in this tiny "corner" of the universe.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:02 PM  

  • amazing, but at the end he says its 78 billion light years away so that means that the stars we are seeing could be "burned out" and not exist any more because it takes the light that long to reach to here

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:08 PM  

  • To put such big numbers in perspective, increments of time usually work well. Take "seconds" for instance.

    One million seconds ago was 11 days ago.

    One billion seconds ago was 32 years ago, (disco baby!!)

    and One trillion seconds ago was 32 thousand years ago, about the time modern man started walking the earth.

    One trillion is a big number.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:44 PM  

  • please forgive my simple mind, but one post said the universe is ever growing. I know its impossible to know at this time, but what do our brightest minds belive the universe is growing into. I will probably never know in my lifetime, but i always wonder what our universe is expanding into, is it just black space or is it another universe? also if there is no end or even if there is an end point in the universe what confines it? this video is even more awsome high btw.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:41 AM  

  • I gotta admit, even before that dancing kid, I was waiting for the punchline. Felt so... planetarium. Production quality aside, the message remains as important as any of the many astonishing quests humanity has/is/will undertake. To think we've come so far in just a trillion seconds... (which is a million million btw)
    I can't grasp how such an image of incomprehensible vastness can possibly make anyone feel insignificant. That would imply that all life in this universe is insignificant.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:56 AM  

  • wow...

    ..and we're in the middle, right?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 PM  

  • the ultra deep field is literally the most amazing photo ever, it shows just how much there is in the universe in just a small dark patch, its crazy, and beautiful

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:29 PM  

  • When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?...
    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

    By Blogger Cpthilton, at 4:40 PM  

  • Wow, I wonder if all the Jesus freaks will shut up after this video. Considering there is nothing about life on other planets in the bible.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:26 PM  

  • Interesting but I think the eye of god photo taken by hubble is cooler.

    Pale blue dot also ranks up there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:30 PM  

  • Wow! To quote the famous poet, David, who had only his naked eye ...
    "When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
    ?what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"
    (Ps 8:3-4).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:34 PM  

  • Quite frankly, i dont think its staggering, ive come to accept that we are but nothing in the unviverse, our mere existance is negligible. That said, why spend our time contemplating that which does not matter, you can look at it and see just how meaningless our lives are, or you can look at it and see just how meaningless the picture is, so what if there are millions of billions of galaxies, so what? It makes no difference to our lives, fact is, all we have is our lives right here on earth, and these revalations these enlightening images, they do nothing to better or worsen that. Far from being the most important image taken by humanity, it seems to me to be one of the least important.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:07 AM  

  • What I'm wondering is whether that view is so far away that it shows the galaxies in the universe when it was so much younger and so much smaller that if we look the same distance in a different direction, will we see the same ancient galaxies from a different angle? How far would we have to look to see that kind of effect?

    By Blogger solak, at 1:15 AM  

  • Oh wow the universe is so huge, I am going to lay on my back in awe and forget about my worries and working for a living in a dumbfounded stupor. As insignificant as Earth may be to the universe, the human brain has the potential to make us signficantly miserable, regardless of how big the universe is. Some people are incapable of experiencing joy due to mental illness, what relevence does space have to correcting the brain to a state of neurological happiness. Structure and order on Earth are dictated, and we are inclined to be morally obligated to function within a government. Social intimidation is as real as time and space itself. So in conclusion I say that we live on Earth and always will in our lifetime. If an alien species comes and gives us the technology to live with the joy of feeling like we're on powdered cocaine permanently with no responsibilities, then, and only then, will I marvel at the universe.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 AM  

  • Numa Numa was hilarious. Truly appropriate as a counterpoint. I find it difficult to believe that others don't *get it*! The music and narration were excellent. Can those who criticize do better? I think not....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:30 AM  

  • And I thought someone had hacked the video..hm..

    Ok..I know that I'll get jumped on for this but the way I see it is the same way I felt when I looked down from the Sears Tower to the street below. Every person down there was as an ant from that perspective. Yet, how great is God's love for us that, though each of us is so miniscule in relation to all He has created, He cared to make a way for us to be close to Him..yes, Jesus (God come to Earth)..to take our filthiness and make us acceptable. That is love..and grace. And THAT is the most awesome image of all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:39 PM  

  • Honestly.
    I makes me kind of depressed.
    Considering i'm stuck on this planet,
    with these egomanical jackasses that rule it,
    when i could be out there, in just the milkyway in one 3000 different starsystems, each bearing the possibilty of life and civilisation.
    Because honestly. We've got life on this planet, but civilisation? Hardly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:46 AM  

  • very enjoyable,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:37 AM  

  • Think about this all you depressed souls!!!

    O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring,
    Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill'd with the foolish,
    Of myself forever reproaching myself,
    Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the
    struggle ever renew'd,
    Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I
    see around me,
    Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me
    The question, O me! so sad, recurring--What good amid these,
    O me, O life?

    That you are here--that life exists and identity,

    (Walt Whitman)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:02 AM  

  • Why is it that people in general don't have a clue about the grandeur about the universe in which we life. People are so wrapped-up in day to day events that are unimportant and it makes me sad. Sad in a way that they are unable, or unwilling to take part in a journey that would let them see how important, and how precious they truly are. We are not insignificant. On the contrary. The very fact that you are here is a statement on how important you really are. Love the journey whatever way you can. Just my opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:40 AM  

  • Ok did some math:)

    So the universe is 78000000000 lightyears in length (from one galaxy on the edge of the universe, to the one on the other side)

    Now the speed of light is 300000 m/s,
    there are 31536000 sec. in one year.
    One light year is 9460800000km.

    So 78000000000 * 9460800000 = 7,379424^20 km..............
    That is: 737942400000000000000 km across........

    Correct me if im wrong:)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:46 AM  

  • Inside Outthere!!!
    Seeing up close, much further away. lol

    Many of the comments have just made my day!

    Some Deep, some shallow, some utterly hilarious :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:59 AM  

  • whatever

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:14 PM  

  • are you fat?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:17 PM  

  • nice video,
    nothing I haven't thought of before though

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:18 PM  

  • i cried. i'm not even joking

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 PM  

  • For the record, the universe is NOT 78 billion years old. And no, it's not 6000 years old either. According to the best estimates of astrophysicists it's about 14 billion years old.

    So how can there be galaxies 78 billion light years away? Because the universe is expanding. Think of it this way: you have a deflated balloon. You take a magic marker and draw a one inch line across the surface of the balloon. When you inflate the balloon, the line will be much longer. The same thing is happening with the universe, more or less.

    Also, a billion is not just one thousand million in the US, it's one thousand million everywhere.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 AM  

  • Jeremy, sorry but your wrong about the "1 billion = 1,000 million everywhere in the world" statement.

    One billion equals 10^12 in most European countries: France, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Sweeden, Finland, Croatia, Portugal, Slovenia, and Iceland - they all still use the "long scale" system (échelle longue).

    Pretty much evrywhere else it equals 10^9 (échelle court).


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 AM  

  • wow...

    ..and we're in the middle, right?


    By egocentric diot, at 1:02 PM

    Only if you're christian.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 AM  

  • For a reason I have yet to find out, I used to be obsessed with space and astronomy (grew up watching Star Trek).
    Now I look at these photos of stars and planets "millions of light years away" and think - who gives a shit? Too much money spent on taking "nice photos" of things so bloody far away and look at the mess of own planet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:26 PM  

  • Whoever says that the image shown is the single most important image ever created by humanity is not truly humbled. Or she/he is humbled only by space and by large numbers, not by humanity and it's creations.

    So what if space is that huge?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 PM  

  • Our star is in a galaxy, one of five hundred thousand million ->IN the Milky Way<-?

    Is that what he really said?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:19 PM  

  • The star is one of five hundred thousand in the milky way, rather than the galaxy being one of five hundred thousand in the milk way.

    jfc wins

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  

  • Not bad, but I actually prefer this rendition:


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:26 PM  

  • What an inspiration for those blessed with curiosity and imagination. I'm in awe!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 PM  

  • Well, regarding the comment that said: "and pleople still think there is a God", I'll have to say that, the video gives me the feeling that there's a great mystery behind everything, and it goes further beyond human comprehension. I'm kind of an agnostic you know, I believe in science, but I still think that there's something there. I mean, just look at it...
    As Stanley Kubrick said:
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:24 PM  

  • God is magnificent. He created it all in an instant with a thought. The more we discover about this universe He has made the more glorious He becomes to us.

    Dale Painter

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 PM  

  • Some of you might be justifiably depressed, some of you just have parasites of the soul.

    Its the wonders of nature we behold.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:16 AM  

  • We may never know the size and age of the universe. As reported in ASTRONOMY magazine, a planet was found that appeared to be approx 13 billion years old, which some don't believe could exist in a 14 billion year old universe. Perhaps the Hubble constant isn't quite so constant after all.

    Now if you want a really big number to wrap yourselves around...it was also reported as a best guess that there are approximately 70 sextillion stars in the universe. In the USA, thats 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 70*10^21. Seems kind of low to me after seeing this video.

    But the chances of a civilization surviving a billion years, much less 14 billion years would be about zero. There's a pretty good chance that unless there are third generation stars out there (we live with a second genreation star or Pop II star), the more distant galaxies in this video have long since burned out.

    And no, we are not the center of the universe. If we were, everything would be moving away from us. But there are a number of galaxies heading toward us. If you want the center, find the youngest galaxies, not the oldest.

    And lastly, at least in the US the number progression is: million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion, and so on.

    We may live on a tiny little speck in the universe, but its the only one we got. So lets take care of it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 AM  

  • For a long time, since elementary school, I have been one of those "use big numbers" people. That's probably why this video didn't amaze me; I've seen stuff like this since I was 7.

    Whoever said there are 78 billion galaxies, 78x10^9 is the WIDTH of the universe, in light years. There are large galaxies every million or so light years, which is 1/78000 of the width of the universe. Cube that, for a rough estimate, and you have around 400 trillion (billion in long scale). And that's not even counting the smaller galaxies, or the fact that galaxies tend to form clusters.

    For future reference:
    14x10^9: Age of the universe
    78x10^9: Width of the universe
    1 Ginormous Crapload: the number of galaxies thought to exist
    5x10^8: Number of stars in our galaxy
    Center of the Universe: NOT where earth is.

    And BTW, the 14x10^9 LY we see are, at the limits, protogalaxies from 14x10^19 years ago

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

  • [continuing my above post]
    Right now, the protogalaxies and quasars are most likely galaxies and stars similar to ours. It's probably the same throughout the universe. So trillions of galaxies, billions of stars each, and, let's say, a quadrillion to one chance of an intelligent civilization being there? (actually a low estimate)
    Millions of intelligent civilizations; More than Dune (humans, spacers, and fremen only, if you even want to list them as separate), but Less than Star Wars (A million in a single galaxy).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:51 PM  

  • Yes. Amazing, but still somehow... small-minded me can't help but notice that Monty Python's "Meaning of Life" does a much better job of making you feel insignificant for the same reasons.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:18 PM  

  • First 4 minutes or so were worthless. A video that gives a MUCH better impression of how significatn we are is the Powers of Ten from http://www.kottke.org/06/06/powers-of-ten

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 PM  

  • definetly makes a person look at the bigger picture and realize that in the grander scheme.. most of our petty little worries are really nothing..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 PM  

  • Didn't any of you people go to school? I learned about the universe forty years ago. Guess my teacher was pretty smart. It's a bunch of stars that go on forever. Big deal. Now, can anyone explain where the end of the earth is? And don't tell me there isn't one. If you say it's billions of light years away, that's fine, but what's after that? Please answer. Driving me crazy. CRAZY

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:53 AM  

  • "But one would be amazed to find an actual smartypants who didn't know the difference between radius and diameter, blah blah blah"

    Heh, I think you should shut up, smarty pants (wtf, you really look smart saying that wonderfully original insult by the way.)

    Everything you tried to make that guy look stupid with is all based on theories. "It's generally agreed that its 78 billion light years, SMARTY PANTS, and of course its also generally agreed that its 18b yrs old too! DUH!@@!@@" .. Wait, so.. anyone who doesn't believe (or like you, read it on wikipedia 5 minutes before posting comment) something that is "generally agreed upon" must be stupid. Gotcha. Hey, can you tutor me in calculus?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:34 AM  

  • You guys will pick anything apart wont ya ,,, I had these ants in my back yard once going about their business and I decided to wipe them out with a blow torch. they didnt even know it was coming. sort of reminds me how significant we really think we are. someone must care that we are around in this space continuim. lets get off of the pedistal. and realize that we are knats on the ass of the donkey on the side of the road... thats it ...but ya know what god loves knat. isnt that awsome.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:57 AM  

  • Listen I appreciate your bringing the deep field imagery and facts to our attention. It was cool. But your presentation is filled with Hubris....you know who paid for that dont you? Ordinary taxpayers who you suggest cant get their minds around the figures such as 85 billion light years across....Listen chanmp, not only am I average joe, I understand this number as much as you do. I never thought so stupidly, as our scientific establishment, that we were or are alone...but its guys and gals from your side of the isle who want the worship, you all want to rationalize your greatness, because your the ones appointed to review the images, and extrapolate the data....that is true hubris. We are surrounded by alien data, data you cant wrap your minds around because your bosses and tenure systems wont allow it.

    When you get up tomorrow, remember, the government didnt pay for the far field images....taxpayers did.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 PM  

  • . . . Awesome video. You know it's true when you watch it. Ofcourse it is. This may well change my daily attitude.
    Of what should I be afraid now - my boss, some pretty girl, death even?? Seems silly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:20 AM  

  • yes it truly was amazing but now makes me wonder how they know the universe is 78 billion light years. what happens after that is there another universe or does everything just get stopped there?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 AM  

  • suspect someone out there,is doing the same thing with a telescope looking @ us.......

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:57 AM  

  • The video is something for which the term "awesome" was coined for. It shows more and more of the beautiful creation of a loving God who wants His children to always be reaching for the heavens, because that is where He is. Get there and He'll be happy to explain it all!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 PM  

  • It amazed me. But I haven't proven the validity of any of it. My amazement is also belief in the validity of it. It is also believing in what we see, but there are many things none of our senses can detect even with magnification and amplification. Just think what there might be that is beyond our senses...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:58 AM  

  • This video mirrors my logic about the universe. I'm all smiles after seeing this. We are not alone, folks, and for those who think we are, are mistaken.

    You really have to think "out of this world" to grasp how small we truly are in our tiny galaxy. There's so much for us to discover and we cannot think small. We must think and do big to discover more.

    I am certainly humbled by this video, but again, it only confirms my logic about the world "out there". Truly amazing stuff.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:17 AM  

  • Don't you get it... it is an image of our mind.

    ...too many twilight zones, perhaps.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:25 AM  

  • "Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving and revolving..." (The Galaxy Song, from Monty Python)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:47 AM  

  • What happens if you take a picture for 15 days? or 20?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 AM  

  • is it not possible,that a cataclismic ie big bang event has occured in deep space..and that we havent observed it yet?
    Also is the connection between the vastness and we small humans is.,. that ultimately.. WE are stardust,and everything we experience.. every day... its the sense of connection to the seemingly vast emptiness... not a sense of disconnection

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 PM  

  • Thanks for the comments everyone (I think). I found this discussion by looking at my referrer logs.

    I need to point out some changes that need to be made to the video, which I am currently making now. I've recently read a paper published in Physical Review Letters (2004) where the studies from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) put the size of the universe at about 46.5 billion light years, not 78 billion as I state in the video.

    The wikipedia entry
    has recently been changed to reflect this new research. The space.com article (linked to on my site) is also wrong, I have emailed them this new paper. These were my original sources for the 78 billion LY number.

    A very kind, rational reader of my site pointed me to the article.

    I'm also changing the narration to reflect the change and while I'm at it, I'll probably get rid of Numa Numa guy, people really seem to hate the fact that he's in there. A very small minority seem to get why he's in there at all, obviously, as many of you have cruelly point out, it's a poor attempt at humor.

    I cannot believe the response this video has generated. They range from 'You suck and so does your family and everything you hold dear" to "I cried. This has changed my life".

    To the latter group, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I share your joy and appreciation of the vastness of our cosmos.

    To the rest, it's just a video man. Get over yourselves and ask yourself why you felt the need to attack.

    Finally, I never said or even implied that humanity was insignificant, you made that conclusion all by yourself. Humanity is far from irrelevant or insignificant. As Carl Sagan so beautifully put it: "Humanity is a way for the universe to know itself."

    Thanks again everyone for the (sometimes) thoughtful comments!

    Tony Darnell

    By Blogger Tony Darnell, at 6:41 PM  

  • Well; as I said to my grandson' "How-big" and up go his hands, and we say, "So-big". Yeah SO BIG!
    It's truly amazing to think that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all of the beaches in this whole world.
    We can just about comprehend the distances to our nearest stars, but here we see the distance to the furthest stars and realise just how BIG the place really is.
    We are literally just stardust.
    And this place is all made out of gas.
    I have the Hubble site as one of my favourites and vist it when I feel the need to put myself into perspective. "Get-Lost" takes on a whole new meaning.
    Ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust, enjoy your stay, 'cos this world will go bust!
    Enjoy. Chris

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:38 PM  

  • How Big is God? Big enough to rule this mighty universe, yet small enough to live within our hearts!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:33 PM  

  • Awesome Video, thought the Music was great.

    p.s...to alot of posters..1 million million = 1 Trillion NOT Billion.

    (1x10^6) x (1x10^6) = 1x10^12....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:27 AM  

  • The video is great. Always interesting to see the religious look at this as clear affirmation that a god exists (not just a god, but THEIR GOD!). Similar are those who watch this video and affirm that there must be other forms of intelligent life out there. Sorry to point out that this video gives neither of you any reason for feeling comfortable or righteous in your speculations. Thus far, there is no evidence of intelligent life anywhere other than planet earth, all the rest is a numbers game.

    Finally, while I am preaching, the references to the 'size' of the universe are also somewhat misleading. The concept of universal space is not like linear measurement, and in any case gives rise to the question 'what is at the end of the universe?'. The obvious answer is, of course, a restaurant. Any Douglas Adams fan knows that? Measuring 'space' is meaningless. 3 dimensional space as we understand it is an ineffective tool when looking back in space/time.

    And for the last time, '1 billion' is not universally recognised as 1000 million. It was 1 million million until recent times, and still is in most european countries. Just repeating that 1 billion is 1000 million won't make it so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:14 PM  

  • To those who have confidently asserted that there must be other intelligent life in the universe because of the number of stars:

    Where are they? Where are their radio emissions? Where are their von Neumann probes?

    The sound you hear out there is... silence. Why is that?

    By Blogger Dan Lovejoy, at 8:36 AM  

  • Absolutely remarkable, The video is extremely well done. I added it to my favorites, to watch when I feel the stress overtaking, just to put things back in perspective.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:11 PM  

  • Where did you get your numbers on the number of stars in the milky way and the size of the universe? Do you know something NASA doesn't?
    How can the universe be 78 billion light years across when it is only 14 billion years old?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 PM  

  • If God is everywhere, and we are made in his image and likeness...Is the Sun and Atom, and the Earth an Electron in His body?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:16 PM  

  • Amazing... and to think... all of that... it all revolves around me. What a great boost to my own self-confidence to know that it's not just the world that revolves around me, it's also thousands of galaxies. Just kidding. That's an amazing video.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:38 PM  

  • Im at a loss for words..

    By Blogger Nomad, at 7:29 PM  

  • It's a pity they couldn't just present the video without the value-laden narration.

    Someone else pointed out the obvious question. What does the physical layout of our observable universe have to do with our significance, or not?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:23 PM  

  • The most important picture ever taken by humanity...so far.

    It's still amazing though.

    With so much out there to explore and discover, why do we watse so much money on weapons that, if used, could wipe out life on this planet?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:46 AM  

  • The universe is actually about 93 billion light years in diameter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:08 PM  

  • I loved the video! After taking my first astronomy class, this put everything in perspective for me. I think it is interesting that we are discovering so much in our constellations, they are like a roadmap to new discoveries.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:02 PM  

  • Billion depends on where you live. In the US, 1 billion is one-thousand million.

    And re: the Drake equation, it itself is complete conjecture. Most people base existence of life on lifeforms as we know them. Who knows what it takes for something besides carbon to be the basis of life, or even with carbon as the basis, as it supports everything from the birds in the air to the deepest sea creatures.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:24 PM  

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