Our exploration of space has allowed us to see Planet Earth with a new "bigger picture" perspective -- a perspective that is now cornerstone to a nascent environmental movement which has led to a satellite's eye-view of climate change and deforestation, and, unfortunately, unsightly space junk.
These stunning images of far away galaxies and other astronomical beauties -- and the fascinating stories behind them -- are for those who have never failed to be instilled with a sense of wonder, awe, and profoundness upon gazing up on a clear, starry night.
This gorgeous image of a stellar nursery
-- captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in early 2010 -- shows star-forming pillars of gas and dust in the Carina Nebula and Herbig-Haro
objects (HH or small nebulae associated with newly born stars). These celestial newborns are firing off jets of flaming-hot gas, with the longest ones shooting out in opposite directions at the top of the largest pillars being HH 901 and HH 902 -- signaling the birth of two new stars.
Photo: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)