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December 1, 2008 Permalink

Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2008

As we head into the traditional western Holiday Season, I'd like to present this Hubble Space Telescope imagery Advent Calendar. Every day, for the next 25 days, a new photo will be revealed here from the amazing Hubble Space Telescope. As I take this chance to share these images of our amazing Universe with you, I wish for a Happy Holiday to all those who will celebrate, and for Peace on Earth to everyone. - Alan (25 photos total - eventually)

In January 2002, a dull star in an obscure constellation suddenly became 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun, temporarily making it the brightest star in our galaxy. The star, called V838 Monocerotis, has long since faded back to obscurity, but observations of a phenomenon called a "light echo" around the star have uncovered remarkable new features over the following years (this animation covers two years' time). The light echo is light from the earlier explosion echoing off dust surrounding the star. Light from the outburst traveled to the dust and then was reflected to Earth. Because of this indirect path, the light arrived at Earth months after light from the star that traveled directly from the star. (NASA, ESA) More (see this on Google Sky)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

457 comments so far...


Posted by SX December 1, 08 04:02 PM

Suberb, I can't wait to see all pictures

Posted by Green December 1, 08 04:05 PM

How can I put this blog images in the Google Photos Screensaver?

Posted by Cassiel December 1, 08 04:11 PM

really interesting! I can't wait... photos on BigPicture are always incredibles

Posted by December 1, 08 04:12 PM

Really interesting i love Boston Big Picture.

Posted by Xiyad December 1, 08 04:33 PM

A consistently great page and this feature only enhances it more.

Good work.

Posted by Vanderleun December 1, 08 04:44 PM

Thank you Alan. And Happy Holidays to you too. Can't wait to see the rest of the photos!!

Posted by KS December 1, 08 04:52 PM

@3 The only way to do that would be to download the pictures and put them on a folder, and select that folder on the Screensaver.

Maybe some kind of trickery with yahoo pipes is possible, someone more knowledgeable with this?

Posted by Jeton December 1, 08 04:53 PM

It seems like each new entry on this site reinforces that it is one of the premiere sites on the internet. I am always impressed and often awestruck. So, an overdue THANKS!!!!!

Posted by Tim December 1, 08 05:10 PM

hubble telescope advent calendar makes russian millionaires cry

Posted by requiiiiiahed December 1, 08 05:11 PM

This should be good! Looking forward to the pics, i'm sure they're going to be amazing as usual :)

But why not call the Holiday Season what it is? Christmas...

Posted by Richard December 1, 08 05:17 PM

What an astro-tease.

Posted by Vince December 1, 08 05:46 PM

What a fantastic and awesome advent calendar!!!
I can't wait for the rest. This will over tripple your traffic... well done

Posted by Lawrence Garwood December 1, 08 05:54 PM

@ 10

Why ?

Posted by NAbeel December 1, 08 06:34 PM

Sweet! :)

Posted by Anonymous December 1, 08 06:41 PM

I can't wait to see more. I hope you keep this moving up with the dates as you add to it.

Posted by Dano December 1, 08 06:47 PM

Wonderful! Thank you :-) I have one of the later images in that series on my Mac desktop, from the ESA website. When I first saw it, it struck me there was a 'face' in the image, two (or maybe three!) eyes, a nose, and this great maw spewing stars and all the elements needed for life. The face of god!! No, not really; I'm as atheist as anyone can be, and the stars are a line-of-sight effect. It just hammered home, why does anyone need an imaginary sky-god when the real universe has wonders like this?

Posted by Pauline December 1, 08 06:52 PM

Did anyone else respond to the first picture by thinking "Ooh pretty!... Wait, did that just move?... Uhm....... GAHHHH!!!"

Posted by Renee December 1, 08 06:56 PM

Doesn't the quality of the images suffer a bit through the GIF color-indexing? :(
Or are the source images in the same "low" quality?
(great images anyway! it's just that I'm used to the high-quality jpegs here :) )

Posted by Czechnology December 1, 08 07:05 PM

That would be amazing and awesome view and in the imagination ......

Posted by cmoonflyer December 1, 08 07:11 PM

@ 11

Hear hear!

Posted by Moscool December 1, 08 07:13 PM

To 11 and 21, it's called the World Wide Web. Shed your anglo-european christian worldview for a minute because this website is enjoyed by people all over the world, not just those of belief systems that attribute God-like status to Jesus of Nazareth.

Posted by Pete in USA December 1, 08 07:46 PM

What?! How can this be? I need my instantaneous digital satisfaction now!

Patience is not a virtue I thought the Internet would enforce. You tease, Alan!

Posted by Sam December 1, 08 09:00 PM

@ 22

Hear hear!

(and great pictures! The anticipation is killing me!)

Posted by idahogie December 1, 08 09:02 PM

At 22:
Please try to be respectful of the fact that holidays such as Christmas and Hannukah (I'm terribly sorry if I spelled that wrong :( ) are holidays which belong to those who have faith in God and/or Jesus. Atheists have no business celebrating them.This is coming from atheist, just fyi.

I really love this idea! Advent calendars are so much fun, and now I have one that contains one of my favorite things...HUBBLE PICS! *happydance*

Posted by Katie December 1, 08 11:40 PM

@ 22- 24 --bravo-- This Hubble Advent is about nature not supernatural.
The holidays now known as Christmas-etc are derived from much older rites so it is entirely permissable for an atheist to celebrate the magic of nature at any time of the year-- plus I like the occasional goodie in my stocking as well ;)
For me it is simply about-love, peace,family,and friends- those things I believe in.
The point is that these photos are amazing and I can not wait to see what they have for us next! What a fantastic idea-- Thank you.

Posted by Cordellia December 2, 08 01:56 AM

Its going to be a great month apparently :)

Posted by Tim December 2, 08 02:16 AM

this made me wonder if any of our most known deities are local "gods" like.. #the solar system god" or "the milky way god" and so on and there is a great council of gods. Or the so called deities are "universal" and still working on creating and expanding the universe so in that case what are the chances that our prays are really listened?, there most be a paradox to exist in such a tiny scale. Any way, what an amzing pics, it remind me of Wong Kar-wai or The Flaming Lips.

Posted by jchristiaan December 2, 08 03:11 AM

to Katie #25:

That is the most ridiculous thing I've read on the internet all day.
I'll celebrate the holidays if I want to, whether I'm religious or not.

(I do not believe in any kind of higher power, and I do celebrate christmas, as a time for listening to christmas songs, getting together with the family, exchanging presents, etc..)

Posted by Siggi Jarl December 2, 08 04:42 AM

too nice...superb!!!

Posted by vikas rawat December 2, 08 04:58 AM

Great picture! It's nice to see something so dynamic. Most cosmic events are on such a large time scale that they appear frozen to our ephemeral human lives.

@25: Nonsense. Many cultures celebrated the winter solstice long before Christianity was invented. It just so happened that the Christians stole it and now pretend it's theirs. Anybody can celebrate having reached the shortest day of the year without believing in silly fairy tales.

Posted by Blodwin December 2, 08 05:31 AM

Dangle that carrot why dontcha ! 8-D

Posted by Gerb December 2, 08 06:13 AM

At 25:
Katie, you are a moron. This is coming from AN atheist, just fyi.

Posted by Ken December 2, 08 06:15 AM

I love space stuff
Praise the Lord!
(of the universe, that is!)
I'm talkin' the big cosmological "Lord"
the mighty, whoppin, permeates-every-atom-of-the-universe "Lord"
I know you atheists know exactly what I'm talkin about!

Posted by chris lutter December 2, 08 07:50 AM

The current season is actually Saturnalia!
Happy Saturnalia to everyone.

Posted by A. Theist December 2, 08 08:03 AM

As has been mentioned, Christmas is not a Christian holiday:

Posted by Scott December 2, 08 08:33 AM

I know this may fall on deaf ears, but can we please not have this discussion devolve into a debate about religion? Just this once :)

Peace everyone.

Posted by alan taylor December 2, 08 09:54 AM

Just enjoy them magnificent pictures.

Posted by Anonymous December 2, 08 10:43 AM

awesome dashing fab fabby fabulous fantastic flossy funky glorious gorgeous magnificent pictures, I wanna know what space is, I wanna see what space is

Posted by Five stars December 2, 08 10:44 AM

my god...its full of stars

Posted by jason December 2, 08 11:15 AM

@ 25 (Katie)

Really? As others have stated here, Christmas was stolen from the ancient pagans by the Catholic Church in a misguided and hateful attempt to corral and control the teeming masses enjoying the fun and progress of open thought. Therefore:

Please try to be respectful of the fact that holidays such as Christmas are holidays which belongs to those who have faith in Tammuz, Mithra, Saturn, Adonis, or Baal. Christians have no business celebrating them. This is coming from someone with brains, just FYI.

Posted by Jim Pettit December 2, 08 11:32 AM

Uhhh nice. I like it, cant wait to see more

Cheers Chan from TheJunction

Posted by CK TheJunction December 2, 08 01:15 PM

I just wonder all thous religious comments. I'm looking forward to all these incredible pictures knowing that no religion or god has anything to do with the universe as it is.

Posted by Jorma Peltola December 2, 08 01:28 PM

@25: Are you a NerdFighter?
@ Alan: Thank you so much for these pictures, they are so beautiful and I really cannot thank you enough!

Posted by Jamie December 2, 08 01:41 PM

Thank you for clearing that out!? christmas (now part of christianity) was made up by the pagans! Its really upsetting that people who were trusted with the most sacred knowledge turned to spreading lies for their own desires. Wonder how many other manipulations took place by the Roman Church and the priests on the sacred texts which have been handed to them.

4:171 O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.

An-Nisa [4:171]

5:77 Say: "O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by,- who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way.

Al-Ma'idah [5:77]

Last but not least, the sequence is mesmerizing, I agree that the gif is taking the quality behind, I wonder if you can get those in jpg then we can sequence them again. Looking forward for the rest (Hope they are as colorful!)

Posted by noImage December 2, 08 02:05 PM

To all Religious nuts outhere (whatever the fade) go spam somewhere else please!

Posted by baley December 2, 08 03:12 PM

yay i love advent calendars :D

Posted by sd December 2, 08 03:32 PM

Great photos! Thanks, Alan!

Posted by Cyndi December 2, 08 03:50 PM

Salut (I am fFrench...)

Thanks for this page, I discovered Google Sky.... GREAT!!!!!!

Posted by Aramu December 2, 08 04:52 PM

Como de costumbre, sus fotos son de excepción. Gracias por dejarnos visitar estos maravillosos mundos, sin importar en qué parte de la Tierra vivamos.

Posted by Jaime Abundis December 2, 08 05:35 PM

Alan, thank you so much for this blog and for filling December with wonder.

Posted by hillpagan December 2, 08 07:09 PM

Absolutely Awesome!

Posted by Chris December 2, 08 09:37 PM

Alan you have the best photo journals on the web. Unfortunately this one is below par. Please don't lead us on for 25 days with this content !!!

Posted by Charlie December 3, 08 12:24 AM

simply WOW!!

Merry Xmas to all......

Posted by Ben December 3, 08 04:50 AM


Posted by Gabriele December 3, 08 06:28 AM

At #53: how is it below par? I think it's a great idea. And if you're talking about the quality of the photos, it's kind of hard to get them less grainy when they're being taken from zillions of light years away...

Posted by Sian December 3, 08 06:57 AM

Alright! My favorite subject!
Thanks Alan for this Christmas gift. Peace for everyone!

Posted by Brian December 3, 08 08:51 AM

If it exploded 55 million years ago and the light reached us in 1994 I reckon that must make it roughly 323 103 092 037 401 574 803 (323 quintillion 103 quadrillion 092 trillion 037 billion 401 million 574 thousand 8 hundred and 3) miles away ... off the top of my head.

Posted by Geek December 3, 08 08:58 AM

@ #53: Below par???
maybe you want some sunsets and landscapes photos.. there's plenty of sites on the net for you. This is the most awesome subject ever..Jeez.
Alan, you rock man! Keep them coming!

Posted by Marcelo December 3, 08 10:13 AM

hehe.. Charlie, this is an advent calendar.

It would be like opening all 25 days and eating the chocolate on December 1st.

Posted by Hax Or December 3, 08 10:42 AM

@41 and 45

It doesn't really matter to me what you are celebrating at this time of year. You are welcome to your own traditions. But 'Christ'mas which, duh, has Christ in the title, is a Christian tradition. They may have chosen to have it as the same time and incorporated traditions from the pagans, but the very word is Christian. Call your holiday whatever you want, but Christmas belongs to the Christians.

And besides, can't you just enjoy the pictures?

Posted by Paz Afuera December 3, 08 12:38 PM


Posted by SHOSH December 3, 08 12:52 PM

I don't know if you are completely in control of it, but when you update could you make the "preview" photo in the RSS feed match the new photo?

I guess that might cost you traffic but adding value for your readers keeps them committed to reading your blog :)

Posted by m December 3, 08 02:09 PM

"Wonderful photos. Wonderful universe. I'm surprised none of those religious nuts (including the atheistic religion) seem to know what "advent" means. .
As an elderly Brit. "happy holidays" makes me cringe, but...peace to all.

Posted by charles storer December 3, 08 02:54 PM

Simply miraculous!

Posted by Crystal December 3, 08 02:56 PM

Some of you religious nut jobs just blow my mind.

Anyone can celebrate Christmas if they want to, and they can call it what ever they want to. If you have a problem with me saying "Merry Christmas", you can just deal with it because I will NOT stop saying it. For some people, it's about giving, others it's about religion, and some people just freaking like Santa and presents. If you actually care about something so stupid, you really need to take a step back and realize you're all aboard the failboat.

Posted by Zach December 3, 08 10:07 PM

Beautiful idea! This years advent calendar is taken care of.

@ 61:

"But 'Christ'mas which, duh, has Christ in the title, is a Christian tradition. They may have chosen to have it as the same time and incorporated traditions from the pagans, but the very word is Christian."

You are not reading the comments for comprehension. Several commenters have
already mentioned that earlier traditions were appropriated. This means that it isn't a tradition that originates with any identifiable religion. The modern concept of freedom of religion prohibits anyone from exclusive "ownership" of such expression anyway, moral aspects on thievery and/or social repression aside.

Btw, I live in a region of the world were the holiday is still known as 'Yule' ("Jul") by everyone, including the diverse Abrahamic cults that joins the rest of us to celebrate in the age old tradition. In fact I believe I didn't know its english name and its association with, I assume, the catholic church until I started to use the language.

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM December 4, 08 03:53 AM

I find photo's of the universe amazing and fascinating!

I hope that people looking at these photo's will not just look at them as just pretty photo's but try to mentally grasp just how big the numbers are and where mankind fits in. Whether the universe was or was not created by some higher power is immaterial. It exists and we are alive in it. But the Earth, the Sun and our solar system which seem so large to us, is as a whole, smaller than a dust spec when compared against the universe. What happens to us, what we believe and what we do in our little corner of this reality is meaningless against the scale of the universe.

Our own Milky Way galaxy is estimated to be 100,000 light years in diameter and to contain 2-4 billion stars. The universe that we can see appears to contain billions, trillions or whatever huge number of GALAXIES, each of which itself contains billions of stars. Imagine if we are the only intelligent life in our galaxy, let alone the universe as a whole? That can really make you feel alone!

Some people here are impatient and begging Alan to issue the photo's all at once. I prefer to wait and be surprised by what he chooses to show, but you can always search out plenty of photo's on your own.

Below is one photo I have a downloaded as my desktop wallpaper. You can download various resolutions (up to 80MB) at this link:

A Pool of Distant Galaxies - the deepest ultraviolet image of the Universe yet

[Note: Click on the "news release" link in the upper right for interesting details.]

Posted by Jojo December 4, 08 07:38 AM

Thank you so much for these amazing pictures! I can hardly wait until the next one.

All of you folks who want to argue about Christmas, feel free to come over to Facebook and join the group Put Christ Back in Christmas. You can argue all you want there.

But I have to admit, that when I saw that it was an ADVENT calender, I assumed that the person who made it was a Christian and the word referred to the anticipation of the birth of Christ which is remembered and celebrated on December 25th, although perhaps wrongly so. (Would a non-Christian anticipate His birth in the same was as I would anticipate, say, the birth of Abraham Lincoln?) If the advent calendar had ended on December 21, 2008 at 12:04 AM UT I would have understood that the creator of these fantastic images intended to celebrate a different sort of advent. :-)

Posted by CH December 4, 08 09:31 AM

If you like daily celestial images, check out the site below for the daily astronomy pic of the day. AMAZING! And a great archive as well.


Posted by Trev D December 4, 08 09:55 AM

very beautiful and timely-thank you. we will enjoy these every day.

Posted by valerie December 4, 08 12:37 PM

For those looking for full resolution, full colour versions, click the "More" link under each image. That brings you to the original Hubble press release, with lots of download options and some explanatory text.

The HST team has done a fantastic job of outreach and education. Your tax dollars at work...enjoy them!

Posted by Jon Niehof December 4, 08 12:50 PM

@40 Where is the Obelisk? :-)

Not sure my ego can handle the daunting image of how insignificant this spec of dust and life on it are... lol

@ everyone preaching one way or the other, take it outside. These are some excellent images of what is (was in light terms) Enjoy it or don't.

Posted by Michael December 4, 08 02:55 PM

As a maker of several of these images, I was honored to be pointed to the link! Its like APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) for counting down to Christmas... Thanks!

Posted by Lisa Frattare (STScI) December 4, 08 03:34 PM

These images are all breathtaking.
Well done Boston Big Picture!

Posted by Carl L. December 4, 08 06:02 PM

Um these are not new pcitures. I have a huge book with all of the Hubble images up to last year. I want NEW photos!!

Thanks for posting the images. :)

Posted by SL Casebeer December 4, 08 06:28 PM

Hey Alan ! Great Pics. thanks a lot for them I can not wait to see them all ! Happy Holidays and Peace for you and your beloved ones too. And for all of you no matter Muslims, Jewish, Atheists etc.,etc.etc. Put some love on your hearts this time of the year and enjoy it. "Gloria in Excelsis Deo et in Terra Pax hominum bonum voluntae " Happy holidays to you all, whoever you are brothers ! Ng

Posted by Darth Guatemala December 4, 08 07:12 PM


Thanks for the reminder of the incredible beauty, splendor, and awe that surround us, if only we knew how to "truly see" it!

Posted by Mike S. December 4, 08 09:09 PM

The Heavens declare the Glory of God!
Great pictures!
Practice the Golden Rule: Love one another! Live in peace!

Posted by Veritas December 4, 08 11:24 PM


Posted by Allister December 5, 08 04:24 AM

Great pics. Nice idea. The religious discussion belongs some where else. I am a devoted Christian and observe Christmas, but this is about enjoying the vastness of the universe and how it sets all of our petty disagreements into perspective.
Peace to all.

Posted by Gilles3297 December 5, 08 09:58 AM

I find it interesting that all photos of the planets and the universe are accompanied by comments like glory to God or Allah and so on, where are those comments on the pictures depicting war, earthquakes and disasters? Where is your God-comments then? Isen´t He everywhere?

Posted by DerH December 5, 08 10:01 AM

#46. I agree. Just enjoy the pictures and derive from or attach to them any meaning or belief you want but keep it to yourself or blog it elsewhere.

Posted by Dave Hall (FYI - A Christ-Follower) December 5, 08 11:08 AM

I'd like to point out to everyone that did not even bother to google ADVENT.

From wikipedia:
Advent (from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming") is a season of the Christian church, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus;

Posted by Jose December 5, 08 11:25 AM

shut up and get a life... all of you. stop fighting over the comment section and respect the work posted.

Posted by JoHanna December 5, 08 11:57 AM

Why shouldn't our discussion reflect the vastness of these images? what better homage? IMHO, mutual respect for even the most incongruous, seemingly irreconcilable perspectives does this best.

Posted by 0b1000 December 5, 08 12:55 PM

Very nice picture, if you look to the top left from the centre once the picture has zoomed in you can see the of Santa's hat outlined in the dust, his face or beard and his left hand waving.


Posted by Larry Beattie December 5, 08 12:59 PM


Posted by joe December 5, 08 01:01 PM

Beautiful Mystery!

Posted by Jane A December 5, 08 01:03 PM

There is no God.

Posted by No Opiates For The Masses December 5, 08 01:12 PM

I thought it was a christmas tree
Great pictures though. Thanks!

Posted by Andrew December 5, 08 01:32 PM

Alan, you make me green with envy. I should have though of this for my site!

Posted by Dave Mosher December 5, 08 01:54 PM

I love how this became a Religious debate. ;)

I think the 'holiday season' is for Christmas...which is obviously largely celebrated by Catholics and Christians etc (like myself).

But then again. I'm probably wrong.

Christmas in recent years has become an excuse for obsessive commercialisation and consumerism, which is a shame. But it's also a time for EVERYONE to get together and enjoy each other's company, which is something that everyone is entitled to!

Holiday season or Christmas, I really don't care, and long as I'm relaxing. ;)

Oh yeah... amazing pictures! =)

Posted by Paul December 6, 08 03:49 AM

Beautiful !! , is very good to see a little of the immensity of the universe because I believe that there is a God who sustains the whole thing. The same God that I will celebrate this Christmas through to his son Jesus Christ the Savior.
Merry Christmas to All.

Posted by Jennifer December 6, 08 08:02 AM

I am just breathless with awe at the beauty and glory of the universe!
Thank you for the wonderful pictures. Everyone - stop your pitiful arguing
and enjoy the peace of the Season.

Posted by Bettye December 6, 08 06:57 PM

excellent! i love these photos

Posted by T. Fontaine December 6, 08 09:10 PM

I love them!

Posted by ceres December 7, 08 02:57 AM

This is the best advent calendar ever. Each morning, i'm right-clicking to store the day's fabulous image as my desk top wallpaper for the day. Many thanks.

Posted by Jane Oriel December 7, 08 04:43 AM

Oh my.. we are so small .__.

Posted by Knuffle December 7, 08 11:11 AM

Thank you! Very beautiful pictures! If I see them I’m angel…

Posted by Alena December 7, 08 12:55 PM

Awe-inspiringly beautiful, & thanks so much for "enlightening" us. I was a bit astonished to see a shell-shaped object in several of the images, though, until I realised it was my own shell-shaped cursor from my Windows theme! It happened to be just the right colour to fit in realistically. Guess I was too smitten with the pix to be careful!

Posted by Barry Elias December 7, 08 02:12 PM

Take a good look at yourselves!

Alan came up with a wonderful concept, a picture a day of natural beauty for the holidays, and you morons are acting like jackels, quarelling amongst yourselves.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Posted by Frank December 7, 08 05:46 PM

These are absolutely magnificent pictures. Thank you so much for posting them for all to see.

Posted by Susanna Z. December 8, 08 06:38 AM

speakin of God, Eid Mubarak to all muslims & non-muslims out in boston!
go out to some muslim family's house and eat some freshly cooked meat tonite!

btw alan i like the one day at a time theme for this set... i keep comin back haha

Posted by freshouttatime December 8, 08 09:45 AM

Whoever said that space wasn't sexy! What a sensuous image of our remarkable cosmos. Hubble is a gift to humankind. I even have an image as my wallpaper.

Posted by D. Gordon December 8, 08 11:18 AM

Happy Holidays to the Big Picture blog! Thanks for putting together the best photoblog of the year, Alan. Cheers!

Posted by Sara December 8, 08 04:01 PM

Alan and Hubble Team
What a dedication to all those who have gone before us and never had the chance to see such wonders in our heavens.

Posted by Desperado December 8, 08 09:54 PM

worst collection of photos you've done Alan

Posted by Charlie December 8, 08 11:27 PM

I'm with Sara, thank you Alan and Hubble team. Outstanding! Lilo

Posted by Lilo Tatom December 9, 08 04:44 AM

I can't wait to see more!!!

Posted by Glenn December 9, 08 08:06 AM


Posted by Anonymous December 9, 08 11:41 AM

Truley brings home the meaning of 'out of this world'!
Thank you.

Posted by Brenda MInto December 9, 08 02:17 PM

Thank you Alan - What a beautiful way to look at what God has created. I will be watching all the way to the 25th!

Posted by ann December 9, 08 07:34 PM

#10 rocks!

Posted by Sad Panda December 10, 08 04:52 AM

WOW! Number 10 is FANTASTIC!!!

Posted by Giò December 10, 08 09:46 AM

When you see how beautiful these pictures are,we should do everything in our power to save our planet earth.
If the universe is so old,and our planet Earth is so young,we sure have screwed it up,in such short a time
Not sure about the god thing,or the superior being etc,but it does make you wonder,are we really the only inhabited planet in our solar system,never mind the universe ?
I personally find it hard to believe that we are,.

Posted by bill. December 10, 08 10:53 AM

i am amazed at what has been created by the touch of His noodly appendage.

parmesan upon you, Alan, and thanks for the great pics.


Posted by bo December 10, 08 11:41 AM

Alan Taylor: I'd just like you to know that I'm a religious freak. Every morning, first thing, I turn to face my monitor and murmur a prayer in Just In Case there's a new set of pics. If there's not, I know I must have some character default, like impatience, or gluttony, or curiosity, or just sheer joy of seeing something beautiful. I spend the rest of the next hour penitentially moping around the house, and then return to prayer, in front of my monitor ....
(signed) "Tongue In Cheek" of Toronto.

Posted by Chris Greaves December 10, 08 12:15 PM

#10 is awe-inspiring. How do you even begin to comprehend 90 trillion kilometers? I feel very small. Beautiful. Fascinated. Best yet in this series.

Posted by Mark F December 10, 08 01:23 PM

is it a pazradox of science and relgion in these pictures, what is out in space beyond what is known , and why is it there? what is reality and why are we here- or is it just that we have limited perception for example uv light is real however this wavelenghth is not visible to the human eye. Also are we alone in the universe or are there multiple planets like ours species like us or somthing much different......................................

Posted by maj December 10, 08 01:55 PM

Great pictures, look forward to seeing the rest!!!

Posted by Jeff December 10, 08 05:35 PM

No. 10 is described as a billowing tower of cold gas. Not unlike Gov. Blagojevich.

Posted by Chris in Illinois December 10, 08 10:05 PM

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed.

Posted by Chris in Illinois December 10, 08 10:09 PM

it is really very good images and advance photos.

Posted by Radhika Rao December 11, 08 02:37 AM

Truly awesome pictures, thank you for showing them.
And hilarious that anyone can think that it all came about by accident...

Posted by Simon December 11, 08 04:15 AM

The Eagle Nebula photo is stupendous! I downloaded the full size image!

Being able to see individual starts in the M81 galaxy 10 million light years away is beyond imagination. Ain't technology wonderful?

One point I;d like to make that some many not be aware of concerns the distance numbers quoted on these photos. All the numbers are where these objects were "X" years ago. For example, the furthest we can see is about 13 billion light years away. But these objects have kept moving over that time so are now actually something like 75 billion light years away.

Posted by Jojo December 11, 08 07:09 AM

I see a lot of people make comments about 'God'. In my opinion what you are looking at IS God..... All of it.. the entire life cycle which includes the birth and death of universes, solar systems, planets, people, animals, plants..... in essence the very living essence of everything... THAT is God... LIFE. It has many names and is worshiped by most whether called Lord, Christ, God, Allah, Buddah, Gaea, mother nature etc.... God IS the ultimate power above and beyond all of us... God is life and the creation of.

Posted by Todd December 11, 08 09:15 AM

Astronomy is a science, it cannot prove or disprove God - let's just enjoy the pictures!


Posted by ukdragon December 11, 08 09:46 AM

Science can never the question, "why." Thus, religion. The two coexist and contribute equally to understanding or at least our attempt at it.

Posted by Stephanie L. December 11, 08 12:33 PM

#9 just got me all Christmas-y
#10 is magnificent!

Posted by lg December 11, 08 12:58 PM

It is so sad how ignorance is so alive in the world that when religious nuts who simply can't comprehend such great images see past what is there, and instead start babbling about God and creationism. The images from the Hubble Space Telescope are not just trivial "pretty pictures". They are evidence, but not evidence of God. They are natural beauty, wonders that show the immense scale of the universe, and how small and insignificant we really are in the long, long long story of the universe of which the human race only occupies a tiny bit of. The Hubble Space Telescope is an instrument which we use to observe and learn, showing the progression of technology and our continuously advancing knowledge, fulfilling the legacy of Galileo as he first turned the newly invented telescope to the sky 400 years ago. Before Galileo and after our time the human race has always, and will always pursue knowledge. To look at these and conclude that a divine creator made the universe is the antithesis of science, overthrowing hundreds of years of human progress because you can't, to say it simply, get with the times. Really, if you don't fully understand what you're seeing, don't say anything.

Posted by Siguy December 11, 08 06:47 PM

Quelle splendeur! Merci, merci, merci!

Posted by marianne December 11, 08 06:54 PM

The pictures I think are very cool.I especially like #10.

Posted by Bobanna December 11, 08 08:39 PM

Christmas first derived from the winter solstice, celebrated by the ancient germanic gods, the greeks have almost nothing to do with it, and the christians even less!

Posted by Andy89 December 12, 08 05:49 AM

I am just awestruck with the inconceivable enormity of the universe.... for example in pic#12
"One of the most interesting features here is the irregular lattice of dark lanes that criss-cross the center of the nebula. These lanes are about 24 billion kilometers wide"....that is!!!
defiantely makes me feel like a small speck somewhere.

Posted by UD December 12, 08 10:48 AM

The more i see them, the more i am convinced of the existence of a BEAUTIFUL GREAT GOOD GOD...........

Posted by guillermo machado solá December 12, 08 02:49 PM

Astonishingly, magnificently, breathtakingly beautiful.

Posted by mark2 December 12, 08 05:18 PM

I have seen many images of the cosmos, but never like these pictures. Just mind boggling and WONDERFUL. These images remind us our miniscule position in the cosmos. Vow2 !

Posted by S.Jayaraman December 12, 08 10:13 PM

I remember a survey I read of the religious beliefs across the various scientific fields. Astronomers stood out as being practically devoid of atheists. These pictures give a clue as to why. The scale and the majesty truly awakens the mind.

Posted by Erik December 12, 08 11:15 PM


Posted by Alekos December 13, 08 12:24 AM

Astonished people only seeing the picture of stars but these pictures help us
to find out the greatness of GOD

Posted by F.Yousefi December 13, 08 02:46 AM

Beautiful, beautiful pictures! It's mind-baffling to consider the distances and enormities shown in those pictures, and seeing the swirls of those many galaxies makes me appreciate how small I really am. I'll definitely come back every day to see the rest of the advent calendar. Thank you!

@all the religion arguments: I wish pagans would stop victimizing themselves and bashing Christians with meaningless arguments like "you stole our holiday!" (meaningless because Christians today do NOT celebrate on that day to spite pagans). I'm pagan myself, and I celebrate Yule at the time of the winter solstice - that's not even on Christmas day. Why can't we accept that there are different religions and peacefully coexist?

Posted by Ricci December 13, 08 05:01 AM

@Erik I remember a survey I read of the religious beliefs across the various scientific fields. Astronomers stood out as being almost entirely composed of atheists. These pictures give a clue as to why. The scale and the majesty truly awakens the mind.

Posted by Ben December 13, 08 09:28 AM

@139: Astronomy, devoid of atheists? Ha. We're certainly pretty devoid of creationists, since we see clear, undisputable evidence of an old, dynamic universe every time we look through a telescope or see a Hubble photo. Go talk to some real astronomers or amateur astronomers.

Posted by Siguy December 13, 08 10:44 AM

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for these wonderful and descriptive photos!

Posted by freetofly December 13, 08 03:52 PM

I was once told that the cross shape that you see surrounding stars when you look up at the sky at night is actually just the result of scratches in our corneas, and that they don't make that '+' sign thing at all.

Yet looking at your beautiful images, most stars do in fact have the cross running through them. Can you explain? I'm most curious because I don't see any reason for that phenomenon to occur.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by Kevin December 13, 08 09:06 PM

@146 The crosses are a result of how light is collected by the telescopes. Most large telescopes (including Hubble) are built out of a large mirror, with a smaller mirror mounted above it by attaching it to an X-shaped beams in the telescope tube. If the telescope is out of focus, you can see the 'donut' shape of the big mirror with the small mirror's shadow in the stars, but in-focus, the effect drops to just that cross shape, which is created by light being bent by the mirror and its support beams. You can see a similar effect if you try to look at something through your eyelashes, though then the horizontal beam of the cross should be stronger.
If you use a different arrangement to support the small mirror, the cross will be replaced by a different pattern, and a telescope with lens shouldn't have this at all.

Posted by Rebecca Harbison December 13, 08 11:30 PM

The Orion Nebula is as close to empyrean as it gets.

Posted by Jahbil December 14, 08 03:52 AM

Erittäin hienoja kuvia,kiitos.

Posted by Matti Martikainen December 14, 08 10:48 AM

I think it is awsome - the stars in the sky will never be the same again!

Posted by Paul December 14, 08 11:14 AM

Absolutely gorgeous. I stand in awe at the wonders the Flying Spaghetti Monster hath wrought.

Happy Festivus, everyone!

Posted by Uthgar the Brazen December 14, 08 11:19 AM

Oh my! These are beautiful. The Bok globules in the Carina nebula, the Retina nebula, the Abell! This never gets old! I hope they make this an annual tradition.

Posted by Daniel J. Andrews December 14, 08 06:51 PM

Thanks for the explanation, #147 Rebecca. Sadly, try as I might, I don't seem to have enough eyelash to look through to test your explanation, but I'm going to believe you anyway :).

Posted by Kevin December 14, 08 09:25 PM

@117, 151--- I am still cracking up-- are you a pirates as well? We are everywhere-- now pass the sauce.
One day we will surely meet at the volcano promised to us, bring large mugs.
This is a great idea and fantastic photos--

Posted by Cordellia December 15, 08 04:09 AM

I hope that in my next life I will be abel to see all the space and wonderfull images from the Universe that are not shown yet.-

Posted by Raúl K.P. December 15, 08 07:43 AM

Thank you for the photos!! I was referenced to this site by a friend from another site. I have just a few observations:
1) I would hazard a guess that this was not intended to make a political statement; nor a religious statement.
2) There are some who feel compelled to turn just about anything to one or both.
3) After looking at these photographs, I realize just how insignificant we are.
4) 3 being said, we are significant only to ourselves
5) When I realize how insignificant the human race actually is, I lose a lot of my inherent arrogance
6) I would imagine that whomever or whatever "created" our Universe also created intelligent life somewhere in the Universe and I sometimes wonder if it really exists on our planet.

A blessed Christmas to all regardless of your political and religious convictions or lack of them

Posted by Divebum December 15, 08 09:03 AM

Thank you...magnificent pictures! If one didn't believe in God before they should after seeing these pictures. In fact, in picture 10, about 3 inches from the top, it seemed to me to have an outline of the right side of Christ's head with His crown of thorns as He looked down on our galaxy with sadness at the cruelty and evil in our world today.

Posted by Ann Ferraro December 15, 08 09:27 AM

In the picture 4 you can easily see the Flying Spaghetti Monstere

Wonderful pictures, let's the religion out of this, please.

Posted by PiratePicard December 15, 08 10:31 AM

This is the ultimate in photography...

Best Christmas presents ever! Keep em comin!!

Posted by Freddy December 15, 08 12:07 PM

I can't believe this has turned into a religious debate. Just shut the F up and enjoy the pics. No one cares what you think, what you believe in, what holy scripture you read, or what you think "Christmas" is. Those aspects are merely a grain of salt in a HUGE sand box which is precisely what these images display.
So why waste your time? Why create unnecessarily conflict? There is enough fighting and arguing going on on the planet without you all bickering back and forth like a bunch of school kids (see recent post about Greece riots).
You're only beating a dead horse. Move on.

Posted by srsly December 15, 08 01:43 PM

Funny, The Christmas Tree was started by German Pagens.

Posted by Thanos73 December 15, 08 05:24 PM

I really enjoyed looking at all the photos. So fascinating. How great a God to have created all this.

Posted by lennie December 16, 08 05:52 AM

#158....and may you be touched by His noodly appendage!

Thank you for the AWESOME pics. For me, these bring to mind the TRUEST meaning of the Holiday Season!

Posted by Julie Tipton December 16, 08 10:29 AM

Great format for amazing pictures!

All the aruments above go to show that we as humans have always had to have have faith in something. Whatever you call it and whatever society it comes from, pagan, druid, christian, jew, etc. Human faiths have morphed and combined throughout time.

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Thomas December 16, 08 01:07 PM

good pictures

Posted by good boy! December 16, 08 02:29 PM

Here's a point to further ponder about all these great photos.

Due to the vast distances involved, what we are seeing is what they looked like many years ago. For instance, the Cas A (16) photo shows what it looked like 10,000 years ago. I wonder what it looks like today? What might of happened when the hot gases blew through a close solar system? Would any life there be wiped out?

Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our solar system, could have exploded yesterday but it would take ~4.3 years for us to see it!

RAmen! :)

Posted by Jojo December 16, 08 11:04 PM

I agree with Todd, THIS is God, or rather the Power, The Essence, The Force.No one on this earth can comprehend the vastness and wonder of what these pictures only show an infintesimal (excuse spellin) small portion. It just goes on to infinity. Think of all the other planets out there that where life has also evolved.
Mind boggling. Cannot thank you enough for allowing us to share in these wonders of the universe. Man is just a little ant, whatever gave us the idea that we were the centre of creation???

Posted by Betty Engelbrecht December 17, 08 09:10 AM

All these pictures are BIG BANG's here and there so is what is the big deal.
Great pictures as allway's

Posted by Pedro December 17, 08 09:44 AM

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Once more, after seeing the absolute marvel that is known as the universe, I can laught at the face of those who claim existance to be a dull place. Thank you for these mind-blowingly amazing pictures and the explanations regarding them.

Posted by Wonders Shall Never Cease December 17, 08 01:56 PM

@127 (Todd)
Ive never heard it [God] explained that way. Very interesting point of view. I like it.

Posted by srsly December 17, 08 02:46 PM

Truly the realm where angels trod.

Posted by BigSilas007 December 17, 08 04:15 PM


Posted by Dave B December 17, 08 05:30 PM

Difficult to wrap one's mind around the vastness and process of it all, even if one (sorta!) understands the explanations.
Fortunately, from this POV it is all so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing these.
I wish my friend from childhood, Donald Menzel, one who laid steps to the stars, could see these too.

Posted by EllerySt December 17, 08 06:15 PM


Posted by baley December 17, 08 06:34 PM

Can someone confirm this? If a picture shows a galaxy located 500 millions light-years away from the Telescope, this means that the light has taken 500 millions years to reach the Telescope, or in other words, the picture is 500 millions years old. True?

Posted by Frédéric December 17, 08 07:13 PM

Yes, Frederic, I think that is exactly what it means.

Posted by Peter H. December 17, 08 09:21 PM

photos like this confirm for me that there is no God

Posted by Robert December 17, 08 09:22 PM

thank you #160

Posted by Anonymous December 17, 08 10:36 PM

So wonderful pictures ! Thank you very much Alan !
And thank you #160 too !

Posted by Charles December 18, 08 10:16 AM

simplement : magique!

Posted by monique December 18, 08 01:14 PM

love these images: I always find it fascinating to watch. This just shows us that there is so much more out there...

Posted by Thomas December 18, 08 04:56 PM

if only there was money in astronomy!
I wonder how many homeless astronomy addicts there are, camping outside the observatory during the day with shaky hands waiting for twilight's fall. Too addicted to learning about all things celestial to care about the teency issues affecting the rest of us on terra madre, most of them cash based... or maybe they make a decent buck, I really don't know.
But can I say that while these pictures are more beautiful and detailed than what you see through a common eyepiece, nothing tops setting up a telescope in the fishbowl of stars and finding a few yourself, what an adventure

Posted by Graeme December 18, 08 06:49 PM

"And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has power to gather them together when He wills" (The Noble Quran, 42:29)"

"O ye assembly of Jinns and men! If it be ye can pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! not without authority shall ye be able to pass! (The Noble Quran, 55:33)"
"O ye assembly of Jinns and men! If it be ye can pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! not without authority shall ye be able to pass! (The Noble Quran, 55:33)"

Posted by Mo December 18, 08 06:59 PM

Thank you to @160 and @156

Great pictures Alan!

The universe does not imply religion of any kind. Any person, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Atheist, Muslim, Democrat, Republican, Green Party, Libertarian, Marxist, Cat, Frog, etc., can appreciate the universe and marvel about its immensity and realize that we are so small and insignificant in the universe.

I don't feel the need to tell people what religion I am, or what political party I am, because, after all, it is not important. The universe really puts (or should put) into perspective how trivial all our arguments are.

Thanks to Alan and his awesome photos! Keep it up! :)

Posted by ultiCAITmate December 18, 08 08:32 PM

Thanks SO much!

As a developer I love to come in every morning and get my daily doze of HOW AMAZING this universe looks... it sucks me in! I get totally overwhelmed as to how small we actually are and how HUGE our Creator must be to have made all of this.

Thanks Jesus, YOU ROCK. And thanks Alan for sharing these images with us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Posted by Marthinus December 19, 08 12:56 AM

Well, 'Christmas' is to celebrate the light at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy that arises every year at this time of Winter Solstice. The Center of the Milky Way Galaxy is found between the constellations of Scorpio and Sagittarius: 11.21 to 12.21 every year, AND will be our 'constant' position with respect to the center of the galaxy beginning in 2012! (I don't really think we should lie to our kids that there is a "Santa." It's really for parents to give their kids a sense of the 'magic' of life, that seems to get lost, or that we all forget in our doing of mundane daily affairs...) The whole of the Universe is super-conscious, automatically doing all good with no evil intent in it, creation, that humans may emulate this Lotus Flower of Life (Creation): 1) Sincerity, 2) Truthfulness, 3) Benevolence (Kindness), 4) Justice (Balance: Honor all life as your own), 5) Courtesy. Not only is it us, but we are it, when we do the Lotus Flower of Life. We are then truly born as it's hologram. Thank you for the Advent Photos. These colors are the treasury of light in side us! Merry Season to ALL!

Posted by lotuslightening December 19, 08 01:13 AM

Type your comment here...

Posted by sophie December 19, 08 02:06 AM

So long ago - what's up there now? Its mind boggliing...

Still its good to know that anything out there watching us from the extremes of space will not get to see what we are up to for a few million years. But when they do I hope they enjoy it, and if they see these photos I'm sure they will.

If only we could see what those planets observed those millions of years ago - do you think they might have had images of what happened a few million years before they existed?

Posted by Dave Holmes (UK) December 19, 08 04:13 AM

Great pictures indeed! Now all of us know just how little we are. I really don't think we will ever know all the answers as to how this all started - no one has applied for the patent at least. But to suggest that your favorite neighborhood "Creator" or "God" , or even Allah, is responsible for all this is as insane as saying that George Bush is a product of intelligent design. It just happened! Oh yes, if you take the religious nonsense out of Christmas then you have a nice, cozy year's end party.

Posted by eagle eye December 19, 08 05:06 AM

Why do you think so?

Posted by Yuri Gagarin December 19, 08 07:17 AM


Posted by pete December 19, 08 12:32 PM

In this thread, many people who are rarely exposed to the beauty and grandeur of the Universe. And who don't seem to be aware that Hubble is on it's last legs, and when the final HST service mission is scheduled (if it doesn't get cancelled.)
Here is the Astronomy Picture of the Day archive:

Posted by TerraHertz December 19, 08 06:48 PM

Beautiful! Thanks.

Posted by Branton Ball December 19, 08 08:12 PM

they are all fantastic pictures..very beautiful,,thank you very much

Posted by raziahmed December 19, 08 09:19 PM

GOD ! GOD is here, ¿how not believe in Him? This really demostrative, GOD EXIST!!!

Posted by Maria Ines December 20, 08 01:16 AM

There is so much beauty out in space... how can we sit on this planet and do nothing but fight amongst ourselves over the little we have been given on our world? I look foreward to the day humanity has united towards the common goal of space exploration. Is it not what we were put here to do? Thank you so much for this wonderful gift during the holiday season

Posted by Hans December 20, 08 12:27 PM

These are spectacular images. I've always known we were just a blip on the landscape, but OMG. Thank you so much for sharing these with everyone. Perhaps we should all just stop and take a look at what we are doing to our planet and start being much more attentive to it. So tell me, the question always comes to my scientific ignorant mind; are we just the galaxies in someones larger snow globe? or is it truly infinitesimal?.....I will forever wonder. Happy Christmas to All.

Posted by Dawn Anderson December 20, 08 01:00 PM

@197: Not to spoil your cosy snow globe analogy, but the space around us is nearly infinite. There may be even space beyond that, because everything we can observe out there are but waves (light and other radiation). These phenomena are known to travel at lightspeed, so they must have had enough time to travel since the creation of the universe in order to reach us. There may very well be regions in space we will never be able to have contact with, just because the light and radiation will never be able to reach us in time (also due to the expansion of the universe).
Maybe a more relevant consequence of this constant lightspeed reasoning is when you gaze at the stars. Actually you are then looking several thousands to even millions year into the past, even with the naked eye.

Posted by Matthias Bal December 20, 08 03:40 PM

The photographs of galaxies so far away show us the POWER OF A CREATOR, we human cannot and will not fathom the extent and mysteries of the CREATION. As we understand so far CREATION & DESTRUCTION is an unending cycle. I cannot understand the thinking of some earthlings as to why the front door has to be marked with sheep blood to make it easy for the CREATOR to know that his chosen ones live in the house. I am referring to Passover. The CREATOR does not tell tale signs.

Posted by Zaheer Uddin December 20, 08 10:24 PM

I can only stand in silence before this beauty.

Posted by Rob C. December 21, 08 12:02 AM

These were wonderful captures of what we already know and learned about the creation of the universe we live in; they all reinforce the theory of the great cloud which had offered a new but not so new prospect on the creation or the start of Galaxy and these changes are also consistant with the theory mentioned and the development through time.. I still beleive that these are wonderfull represtations...


Posted by Ali Mahmoud Ali December 21, 08 09:07 AM

How do I find a site on the aurora borealis, and especially giving forecasts about the northern lights?

Posted by Paula Endo December 21, 08 09:18 AM

Never have i seen suych Beauty of ther Heavens. It really put everything into perspective and our role of 'MASTERS of the UNIVERSE'. About 50 years ago , I used to read comics about transporting ourselves in time and location. It seems as it is the way to 'conquer' the vast distances to other galaxies/ terresterials....

Posted by John R Davis December 21, 08 10:43 AM

Beautiful pics makes me think too much about our insignificance and laugh about how seriously we take ourselves. Lighten up people and live, we are nanospecs in the grand scheme of things.

Posted by Mike Sawatske December 21, 08 07:00 PM

You cant leave off the ultra deep field!

Nice job. So many more - make an astromy blog called 1001 nights with a pic for each...

Posted by Anon December 21, 08 10:50 PM

Thank you for uncovering the beautiful artwork in the sky! I see that there is so much more to our universe than I thought. I'm having some sobbering thoughts right now. Thanks

Posted by Linda December 22, 08 10:50 AM

Imagens maravilhosas!!!
Isto demostra a grandiosidade de Deus Pai Criador de universo.

Posted by INSAKPA December 22, 08 12:07 PM

This is the best Advent calendar I've ever seen. Better than any piece of mediocre candy hiding behind some cheesy picture of Santa Claus! Now, if only Santa could take me to see some of these places...

Hey, Santa! I know what I want this year!

Thank you!

Posted by GJ December 22, 08 12:47 PM

How Great is God Almighty. Coeli enarrant gloriam Dei.Heavens narrate the Glory of God. Blessed be God.

Posted by Rev.mgr.saviour Pace December 22, 08 01:07 PM

It is so interesting to read these comments, submitted by small minds, large minds, religiously bent, or logically considered. What Galileo's crude instrument, and the Hubble, have revealed is simply the Truth.
The Truth is merely there, represented for us all and to be interpreted by all.
Let's just enjoy the beauty, if that is what you see, knowing that one of those spectacular fireballs will consume the Earth long after we humans have become
interstellar dust, and before we have figured out the story behind the Truth.

Posted by Richard December 22, 08 01:59 PM

And the Truth lives! And we get exactly what we need!

Posted by Mark Anderson December 22, 08 04:18 PM

How great is our God!

Posted by Patricia (Pollywog Creek) December 22, 08 08:47 PM

People ascribe the glory of the universe to God, saying that such majesty could only have been conceived and implemented by a divine creator. Do they say the same about pictures of Holocaust victims, of people who have had their heads severed by terrorists, of starving children in Africa, India, and Asia, of the thousands of unfortunates killed by tsunamis and hurricanes, of the horrendous living conditions and rampant disease in most third-world countries? I could give many more examples of the "Glory of God," but you get the idea. Is it your contention that God only creates the beauty and the good in the universe, but has nothing to do with the ugliness and the evil? Wake up, folks -- if God is omnipotent and eternal and the creator of all things, then you must accept that God is even-handed -- doling out the horrifically bad along with the beautiful and good -- or that God, if one exists, had nothing to do with the creation of the universe, that the universe in all its glory and ugliness (yes, Virginia, there is ugliness in the universe) is a natural phenomenon that either came into being when the Big Bang occurred or has existed forever. Astronomers and cosmologists don't seem to care for the latter alternative, but, hey, nobody knows everything.

Posted by herb schulsinger December 22, 08 09:24 PM

Thank you, the pictures are beautiful.
Thank you .

Posted by anon December 22, 08 10:02 PM

So beautiful, so complex, there are physical interactions to numerous to count every second in the universe and yet it holds together, in balance, exploding here, imploding there. Einstein said the complexity of the universe demands the existence of a creator, but we may never know Him. The joy of this season is that we can.

Posted by Rob December 22, 08 10:40 PM

These pictures are spectacular. Just looking at so many and seeing numerous other galaxies spinning away. To imagine being able to travel, by whatever means, among them, to discover just one "secret" not visible to our "eyes." Now that would be a journey worth taking.


Posted by John Uftring December 22, 08 11:47 PM

Beautiful pictures, left me speachless and wanting to see more of them.

As for all the religious discussion, you all shut up for f*ck's sake. As an Atheist I can only laugh at people saying "God created all of it!", whichever your God/Goddess/Universal law might be, lol, to me is like believing Santa Claus drops your little presents under the tree during the night. How ridiculous, yet extremely funny to see the ignorance of so many.

Posted by Anne December 23, 08 07:06 AM

These pictures are amazing. It's too bad people couldn't see the vast expanse of the universe and instead turned it into a theist vs. atheist debate.

Posted by John Spencer December 23, 08 08:31 AM

indeed its preposterous to imagine someone created this. A guy named Antoine Lavoisier said "the sum total of things was always such as it is now, and such it will ever remain," and that nothing is created from nothing, and nothing that disappears ceases to exist"."
Natures just exists, it doesnt need any higher power. Nature IS god, if u wish. As an atheist, i can only say that this pics are remarkable and im marveled by the precision of our technology.
Great day

Posted by Filipe Vale December 23, 08 12:11 PM

no.18 Do they have any hope

Posted by Ellen December 23, 08 03:19 PM

Just to mix it up, maybe the pictures don't represent God's work. God's work is here on Earth, perfection. Satan was cast out into space and we are looking at his vain attempts at creating another Earth. But I don't really know.

Posted by Robert December 23, 08 03:57 PM

I don't see god... I see MATHS. Beautiful, mind meltingly complex maths.

Posted by Ian December 23, 08 08:09 PM

Stunning.. shame people have to ruin it with their religious views...

Posted by james December 23, 08 10:23 PM

I can't think of words to discribe these pictures they are beyound magnificent thank for the religious point of view I prefer to believe in an almighty God for I think it's better to believe and be write than to not believe and be wrong. God bless you all and Merry Christmas.

Posted by Jim December 24, 08 12:09 AM


Posted by virendra oza December 24, 08 02:10 AM

Stop arguing about religion... all religions are right and correct... even the ones who are not religious, they are right as well... EVERYONE IS RIGHT so, mind your own business because you are in fact right... you are life, so, whatever your beliefs, you are correct, just don't go against others, because you would be going against yourself....
I love love love the pics!! now, getting "technical" looking at this pics is looking at the past... right?

Posted by love December 24, 08 02:53 AM

Whether you choose to look at these pictures from a religious perspective or a scientific one to me is irrelevant, each person is allowed their own opinion.

I think we can all agree they are absolutely amazing no matter how or who created it!

Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy New Year!

Posted by Doug December 24, 08 05:35 AM

Now, when I look up to the stars,
I think how infinitely
we are.
And the birds wing.
and the dog bark
and the winter fire
and the tinder's spark
and I'm kinder to myself
and sisters, brothers . . .
amazed by this precious earthly life
so full of giant wonders.

May you all walk gently through the world,
and I'll try to smile when you cut me off in traffic . . .

Posted by Peg December 24, 08 08:11 AM

@217. Anne, do you know that you are also believer? You just believe in evolution and Big Bang having not seen it. And nobody proved the evolution theory to be correct. Do you know why so lot of people believe in evolution? They just don't like to refuse their sins. So, your religion offers you more pleasures - that's why you choose it.

Posted by Yuri Gagarin December 24, 08 08:48 AM

Amazing pictures --- so stimulating and thought provoking -- all this puts Creationism and overt Biblical interpretation in its proper place -- iin the rubbish bin -- breaks my heart to hear of Science teachers with First Class Honours degrees insisting on preaching Creationism to the young impressionable next generation

Posted by Dr John McCarthy December 24, 08 11:41 AM

Can't we all just get along. The vastness of these amazing images makes it clear to me that even if anyone is "right or wrong" it simply does not matter. May we all enjoy our beliefs and what they do for us, the universe will continue, as it always has, with or without them.

Posted by Luke Strub December 24, 08 11:56 AM

Obrigada a todos que contribuiram para que pudesse ver essas fotos magnificas, obrigada a meu filho que me orientou a entrar neste site. Simplesmente maravilhoso

Posted by Arlete December 24, 08 12:07 PM

está claro que no somos nada.

Posted by y nos creemos dioses December 24, 08 12:10 PM

La belleza, la maravilla, el Misterio......
Feliz solsticio a todos y Feliz Navidad

Posted by Francisco Muñoz December 24, 08 02:25 PM

this is absolutely amazing! thanks!

Posted by Will Viederman December 24, 08 03:17 PM

Whatever our religions, these pictures remind us of what we share:
1. Our own infinite smallness before the enormous size and power of the universe.
2. A spectacular view of a universe filled with wonder..
3. A moral imperative to expand from our single tiny biosphere to other homes in that vast universe where our hope and wonder might live on, no matter what.
The beautiful universe beckons -- let's go!

Posted by Cory Allen Heidelberger December 24, 08 05:03 PM

I don't understand why people are leaving so many comments saying that their interpretation of these pictures as beautiful makes them believe in God or reaffirms their belief in God. I think these pictures are amazingly beautiful, but they certainly aren't evidence of God to me. If anything, they remind me how ridiculous the creationist stories are and how no religion was even close to predicting the true nature of the universe. Science is what reveals these images and the natural evolutionary process is what is responsible for our interpretation of these images as being beautiful.

Posted by Seth December 24, 08 05:03 PM

Excellent pictures, and stup1d comments nonsense. Yes god don't exist (STOP)

Posted by BK-Z December 24, 08 07:23 PM

on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,
we each get to determine just what we mean.
On a mote of an idea, suspended within our thoughts,
we each get to express, that which only we can...

Best wishes to you too Alan,
and thankyou :-)

Posted by Baz December 25, 08 01:09 AM

Nature is God, Science is Religion..

Awesome pics.. HST is the ultimate symbol of all science and engineering...

Posted by Sriram December 25, 08 02:13 AM

Thank you so much for this wonderful daily treat. Finding the newly loaded image has been the first thing I've done each day on turning on my laptop. I truly had no idea how much variety and wonder was out there!

Wishing you and your loved ones a fabulous holiday season.

Jane in Cardiff, Wales UK

Posted by Jane Oriel December 25, 08 04:39 AM

Paras näkemäni joulukalenteri, upeaa!

Posted by Pasi Luukkonen, Finland December 25, 08 04:54 AM

seasons greetings to everyone.
the last picture says it all.

Posted by alan December 25, 08 05:01 AM

This has been an incredible and amazing piece of work here. Thank you so much for sharing it. How insignificant we are indeed and how pointless our harm to others by word or action is.

Thanks again.. simply awesome stuff.

Posted by Terrier December 25, 08 05:03 AM

It seems to me that any 'religious' person with even the slightest bit of intelligence would look at the Hubble UDF and think--if just for a moment--"I think I've been lied to." How can any person who isn't a blind and ignorant automaton/sheep look at even a small handful of those galaxies--each with its own hundreds of billions of stars and (probably) trillions of planets--and not wonder why any reasonable God or gods would bother setting them to spinning in the distant darkness. If that's what truly happened--and there's not the very least shred of evidence to prove that it did--all you'll be left to ponder is, "Wow, what an incredible waste!"

Admit it, my misguided brothers and sisters: God didn't create the universe for us; we created God because we didn't understand the universe. The sooner humanity gets that, the sooner things will start getting better.

Merry Winter Solstice!

Posted by Jim Pettit December 25, 08 06:37 AM

Buradan çýkan anlam þu;
Kainatta asla yanlýz deðiliz.
Baþka yerlerde bizi gözetleyen birileri var.

...Ve ayrýca, bu görüntüleri bizlerle paylaþtýðýnýz için ayrýca teþekkür ediyorum...!
Türkiye'den sevgilerimle

Posted by Sabri KAYACIK December 25, 08 07:32 AM

Wonderful photos as always. I think it's also appropriate to follow the Carl Sagan quote with the four short paragraphs that followed it in his book "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space" from where that quote originates:

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

Posted by dymaxion December 25, 08 07:48 AM

Estas fotografias são simplesmente BELAS. A Natureza é extremamente sábia...não criou nada de supérfluo nem de inútil, só de belo e digno de ser admirado e partilhado. Acredito que estas fotografias são gotas ínfimas diante do infindável oceano do universo. Agradeço a um amigo muito especial a sua partilha.

Posted by Ana F. December 25, 08 07:53 AM

I was pointed to this website by The Metro, a free newspaper in London which listed it's top sites for '08. As a keen photographer myself I am absolutely blown away by these images. As for the God question, it doesn't really clarify things for me!

Thank you for the time and effort that has gone into putting this site together, it has been a really incredible experience looking at these images.

Posted by Ed December 25, 08 08:15 AM

Belles images ! Beau cadeau de Noël Alan ;)

@ 229 Can you explain your mind ?
En francais (désolé, matin oblige) : Le problème avec les non-evolutionistes, c'est que leur pensée n'est pas scientifique, ni même rationnelle d'ailleurs... Une science se réfléchit, est en mouvement permenant. "Une théorie est vraie jusqu'à preuve du contraire" disait Albert Einstein... Ce qui l'oppose aux croyances, qui ne possède que des faits établis.
Alors la contestation de l'evolutioniste par des croyances... Peu crédible aux oreilles des personnes soucieuses de rationalisme. Mais cette contestation peut être satisfaisante à l'individu !

Posted by S@m. December 25, 08 08:26 AM

Feeling glad to be a part of something larger.

Posted by Opal December 25, 08 11:14 AM

Perhaps this is a silly request, but these pictures are absolutely beautiful, hypnotic, and beyond anything, humbling. Rather than bickering over whether or not God is in these pictures (As others have said, personally, I could care less) let's just enjoy them, please?. We all agree that these are wonderful and give us a sense of place, however we want to interpret that.

This post is one of the few things that doesn't seem to have a ethnic, political, religious, etc stance, as it just IS so let's appreciate that. Please don't tell people what to THINK when seeing these images, allow others to enjoy them as they will... we're all doing the same for you.

Picture #25 (along with the beautifully-written caption) really demonstrates "The Big Picture" better than anything else I could imagine. Thank you for that.

Posted by Roshan Patel December 25, 08 11:47 AM

#213, that's a troublesome concept, yes. God made everything beautiful, but (for His own reasons) He's granted us free will, and He takes that concept very VERY seriously. So when human beings get together and decide to do ugly things, He refuses to override their free will (famine is always a political event; weather changes can be adapted to unless there are people in power interfering for their own purposes). Which is a good thing. I love Him and want to obey Him, but I still don't want Him physically forcing or preventing me to do anything, even when I choose small ugly acts, and I can't imagine anyone would like it. That would be a Stepford universe, and thank God we don't live there.

Awesome pictures.

Posted by Pam Jernigan December 25, 08 02:48 PM

definitivamente não estamos sozinhos no universo, pois é maravilhoso demais para apenas um punhado de "humanos" poder admirar o cosmo.

Posted by elias December 25, 08 03:13 PM

Great great great pictures !

... and may God protect us from religion ;-) !

Posted by Yogi December 25, 08 03:21 PM

Thanks for the astronmy photos Becky, I love looking at those. I recall sitting on the roof of our house in El Dorado one starry night and realizing that the universe and everythng in it is under no obligation whatsoever to be the way I think it SHOULD be........

Posted by whimsical December 25, 08 04:44 PM

So sick of Carl Sagan quotes! He's his own little religion. (False god?) Otherwise a nice set of photos!

Posted by Joe December 25, 08 05:32 PM

This should be good! Looking forward to the pics, i'm sure they're going to be amazing as usual :)
But why not call the Holiday Season what it is? Christmas...
Posted by Richard December 1, 08 05:17 PM



stop being so silly. your anger is showing

Posted by Deeeeebeeeeceeee December 25, 08 07:21 PM

Doesn't anyone think it's interesting that we only "see" the "visible spectrum"?


I've sent this calender to all my love-to-have-their-minds-blown friends.

Thank you.

Posted by Bill M December 25, 08 08:05 PM

Big pictures of big stuff. Been looking at them for years.
The bottom line is, So what?

Posted by patrick December 25, 08 08:20 PM

Thank you.

Posted by Bob Shanahan December 25, 08 10:30 PM

Our sun is a star. There are up to 400,000,000,000 (400 billion) stars in just our own Milky Way galaxy. Moreover, there are up to 500,000,000,000 (500 Billion) galaxies in the universe.

Most American "Christians" believe that man/woman was made "in the image" of the being that created all this. Most also believe we are on the only planet where "life" exists in this entire, vast universe.

And they were willing to kill more than 1 million people, most entirely innocent, for Bush’s war of choice in Iraq that was based on lies. With no consequences for the liars?

Posted by Harry R. Sohl December 25, 08 10:37 PM

We are so lost without the Father! Thinking anyone of us has in our mind all we need. The moment we think that, we begin to slip away in more ways than most are given to understand. And to think that many believe the lie that existence happened on its own. Whatever you are convicted of, research it with all you've been given because you will need to be able to stand. Never stop questioning.
Please don't be afraid to call out to the most High to show you the way. What have you got to lose but an amazing spiritual experience and eternal life. There is truth and it will become self evident. Beautiful pictures!
Love you all. John

Posted by John Rutherford December 26, 08 12:08 AM

What a glorious array of images... I live in beautiful Perth in Western Australia and discovered your blog on my own voyage of discovery around google news. Have sent link to my NASA mad brother. Many blessings to all Bostonians from Perth. Rosie xx

Posted by Rosie Egyedi December 26, 08 01:14 AM



Posted by Emamuddin Ahmad December 26, 08 01:49 AM

Believe what you will, but please don't take Albert Einstein's name in vain. No, he never said " the complexity of the universe demands the existence of a creator, but we may never know Him." Did your preacher tell you that?

Referring to- 215.So beautiful, so complex, there are physical interactions to numerous to count every second in the universe and yet it holds together, in balance, exploding here, imploding there. Einstein said the complexity of the universe demands the existence of a creator, but we may never know Him. The joy of this season is that we can.

Posted by Rob December 22, 08 10:40 PM

Posted by Stan December 26, 08 03:57 AM

Stop and think for a minute !!!!!!!!!
has anyone noticed that with all our science studies there has been no trace of life in all of these photos.Well,how come the earth is completely away from all that mess out there?doesn't any body see that we were placed here to enjoy our beautifully created earth. you can believe in all the science you want,but you better believe that there is a power out there we should all be appreciative of.

Posted by massimino Russello December 26, 08 06:46 AM

Each one chooses where to place their faith-in themselves, mankind, technology, knowledge or in something larger, that they cannot fully imagine, understand, fathom or quantify. The pictures speak to the unimagined, unknown,
unfathonable and unquantifiable- beyond desciption.

Posted by Bea December 26, 08 12:27 PM


AMEN to that brother!

@Boston big picture: Thanks for being in my life ;-)

Posted by Guan December 26, 08 03:29 PM

These pictures are amazing, but what most people don't understand and what is rarely mentioned is that these sorts of astronomical pictures, while undoubtedly beautiful, are largely the result of intense image enhancement and manipulation.

None of the objects look much like the pictures . The colors have been greatly exaggerated and lighting improved to provide details. The objects would be unrecognizable to the naked eye looking directly through a telescope.

At best an observer would see a fuzzy gray image with a slight hint of color.

Posted by Phisnaki December 26, 08 06:06 PM

Mr. Taylor:

Your work is a true and real gift. I have been a fan since the first days of The Big Picture. I have laughed out loud. I have cried. I have marveled at the goodness of man… and the evil. I have seen jaw-dropping images and been rendered speechless. I have shared your artistry with everyone I know. I have added many Web sites that you’ve mentioned to my daily cruise to check out the condition of life here on Earth. I am much better educated since having met you. I am eternally grateful.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Posted by B. Ays December 26, 08 06:41 PM

Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth. (Psalms 57:5)

Posted by Paul December 26, 08 07:14 PM

If people are going to sit here and comment on what they feel to be factual scripture. Can you at least use some grammer or fix your spelling?
There is nothing worse than someone acting like they have a brain or are more intelligent than others, and they cant even type the language properly.
I dont understand how the majoritory of religious nuts appear to be uneducated illiterate sheep. Has anyone else noticed that it was the religious people that started this argument in here, by pushing their beleifs on a scientific community?

As an example of this i give you poster #199
(actual post)

"The photographs of galaxies so far away show us the POWER OF A CREATOR, we human cannot and will not fathom the extent and mysteries of the CREATION. As we understand so far CREATION & DESTRUCTION is an unending cycle. I cannot understand the thinking of some earthlings as to why the front door has to be marked with sheep blood to make it easy for the CREATOR to know that his chosen ones live in the house. I am referring to Passover. The CREATOR does not tell tale signs."

(This would have made more sense typed as)

The photographs of galaxies so far away show us the power of a creator, we humans cannot and will not be able to fathom the extent and mysteries of creation. What we understand so far of creation and destruction is that it is an unending cycle. I cannot understand how some people (earthlings? are you from outer space sir?) still feel the front door has to be marked with sheeps blood to make it easier for the creator to know that his chosen ones live in the house. I am referring to Passover. (I dont understand how that fits into the discussion) The creator does not tell tall tales? (tale signs. what are tale signs?)

This whole post is not really relevant at all to the topic. Apart from his initial comment. He goes from the photos showing the power of a creator to passover (which has absolutly nothing to do with the topic at hand) in three sentences. Im sure the greater religious community can dredge something better from the bottom of the barrel, people that post things like this are just an embarrassment to all concerned.

If your going to try and sound intelligent you may as well look intelligent.

If i were religious i would NOT want to be associated with dullards like this.

Posted by Sick of religious nazi's pushing their belief's December 26, 08 10:13 PM

Thank you so much! What a gift you've given us by putting these online. The images were stunning and totally provocative. And I thought the Dec. 25th Carl Sagan quote was also perfect. Once again, many, many thanks and I hope you keep the site up for a long, long time!

Posted by Jane December 26, 08 10:41 PM

Laws of the Universe tell us that something greater exists. We are all part of this vastly expanding Universe, we are all energy and contribute to the overall power. Each and every one of us is connected to this incredible universal expanding energy field. Knowing this and seeing these photos reminds me of just how large we really are as humans. We all have a purpose in the here and now as well as infinitely. Realizing God is a loving law that governs this and not a being separate from us helps this whole experience make sense to me. God does exist to me and because we question this fact is all part of our growth as spiritual beings residing on this planet earth. IMHO .


Posted by SLW December 27, 08 09:35 AM

These pictures owe as much to the artistry of the image technicians as the telescope itself. It's great that the telescope can capture such fine detail, but it is the post-processing that makes these images as beautiful as they are.

These colors as shown to not exist in nature; they are evidence of a creator but unfortunately that creator is an image specialist sitting in front of computer adding colour and clarity.

Posted by Tim December 27, 08 09:45 AM

Picture #6 is a cosmic reminder that the eye of God looks upon all sinners with love and compassion.

Peace in 2009

Posted by Edward Meunch December 27, 08 09:48 AM

Images are a bit noisy. Run them through Noise Nina, boost contrast, and maybe lower the f-stop on hubble by a little bit. Where is the EXIF data?

: )

Posted by Joseph December 27, 08 10:21 AM

In the Book of Barney Rubble, II:14, heretofore unpublished, it is said "let the fools among us change the subject and debate the undebatable; as for me, I shall enjoy the aesthetic miracles of the Hubble".

Posted by Richard December 27, 08 10:48 AM

Thank you very much for these; they are simply glorious.

Best Advent Calendar of the year, I think!

Posted by bls December 27, 08 02:03 PM

Amazing how these photos bring out the best and worst in some of us. For the Atheist I say, If you are right and their is no God that created the stars and all that exists other than the earth, then once you breath your last breath that's it for you. However if you believe in God who claimes to have made it all, then you have what he promises, eternity to study his Creation and if your wrong then you have what the Atheist has, nothing. Much better to be in the ark if there was a flood, Christ has the answere to the Universe no one else claimes to have it. Thanks for building my faith with you pics and information on them.

Posted by Roger December 27, 08 09:24 PM

Is there a Calender to hang on our walls?
"They are many we are few, what to do? Close your eyes before you go crazy!

Posted by Saloplad. Peter Wignall December 27, 08 09:30 PM

No life out there? When you look at a drop of water at your feet you do not see the microscopic life. Your looking at light that has been compiled over years of pictures and thousands or more years of travel. I doubt we'll know there is no life out there until we've traveled everywhere.

Posted by Hmmm December 27, 08 10:03 PM

Awesome!!!! And for those of you who DO think of God while viewing these pictures....I'll see you in Eternity...the rest of you...., well, I'll pray you see the REAL light.

Posted by Eagle II December 27, 08 10:27 PM

Astounding photos and processing. Disappointed, but not surprised, that the comments contain no references to the physics behind the shapes and patterns, and in particular, the electrical nature of the universe.

Posted by sam December 27, 08 11:24 PM

Unbelievable. Carl Sagan's quote nails it home for me. We are absolutely inconsequential in the scheme of things. We are merely a speck of floating dust among an infinite amount of other specks. What I hold on to so dearly in this life may seem important to me, but looking at these pictures makes me feel my belief system is absolutely stupid(for lack of a better word). Lately I have been thinking about the messed up nature of humanity in the world today but in a way these pictures make me feel better. I hope everyone out there someday realizes we are in a tiny corner of the universe and all we have is each other. All we can do is love one another until we die off and make room for others.

Posted by MT December 28, 08 01:25 AM
287. has the most amazing photo collections, and this is the best of all. thanks for closing with that magnificent quotation by the late great Carl Sagan. I have chills!

Posted by Jake Barlow December 28, 08 04:58 AM

EVERYBODY BELIEVES ONE DAY, SOME BEFORE THEY DIE, SOME AFTER. This is a world of examination. Even Though Allah writes "Allah exists" in the sky, some people will find some other explanations to say it's because of this or that reason. If you close your ears or if you are determined to hate music, let Bethoween play his most beautiful pieces of music. If the picture you have drawn doesn't recognise you as the master, it doesn't change the fact that you have drawn it. It only shows that the picture lacks intelligent.

Posted by ibrkorkut December 28, 08 09:54 AM

#279 These visions of Hellfire are just but a hint of what the Lord has in store for you mocking atheist goons.

Posted by Philligy December 28, 08 01:28 PM

wow theres some nasty christians here

Posted by damond December 28, 08 04:59 PM

Both the atheists and the religious are being particularly silly and rude here.

Instead of telling them that they are wrong, try to educate them.

Explain to the religious the physics of these events so that they can understand why we don't believe a god is necessary for such beauty (hell, beauty is subjective to humans anyway).

And the religious can explain to the atheists that these old scriptures prove them wrong...oh wait never mind. Physics > Bible.

Posted by Mattan Ingram December 28, 08 05:16 PM

All this amazing beauty, and NONE of it is described in any ancient religious text.

Science brought us these images - the search for truth through evidence and methodology. In other words, the exact opposite of what "religious education" teaches us.

Science, facts, evidence, critical thinking, cooperation - only these can carry us past our current problems, can preserve our beautiful blue ball, and can one day carry us beyond it.

Thank you for a truly inspiring set of images.

Posted by RickK December 28, 08 05:21 PM

@ 291.-
"Instead of telling them that they are wrong, try to educate them."

Did you try to educate a fundamentalist?. Just try once, it's the most frustrating thing ever.

The photos... I was speechless

Posted by Doxctor Mapache December 28, 08 06:26 PM

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We find these pictures beautiful because we are wired up that way. And because the people who framed the images and, sometimes, who chose the colours (yeah, some of these pics show false colours) are... well... people. There is no god in that: there's only our minds working as they've evolved to work. Had they evolved any differently, the pictures displayed here would be different, and yet those altered people would stare at them in awe, just as we do.

Last but not least, we can see this beauty not because some bunch of mystical ascets prayed really hard, but because some people have dropped all dogma and began probing the true nature of things. We call them scientists, and they are the reason why we have a telescope in orbit, computers in our homes and the internt to bring that telescope's images to our computers. There's no god in that either.

Thanks, The Big Picture. You're one of the best blogs in the internet.

Posted by Jorge December 28, 08 06:30 PM

RE: post #273 Posted by Sick of religious nazi's pushing their belief's December 26, 08 10:13 PM

I'm not sure if you were just trying to be clever, but you misspelled grammar, majority and beliefs. Also, there were instances of unnecessary or misplaced commas in your post. Way to bag on other people though. And another thing, these photos have NOTHING to do with the existence (or the non-existence) of a God, Allah, Ganesh, Vishnu, Creator or any other deity you can think of. So just sit back, enjoy and by all means, LEAVE IT BE!!

Posted by Zach December 28, 08 07:41 PM

Richard Dawkins & Charles Darwkin beats "Saint" Paul & Jesus "Christ" and day of the week!

Posted by Mark December 28, 08 08:00 PM

InshAllah. Glory be to Allah. These pictures prove his power and goodness.

Posted by Tweaker December 29, 08 12:47 AM

It doesn't matter what you believe about where all those stars came from or weather you believe in God. Keep those oppinions to yourselves. This is how Holocausts are created.
Think about how you would feel before you say something insultling.

Posted by Bob December 29, 08 02:34 AM

What if the universe IS God and God IS the universe?What if the entire universe is the cumulative mass of the original creator and we simply don't understand how to communicate?

Posted by Debra P December 29, 08 02:38 AM

yeh. great pictures. but i have a dream to see it by my own eyes.

Posted by Irina December 29, 08 02:54 AM

WOW! don't think all this will ever be understood, so I think I'll go home and play with my 3 year old son and be glad I'm alive.
Peace to all

Posted by Mark Andrew Taylor December 29, 08 08:46 AM

Comment from Julia (8 years old):

GOD IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The pictures are wonderful!!!!

Posted by Anonymous December 29, 08 09:16 AM

#245 :-) Amen brother!!!!

Posted by Jeff December 29, 08 09:51 AM

> but i have a dream to see it by my own eyes.

Unfortunately, these objects look nothing like this to the naked eye. Even if you had the ability to view directly through the Hubble's optics, all you would see are fuzz blobs. These pictures are the result of heavy computer processing and coloring by image technicians. The pictures aren't a complete "lie" because you need Hubble to capture the fine details, but the public really should be aware of what the raw images really look like.

Posted by John Mashbury December 29, 08 10:43 AM

Wow! I appreciate the descriptions. They are without a doubt, nebulous!

Posted by Ron Jones December 29, 08 10:57 AM

no. 21 made me cry, wonder & just gaze.

& they say this is a tiny part of the big picture. WOW... speechless...

& this is all my entity represents. Respect... respect everyone, everything, everywhere... we are nothing.

Posted by Ali Hayat December 29, 08 11:43 AM

Simply amazing.

Star Trek now makes more sense than ever. Who WOULDN'T dream about humans traveling around the universe in ships to see these incredible wonders up close.

Posted by Kevin December 29, 08 12:23 PM

Lindo, belo, inimaginável há anos atrás. Apenas vem demonstrar o quão infinitamente minúsculos somos no cosmos... obrigado. JotaErre

Posted by ESOJ ORIESOR December 29, 08 03:15 PM

At one level of consciousness I experience awe and wonder and in one domain of language I stammer before the Great Mystery of it all - in the Ground of Being of which I intuitively sense we are each and all an interconnected sacralized part. Living the questions feels like a joyous grand adventure - like a kid in the candy-store of the Universe. Whee !!!

Posted by Ronald Bell December 29, 08 04:28 PM

What beautiful images these are whether they are enhanced or not. Could you imagine being able to go to all these different places to learn about all the different things that must be out there in the Universe. Just think of all the things out there to be discovered and learned. God willing someday we will get to experience this. These pictures are beautiful and thank you very much for sharing them with us all.
Everyone please try and get along for a change. We are asked by God to spread his word to those who do not believe. Do this with gentleness and respect. I also think that everyone else should respect each others beliefs by letting that person state those beliefs without telling those who do not believe as they do they are wrong. Stop bashing each other because your beliefs are different or because you have a personal problem with how someone else chooses to believe. Accept that some believe different and get to know those people they might just be someone you might like.

Posted by Diane R. December 29, 08 05:55 PM

Why don't we just enjoy the photos and let each other be? This arguing helps nobody and only makes us all look childish. We should each have our own beliefs and not force them on others. Respect each other and let us move forward.


Posted by Tully December 29, 08 07:15 PM

This is my reply to the religious postings here:
John Lennon - Imagine lyrics

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one


Search Google for full lyrics

Posted by Jojo December 29, 08 09:16 PM

Number 273: With all your grandstanding on the uneducated religious nuts you harp on in your tirade, you may want to wash down your foot with a nice beverage. And I quote you: "If your going to try and sound intelligent you may as well look intelligent." Nice job there liberal kook. Know the difference between "your" and "you're"....YOU'RE the dullard!

Posted by Adam December 29, 08 11:24 PM

Number 273: 313 is right about your grammar. You should also know that "I" should always be capitalized. But, that is the what liberals do when they can't prove "the right" wrong. Liberals will point out a mistake and use that mistake to try and dispute the truth. I am not a college graduate, and I have probably made some grammatical errors here, but at least I know their is a God. I also know that you don't have to be "right wing" to be a Christian, or do you? Since the word Christian has the root word Christ, and in Christ's day people that acted like him were the only ones that were called Christians, I wonder if any of us can truthfully claim to be Christians. Read God's Word and you'll see Jesus was right wing!

Posted by Tom Newsome December 30, 08 01:23 AM

What marvelous pictures! And I enjoy how the expanse of sky can stimulate thought that is not so fettered by the ol' mundane ... theology, for instance.

I have slept beneath the stars many a night. My friends and I have played "name that constellation" and invented our own; "Look, it's the tipsy teapot."

Once, waking with a clear mind, I could actually "see" the night sky as it really is. I could "see" the depths of space. I could see some bright stars were verrry far away, and I could see that some small, dim stars were rather close. For perhaps a second my mind did not interfere with the light entering my eyes. Then my conventional mind stepped to the command seat and the miracle of real sight disappeared and all those lights resumed looking like pinholes in a big, dark shell over us. Sometimes our education blinds us.

I was taught as a youngster that there are four fundamental forces in the universe; gravity, magnetism, electromagnetism, and the dance of strong and weak forces. I insist that there is a fifth force; life. Whenever the right constituents are brought together, life results. This is neither an argument for nor against a godhead, but my insistence that in this infinite Petri dish we are not the only culture.

Posted by Parris ja Young December 30, 08 02:33 AM

Neat stuff. But where would I ride my 4-wheeler?

Posted by Pflueger December 30, 08 08:59 AM

As a single sand
faces the vast open sea --

Posted by kathy December 30, 08 10:35 AM


Posted by FLYINGTHOUGHTS December 30, 08 11:22 AM

Say, who says that its not of God? The only explanation I can speak of is "God always was and always will be".. How can it be explained, where did these beutiful creations start, from what beginning? Thank you God for the creations. I see it as all God in many miracle creations. All as one as we are all in one. Just my belief as one.

Posted by Fernie Miranda in Costa Rica December 30, 08 01:09 PM

What I'm finding distressing here, far from the beauty and inspiration of these images is the yelling "at" one another going on from militant atheists to literalist readers of the Old Testament in the fundamentalist Christian camp. It seems, if nothing else that you need each other.

First, not all Christians and Jews take the Genesis story of creation literally or ever have. Literalists who say it's accurate word for word are a tiny minority of Christans. The first problem, of course, is which of the three creation stories interwoven in Genesis 1 is the right one to take literally?

Of course, lowering the volume on either side might mean having to admit that these images are moving, awe inspiring and simply beautiful no matter how the universe came into being.

For me, as a Christian, there is room for both God and science and these images celebrate both. And, for the record, no the universe was not created in 6 solar days some 4000 years ago. nor does anything biblical say it was.

Now then, let's just all enjoy creation for what it is, infinitely variable, stunning and wonderful.

Posted by TtfnJohn December 30, 08 02:13 PM

Some of us are in for a big surprise at the end. Will it be those who believe or those who do not? One thing I do know is that humanity is a weak god. Whether or not you believe is unimportant to anyone but you. To engage in these endless and pointless arguments solves nothing and wastes a lot of energy and lives. The universe, depicted herein, will continue long after all of us are gone. Appreciate it in your own capacity; logical, emotional, or otherwise, but don't perpetuate hate. That is wrong no matter what you believe.

Posted by Steve Cox December 30, 08 03:01 PM

I'm so happy you ended with Pale Blue Dot. That's about my favorite by far.

Posted by BertL December 30, 08 03:47 PM

Happy Holidays and a happy and healthy 2009!

Posted by pat & Lee Blowers December 30, 08 04:23 PM

...which reminds me of the two fleas on the back of the dog arguing about who owned the dog.

Posted by Paul December 30, 08 04:44 PM

Simply amazing, infinite and universal THANKS God and the Stars bless you!

Posted by Miguel December 30, 08 05:08 PM

To # 263... How does the "Most High" show you the way? What decisions does he/she make for you? Might it be that you are making decisions on your own and choose to frame them as direction from the "most high" to make yourself feel more comfortable with your path? Please note that I am a firm believer in a higher power and I see evidence of he/she in many places. I just don't understand how one person telling others to take direction from a higher power accomplishes anything. unless you think god speaks directly to us, what you really want us to do is make choices that are like yours so that you can feel validated as a person. All organized religion is about people feeling validated and not about god.

Posted by Steve December 30, 08 06:00 PM

Recordemos que todos somos parte del cosmos y el cosmos es parte de cada uno de nosotros.
Fluir en armonía con el universo hace que el universo entero conspire a nuestro favor.
Gracias por estas bellas fotografías.

Posted by Susana December 30, 08 06:42 PM

There's gotta be lives up there ... the odds have it ... some more advanced than us, some less but then, who's measuring? .... only our egos cause us to think otherwise! It's got nothing to do with whether there's a deity or not!

Posted by Joe December 30, 08 09:25 PM

nosssa muito interessante todas essas imagens.,..

Posted by johnatan December 31, 08 11:20 AM

Great pictures. Yes, amen to #245, brother! And curiously, it seems like only the religious freaks are the ones arguing here. Hmmm.....

Posted by Chris December 31, 08 12:16 PM

God is.

Posted by Gene Zika December 31, 08 05:29 PM

Excellent comment #245, thanks. After viewing these extraordinary images, I took a moment to view Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot on youtube again. Reading his quote here was great, but there's something special in actually listening to him speak it.

Posted by Jylan January 1, 09 10:00 AM

@ 291, i agree with the first part of your comment, but the second part i found rather condiscending. as a very religious person myself, and future missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (serving in Fort Lauderdale, Florida speaking spanish as of February 4th, 09) I believe in the principle of teaching. Not debate (though i realize our sometime rather irrational minds lead us to that, even when we mean not to.) in the bible, and through the study of it you may find two doctrines:

1. That God wants us to know that "He's the boss" and much bigger than us in the Grand Scheme of things; that heaven is our ultimate goal and nothing else really matters,

and 2. That Christ often taught in parables and drew parallels to help us understand.
If so, I believe both of these come together to show what the Universe really is (concerning "The pale dot"): That we (represented by Earth) are, truly just noting when compared to The Almighty (represented by the Universe). Isn't it humbling to know that despite our seeming insignicant there is an ultimate God who cares for us each individually?

I myself KNOW there is a God who cares for me. NOT because someone told me, or explained it through reasoning, but because my Heavenly Father, through His Holy Spirit, revealed the truthfulness of it unto me, and therefore i harbor no doubt in my mind of the truthfulness of these things; else why would i give up two years of my life at 19 to go out and preach it to the world?

the comment immediately before mine (331) stated it simply: "god is;" and why His Son, Jesus Christ, created this universe and all of it's wonders matters not to me. the only thing that matters is that He did it and that my only reason for being alive is to serve Him Whole heartedly. even to death.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Posted by LDS Elder January 1, 09 10:08 AM

Son imagenes preciosas a la par que intrigantes.

Posted by Rafael Cabello January 1, 09 11:29 AM

Thank you so much for this fabulous Christmas gift! I was dazzled daily. Sure hope you do this again. Do we love the Hubble or what?!

Posted by Christy January 1, 09 04:48 PM

Kiitos hienoista kuvista!

Posted by Jorma Peltola January 1, 09 05:15 PM

The atheists have the biggest amount of faith here.

I mean honestly, to look at these pictures and this it happened by chance... a big bang... I don't know how they do it.

Go read the Bible. Then look at these pictures

Posted by Ivanjkg January 2, 09 04:30 PM

Absolutely stunning collection of images. I will have facinating desktop backgrounds for years to come. Well done, thank you very much.

Posted by Spenny January 2, 09 06:06 PM

Truly amazing and incredible! ....thankfully we don't inhabit the universe otherwise it would be pretty well trashed like our 'pale blue dot'

Posted by geoffrey-bob January 4, 09 01:54 AM

Mais uma vez podemos dizer que Giordano Bruno tinha razão.

Posted by Fernando Antonio Moreira Távora January 4, 09 04:25 AM

@333 - The Bible authors claim that the world is a flat circle (Isaiah 40:22, the Hebrew word 'chug' CANNOT mean spherical in the context used). This flat world was immovable (1 Chronicles 16:30). The sky was solid (Job 37:18) with the sun, moon and stars affixed to this solid sky dome (Genesis 1:16-17). The sky dome existed to keep out the waters of the upper heavens (Genesis 1:6), with windows to allow rain and the flood of Noah (Genesis 7:11-12). Never let the truth get in the way of a good sermon.

Posted by Jylan January 4, 09 05:20 AM

Fabulouse photographs

Thank you for this beautiful gift


Posted by January 4, 09 11:15 AM


Posted by S. Hickman January 4, 09 05:23 PM

@ 341 how do you even know that in Isaiah 40:22 "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth" is even making a reference to the matter of the dimensionality of the earth? from reading the surrounding verses the reference is actually supporting my argument: in 18: To whom then will ye liken god... and then in 22 , "he" is God and the inhabitants, the grasshoppers, are being compared to us. You are also taking chronicles too literally. in fact, it is speaking in future tense here, if you want to take it literally, it implies the earth will become immovable in the future, thus implying that it moves at the current time this scripture was written. And with job, i don't even know where you get that the sky is solid. it says "hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and AS a looking glass?" this is obviously a mere simily, and this chapter is talking about God's control over the elements... if god wanted i'm sure he could make the atmosphere freeze over and become solid, heh.also, the verses 16-17 in genisis 1 make no reference to this dome, but that "God set them in the firmament of heaven" nothing there suggests them staying in one place or being affixed to one spot rotating around the earth.(firmamant meaning the atmosphere or the sidereal of heavens depending on the context). then in verse 6, the firmament dividing waters from waters is not any dome. (see firmament definition above). and again in noah you take the verse far too literally. and finally, for you further interest, see Helamen 12:15 in the Book of Mormon, which states that "...Surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun."

I hope this helps you see my point of veiw. also, please note that neither of us will ever convince the other of the others point without a way to find which is true for sure. who knows what man can find the truth? But surely God knows all and will reveal all if you but ask in his son's name, if it be true, and i promise you, if you ask with real intent, having faith in the Lord god, it shall be revealed unto you.

Posted by LDS Elder January 4, 09 07:46 PM

I like what Bob Marley said about it. "We're sick and tired of the ism schism game, died and gone to heaven lord in Jesus name. We know when we understand the mighty God is a living man". Thats it, enjoy eternity whether you believe it or not.

Posted by Rick Walker January 4, 09 10:47 PM

I too have loved these photographs, but as pure science - why term it an advent calendar. Why sully the secular nature of scientific achievement with religious rhetoric?

Carl Sagan was a great human being who truly understood the sheer mass of our universe as few can. His writing, however it is taken, is a gemstone in the crown of mankind.

Posted by Scratch January 6, 09 10:18 AM

Oh Gott
welch einen fantastischen Einblick bekommen wir.
und was für ein wunderschönes kleines blaues Sternchen ist unsere Erde
Ein Sandkorn im Universum, auf dem sich einige Verrückte, Geld und Machtpolitisch die Köpfe einhauen. Welche Kleingeister!
Gebt Euch die Hände und macht Frieden auf dieser Welt.
Gesegnete Zeit und Friede auf Erden. Erdling Horst

Posted by Kroeger Horst January 6, 09 11:04 AM

There is no time, there is no space
there is nothing like the human race
insignificant though we are, we dream and search
for truth afar
someday we'll find it on Earth under a star.

Posted by Bill Eastman January 6, 09 06:26 PM

vamos morrer '0'

Posted by mario January 6, 09 11:20 PM

Posted by an EIGHT year old. You must wonder why and how an eight year old would have the reasoning and understanding to be convinced of a creator. The same reason Charles Darwin, originally a religous man and often (incorrectly) believed to be the father of the theory of evolution, invalidated religion in his mind - because children are often indoctinated with it from the word go. Perceptions and beliefs are often frivolous.

In my eyes, people get comfort, reason and an increased sense of significance from their religious beliefs (I do wonder how many religious people have treuly read the Old Testament - there is some quite horrific content). My issue with religion is why would such an almighty creator provide humans with free will and then sentence them to damnation when they question their existance or deny it - this would be hugely hypocritical. If one exists, then we are what they made us!

These images are phenominal! The mind boggles with the possibilities!

Posted by Matt January 7, 09 08:29 AM

Pika pika!

Posted by Pikachu January 7, 09 08:44 AM

I remembered someone had sent me a link to these photos early in December, but I forgot to check back daily. I just went through all of them and am in awe. Though I know the actual universe does not appear this way, these are absolutely beautiful photos. They gave me a wonderful feeling.

Then I read the comments from adults who should have learned how to let other people have their own opinions by now. I'm not looking forward to living on the same planet as you guys for the rest of my life.

Posted by a 16-year-old January 7, 09 09:08 AM

Awesome (a very overrused word) pictures. It's things like this that make me want to believe in a God. I particularly like the 'little pale blue dot' link at the end, a fitting footnote to a wonderful show.
Carl Sagan is absolutely correct.
And to anyone who still believes in organised religion (of any kind), your God may forgive you for all the needless suffering inflicted on countless billions of people throughout the ages, (and it's still happening in this day and age!) but you do not have my support or respect. Peace.

Posted by Shaun Ashworth January 8, 09 10:36 AM

These are ..... well, words just don't go there. 'Impressively Unimaginable' is the best I can do.
Or, as Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) in Contact said:

"No - no words. No words to describe it.
Poetry! They should've sent a poet.
So beautiful. So beautiful... I had no idea."

And two more delightful and pertinent quotes from the same movie:

[Dr. Ellie Arroway to a group of children:] "I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right?"

[And the mysterious apparition to Dr. Arroway:] "You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other"

Posted by At1ment January 8, 09 03:15 PM

This is a great staff! I love the world!

What is behind of these wonderful galaxies?

Posted by Aidar January 9, 09 12:19 PM

Praise to Allah SWT for the Creation

Posted by root January 9, 09 12:52 PM

Why must everyone read something into these pictures. Look at them, enjoy them and be awe struck. they are magnificent.

Posted by NORA MACKENZIE January 9, 09 04:39 PM

THIS is why we study space-and NEED NASA.

Posted by leaselee January 9, 09 07:14 PM

Thank you scientist people that you've made possible to me to see such wonder !
Your are the only people to receive my infinte admiration, the rest of "human stars"are just rubish ! Why alltimes Einstein as long there is Friedman, Hubble, Heissenberg, Gromow, Max Plank, Dirac, Cantor, Poincaire, and a lot of such beyound imaginations genius people. Thenk you all !
Thank you , too
Alex. S

Posted by Alexadru Semenciuc January 9, 09 07:42 PM

I wish people would just stop arguing about whether there is an explanation or whether God has a part in it or not. Everyone has their own beliefs. COEXIST people! some things do not need explaining. just enjoy it.

Posted by Helena January 9, 09 11:07 PM

Poor old God.... always at the heart of a squabble. If there is a God I imagine he/she/it is pretty fed up with us by now.
Wonderful pictures, so easy on the eyes.
I enjoyed them, thank you.

Posted by Morgan January 10, 09 10:56 PM

hi my friends

Posted by nader parsa yekta January 11, 09 12:35 AM

Awesome pictures -- too bad the Hubble will not be up there a lot longer (if i understand correctly)
Regardless of what you believe, i believe that a group of intelligent human beings (this includes the funding, political will etc, even the tax paying public) launched an amazing device that brought our Universe into sharper focus for all of us -- thank them if you want to thank anyone!

Posted by buddy mucis January 11, 09 07:29 AM


Posted by Glenn January 11, 09 09:54 AM

Being part of the Universe puts everything in perspective, ...especially if you have ever reflected about a grain of sand on a Beach! ...Just appreciate the moment, enjoy the aura, and realise that all man-made problems are of little significance in the 'greater scheme' of existence!

Posted by Alan January 11, 09 10:45 AM

I love these pics.

Posted by Anonymous January 12, 09 01:27 PM

i like these pictures allot. but what albert eienstein says. he demanted there was a creator and we will never know him or see him .

it stands as " the creator doesn't know that we are here " ..

i think it goes like this when the creator caused the big bang out of nothing .
this is what i believe what happened - creator took the quantum singularities formed it in energy and matter than took it and spinned and thats how it got to create the universe. if this is true than deism or pantheism is the truth religion.

Posted by Corné Botha January 12, 09 02:17 PM

hola,soy sole de argentina¡¡
y quiero contarles que me encantan las cosas q se tratan del super interesan,...gracias por aver hacho esta pag¡¡

Posted by sole... January 12, 09 02:54 PM

Stop the madness and enjoy nature as it is. Even though they may be enhanced for better clarity, these images only make me, and I hope others, feel so profoundly insignificant that we should learn to get along regardless of race, color or creed. We all look up and see the same cosmos.

A creator put nature in motion. Sometimes we get in the way and most of the time we are just spectators. We are just along for the ride enjoy it while and when you can.

Posted by Orlando January 12, 09 04:32 PM

These images truly beg the question: Why are we here? The mysteries of the universe are Truths beyond our present understanding, beyond what even Science can grasp. And that is where God is. Science can only keep unravelling the infinite onion. God is within and without us.

Posted by margo January 13, 09 01:31 AM

God is a beautiful artist!!! His evidence is all around us...take a look outside your window and praise Him for what he made for us. Take a look at these breath-taking pictures and be in awe of God's power.
Praise God and his son, Jesus Christ!

Posted by Erin January 13, 09 12:13 PM

Those are amazing photos NASA rock!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Richard Martinez January 13, 09 04:11 PM

Thanks for these brilliant images. God's creation is not about to run out of new frontiers for mankind to explore any time soon. What next?

Posted by Robert Barrie January 13, 09 06:35 PM

The thirteen image looks like a cow ._. , OIADHIAOHDIOADA

Posted by Oh Man January 13, 09 10:49 PM

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?

Pslam 8:3-4

Posted by Erik Martin January 15, 09 11:25 PM

Wow amazing pictures...I'm totally blown away by these images. Can't believe it actually is real... Greetings from Sweden

Posted by Leyla Kaynar January 16, 09 06:42 AM

Somewhere out there is a cherry 1960 MGA for the right price...

Posted by still looking January 18, 09 02:49 PM

Don't let yourselves feel too small after viewing pictures of the sky. Our eyes are required to appreciate these beauties. A speaker once concluded his lecture with: "So you see that astronomically speaking, man is utterly insignificant." A listener replied: "Professor, you forgot the most important thing, man is the astronomer."

Posted by Donna January 23, 09 11:01 AM

"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in." --Isaiah 40:22
How did Isaiah know that the Earth looks like a circle from space, think about that, also how did he predict Jesus so accurately?

Posted by Eric Berger January 25, 09 06:44 PM

Oh my God ! I don't believe the universe is so beautiful.



Posted by Anonymous January 26, 09 08:32 AM

Oh my God ! I don't believe the universe is so beautiful.



Posted by Anonymous January 26, 09 08:32 AM

It amazes me the simple arguments that go on between religious and atheist. Especially stuff like this, "Physics > Bible", which makes no sense at all. We are but just bits of sand on a beach, even less so. But yet, the ignorant still try to make an argument that they know best. And for your information, religion is not necessary to believe in the bible, or God.

1. Explain the end of the universe for me, explain the infinity of it, please.
2. Explain the creation of the universe without a doubt, please.
3. Answer to #3, Big Bang. Ok, what was before the big bang, please.
4. Explain to me, the perfection of mathematics, or paradoxes of quantum mechanics, please.

You simply can't because nobody here, or anywhere in this world is either smart , privileged, or wise enough to know these answers. God makes better sense than any theory of creation because SOMETHING had to exist before it all.

Posted by Terry January 26, 09 10:26 AM

I love what a saw I can only imagine what lies beyond what we see.

Posted by Betty Nichols January 27, 09 05:46 PM

I am doing an experiment on the Hubble Space Telescope. These pictures are amazing. Good job!

Posted by Kylie January 28, 09 01:27 PM

What a God we worship, The God of the Bible, who knows all stars, and call them by name. We must all stand before Him (Jesus) in judgment to give an account of our life. The only hope in the name of Jesus, His shed blood for all who call on Him & confess their sins.

Posted by Derwood Puckett January 30, 09 10:27 AM

in all eternity, this is your moment -- your only moment. And what you do with it is up to you.

Posted by Ben Schlossberg January 31, 09 08:37 PM

If you guys are trying to measure the size of your c*cks by comparing religion and atheism..... hell, even trying to define something that is undefinable....
you're just missing the point
Love is strong,
And the god that we all know and love
will not be defined by your oppresive values.

Go back to eating, drinking and sleeping
It's all you'll truly know fleshbag.

Posted by Kaylub February 2, 09 01:16 PM

These are beautiful pictures Mrs. Glazer. you just gotta love them.

Posted by Nestor Martinez February 3, 09 12:38 AM

The mystery of God surpasses all the beauty of the universe. How marvelous indeed must He be after viewing these photos.

Posted by Justin February 3, 09 08:39 PM

How could anybody looking at these pictures deny the existence of God, I just don't understand it , they are beautiful, thankyou for letting us witness these, could you imagine what heaven must look like.

Posted by Joseph February 6, 09 05:35 PM


Posted by Anonymous February 10, 09 04:12 PM

masha'allah, praise be to Allah. To all of you all who are saying that this proves God does not exist, or that this bears to proof of God, are you all blind? Tell me, how does the discovery of these beautiful things prove anything about humans?if anything, this is sheer proof of the existence of God. True, scientists work hard and help us learn more about this world. but they are not the one's who created these beautiful objects in the sky. they found them, but they were made by someone else. no human could make such things, it must be a higher being. that is how we know God exists. there are so many miracles here. No simple human could create such things, only be amazed by them. God, who is much greater than all these great things, is the only one who could create such a beautiful world. praise be to Allah, may he guide us all and keep us safe.

Posted by MuslimBeliever February 13, 09 06:16 PM

Any one of these make a great picture for your background on your pc. We love the saturn pic.

Posted by Leland & Pat Blowers February 16, 09 12:08 AM

After looking at the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, you have to believe that somewhere out there, someone is looking back.

Posted by Bob February 17, 09 12:05 PM

C est vraiment incroyable j adore.Merci pour la vision.

Posted by Bordeleau Albert February 17, 09 07:25 PM

The picure are fantastic. They reveal, how infinetisimal we are in front of nature and make us realise the immense power of Nature/God.

Posted by G.Vaidyanathan. February 18, 09 06:10 AM

Our perception of the universe is limited by our bodie's and mind's ability to percieve it. It's important to realize that whatever you "think" or "believe", isn't necessarily reality... what you believe to be "truth" today, becomes false when you get new information. Follow your own path, allow others to follow thiers... they all wind up at the same destination anyway. We are celestial beings, on a human journey... just enjoy it, learn from it, and keep your thoughts to yourself. After all, you may be wrong.

Posted by Anonymous February 20, 09 02:40 PM

wow thats so awesome awesome pics thats so col keep putting more pics from the hubble telescope me and my buds are doing a report and it really helped us thnx a lot

Posted by samuel February 25, 09 09:20 AM

This pictures are amazing i wonder who took this pictures

Posted by lupita February 25, 09 04:53 PM

How lucky are we? To be in the same vicinity of space and time as these miraculous beings is truely special. Nature has blessed us, and may we never forget that.

Posted by Kristi February 27, 09 12:43 PM

Scientists, engineers, and politicians like to take credit for treasures such as Hubble. But it is taxpayers who made these wonderful pictures and incredible scientific discoveries possible so to each of you...thanks.

Posted by clong February 27, 09 01:20 PM

Our existance is in a snow globe within a snow globe. Thought on the other hand...

Posted by who? March 5, 09 01:53 AM

Now it's time for us to think who has created those? Someone will say this is nature? But who created the nature, Of course there is Someone Who is controlling everything. And He is none but the creator of all of us "ALLAH" The Almighty, The Sustainer, The Endless. Please don’t ask who crated ALLAH? (Nowjubillah) But if you want to know about ALLAH then think and know about his creatures.

Posted by Mahmudul Islam March 5, 09 06:32 AM

"Please don’t ask who crated ALLAH? " Why not? I'm sure you can conjure up another fabricated story to answer this.

Religion and Science are two completely separate things. Science has what they call 'Evidence'. Religion does not.

Posted by Michael March 16, 09 10:38 AM

Immagini stupende, e pensare che facciamo parte tutti noi di questo meraviglioso COSMO!!! Marybel.

Posted by Maria Pavan March 19, 09 06:35 AM

I feel as if, i am the only one, who remembers, when the hubble was lost in space, and an eye went missing, into a black hole, yet transmittion came back to earth, with the image of heaven it self, and the light of which surrounded multipul beings, including that of God. I am not crazy, it did happen, and our Government has covered it up... Why? Is there anyone who remembers this? This would have been around 1999 or the year 2000 & I swear it was not a hoax & I do remember, but the world was not ready to accept or view this, so it was pulled from exsistance, But I know some one out there knows!! Remembers, or has the image & I am looking for it.

Posted by Benjamin Falkenrath March 21, 09 05:08 AM


Posted by Sallie May 10, 09 05:49 PM

These images are truly remarkable. They really are. But what we are seeing can and has been explained by science right down to an actual event The big bang theory (which is still 'only a theory' and which is more vague in its reasoning than the explanations to what we see above but, given that the universe is still expanding from yet an unknown point, it certainly gives some credence to this theory). Everything after this event (per say) IS the result of NATURAL gaseous/heat/light exchange and other 'measurable' forces/ events - life on this plant for example CAN be explained because of our proximity to the sun and the resulting exchanges in gas and light and, Venus's proximity to the sun means there can be no life as we know it on that planet. This universe, like a leaf on the breeze has mapped out its own path which can and has only been perceived only very vaguely by us so far. The theory of how it all began however is so far fetched that us mere mortals only make further idiots of ourselves when trying to explain it using handed down religious doctrines and beliefs. Surely there was a catalyst needed to begin the process but whether that was A God or not NO-ONE can tell. Could there not have been many gods, a society full of superior beings working on a joint project? A couple of guys, girls or whatever wastin a bit of time before they went back to work???? This claim will surely never be validated by any Religious Institution because it would rob them of their wealth and jurisitictions but goddamn it holds as much weight as any of the arguments I've read above.. Please don’t harp on about Supposed people’s ie. God that you have read about in books that were written by people of limited knowlage of the universe who through (might I add) carefully wording of their prose could and still do control not only countries but whole continents at a time by claiming that they knew the maker of this beautiful life. What an achievement on their behalf.

What we see above is beauty but it is only nature. If you want to thank anyone/thing for the above thank light/gas/heat/time.

Well that’s for a different day.

Posted by Daveradio May 11, 09 06:12 PM

I find it so much more interesting to think of everything in those photos as the result of random occurance/chaos theory, whatever you want to call it.

The Big Bang, the super element that allowed for > light speed expansion, everything in those images, created because for just a tiny moment in time, all the factors were in place.

Nobody can say that that is impossible. It's impossible to know whether it's impossible or not. And until that's known, you cannot say it isn't possible.

Posted by Ranting Yoof May 21, 09 01:45 PM


Posted by CELESTE VIGIL June 1, 09 03:11 PM

It is unbelievable, which POWER is hidden in these some coloured pictures, if more then 410 comments before this one, word for word singing about peace and love...!? Somethink like singing for you, God...
I can`t believe and understand, that can be a possible, how much crimes and cruelty humans doing, every day.

Posted by helikoid June 10, 09 01:17 AM

We are all conditionned by the material and psychic prints left by what and those that were close of us or that were preceding us: it leads to individual and cultural differentiation.

Beside this everybody is identical except some genetical differences coming from the past.

Religions are only ancestral cultural traditions, and each culture has his own beliefs

Humans created gods that exists only in their minds. Nobody can say there's one nor there's none. Some questions have no reply and we must live with it.

Most believers are only followers.

Mind is basically not made for something else than survival.

What a wonderfull universe !

Posted by human June 16, 09 12:59 AM

@404 my thoughts exactly. religion has no evidence. science does. science shows what it can. religion cannot. Regardless if we just look at the photos, the sky, and ourselves. We will see.

Posted by Jake .T June 26, 09 04:00 PM

It seems relevant to me that this awesome beauty can only be fully appreciated from great distance and that the most destructive forces in the universe are little more than enormous gasbags. Just look at the Great Unfathomable and know that you are of it and keep your provincial theologies to yourselves.

Posted by mudsharc July 6, 09 11:54 AM

Very nice site!

Posted by John914 August 1, 09 06:10 PM


Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Esteio City

Posted by Luciano de Oliveira Fonseca August 13, 09 07:54 AM

What's truly significant with the Pale Blue Dot photo, it not the photo itself, but the technology humankind has harnessed to place the camera 4 billion miles away, AND transmit the image back to the Pale Blue Dot.

Posted by Clif August 15, 09 02:56 PM

245 and all who agrees with......It will be very shocking for you to find out, at that time would be too late for you, that God really exists...jut look at these breathtaking images. Just the beauty of God and his by AWESOME creations would clearly tell you that He exists. If 'we created God' why do you not see any of these images being created by man? That alone tells that His ways and thoughts are much higher and greater than ours. Praise God for He lives YESTERDAY, TODAY, & FOREVER!!!!

Posted by Roger September 9, 09 04:07 PM

I loved all of the pitures

Posted by jarrett french September 24, 09 10:49 PM

Why the Human being-that evolved from single cell creatures thru millions of years of evolution assume that a great heavenly intelligent designer created the vastness of all that is. To be put in his likeness and sent his son here to love us - is nothing short of insulting and purely stupid on a level that I guess the only way to have at least a semblence of reason to it is assume thats how it must work to give a comfort factor to the brain of a species that has developed over time as all living creatures that were created in the stew of life with the simplicity as simple as baking a cake. I am truly humbeled by the photos- that are here because of the slow cooking of ions of time to bring about the majesty of the human mind no creator or supposed God Guy could even bring about such wonder as we are now able to do with our developement over the 100's of millions of years to be rewarded with the ability in this day and age to see how truly wonderful it is to now have the pieces of human developement at its ultimate fineness to give us the universe as our reward is absolutely Breathtaking

Posted by James September 30, 09 11:12 PM

As man is, God once was, as God is, man may become...this is the great secret. We are the offspring of a God, with a potential to create in the distant future as seen in these pictures. This is who we really are.

To know God is life eternal.

We have discovered the truth of many physical laws through measurement and observation and we call it science. There are yet more truths to be discovered by some, and already discovered by others which are also learned by experiment and observation, yet differ from the process of aquiring truth about physical laws in that it does require sincerity, humility, an open heart and sometimes patience.

This additional truth seeking process as well as many other truths are taught plainly and simply within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and is available to all.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Yes, it may look like a pale blue dot from far away, but our ultimate potential within each of us could not be brighter!

With love and respect to all who read..

Posted by Robert Berrier October 19, 09 04:40 AM

Espetacular. Magnífico. Esplêndido. Incomparavelmente belo, lindo e inacreditável imaginar a beleza da natureza. Somente DEUS pode fazer assim

Posted by J. Bruno Silvino October 20, 09 06:53 AM

Very beautiful! Thank you! I wish everyone could see this.

Posted by joony November 28, 09 07:45 PM

I must say to those of you who do not believe in creation by an all powerful and awesome God, that you have far more faith than I do. Your faith/belief in the accidental and coincidental occurence of the big bang theory, etc and the theory of evolution is truly amazing. I just do not have that much faith, when I think and marvel at what a coincidence it must have been for both a male and female of a specie to actually evolve at the same time so that specie could procreate. What a totally amazing coincidence or was it?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! These photos are very much a blessing for everyone.

Enjoy them,

Posted by Warren Toles November 29, 09 09:33 AM


Posted by FRANK November 30, 09 05:47 PM

It's curious that many of you feel these photos prove the existence of God. Just try to count the number of galaxies and stars that are up there. You can't. With numbers like that, my money's on hydrogen, gravity, fusion, the periodic table of elements, a 13 billion-year time span, random chance, and natural selection. I bet there are lots of Earths out there. Maybe they can spell better than the folks on this one?

Posted by Jeremy December 1, 09 02:14 PM

Magnificent pictures. If only I could see more of the stars through the light pollution from my back garden.

Posted by Wessex Andy December 3, 09 10:48 AM

Human Ingnorance never ceases to amaze me.
Do guys realise that is there was a god he/she would not love you any more than the poor cow that is going to be slaughtered to put food on your plate, or that mosquito you just killed? Rather than love you he would actually despise humans for what they do to other creatures! Sorry but we just aren't that special.

Posted by Ben December 3, 09 05:54 PM

Awesome. Stunningly beautiful and inspiring. Mathmatically mind bending.
Scientifically incomprehensible to me.
In reply to Ben (428), the only stunning thing about us is that we are in part made in God's image. We have potential, but fail to always fulfil it... including our lack of care of the world and creature entrusted to us.
Great thing is that change isn't just possible it is certain... and we can make it positive change.

Posted by sussex sal December 4, 09 04:16 PM

Amazing photographs are a NASA. Super ! Beautiful ! Thank you.

Posted by George, Poland December 5, 09 01:57 PM

Amazing! This is simply amazing!

Posted by Antonio December 6, 09 09:18 AM

To all god lovers around: could you first meet with all other god lovers around, and discuss between you in order to find out which of the hundreds of gods invented by men is the "real" one, and how to worship it, and then come back to us with some evidence? I mean, *real* evidences, which you can share with others. Unless you do that, no one will pay attention to your claims. You saying "those stars are beautiful, therefore there is a god" is as stupid as me saying "you see a god here, therefore you are stupid". Also remember most of you didn't chose to believe your particular god, it was imposed by your culture - talk about freedom...

Posted by michel_R December 7, 09 02:22 AM

as usual, when our limited mind don't understand what it see, It pretend to understand it by putting the word god, and feeling better after. I have no problem with my ignorance, looking at the sky doesn't make me believe in god, poor little minded humans. Magical thinking is sadly still high even in 2009 !. I am amazed and i have a lot of fun seeing all these god lovers believing these really funny science-fiction books: Bible 1 & 2 Koran etc...
Books that didn't have any ideas, obviously, of what we discover 2000 year after... they are still poor limited "thinkers" that want to believe that humans come from adam and eve and has 5700 is so funny, human mind is really amazing: it cant stand uncertainty, its too painful... i can stand this pain and love this pictures

Posted by adesso sai December 9, 09 07:29 PM

Hey Ben (#428). You said it right. Thanks

Posted by Lis December 11, 09 11:03 PM

Thanks for the pictures of God's creation. With God all things are possible. Merry Christmas to all. 2009

Posted by Elizabeth Dietrich December 18, 09 01:24 AM

This is clearly science, and afaik religion and science don't go together. So don't go praise the lord on this page and let us enjoy this without having to get frustrated due to your seemingly unlimited ignorance and stupidity.

Posted by Lilith December 18, 09 02:56 AM

Beauty, sight, amazement and awe... God is HERE.... God will be HERE forever. The galaxy, the infinite is a mystery that is beyond understanding, but can God do THIS... Of course! I believe - Do You?

Posted by Believersdouble December 23, 09 11:54 AM

@361,correction,it is poor old man,it doesnot affect God in the least if people believe in Him or not.He doesn't need us,but we need Him more than anyone else.if the whole of the earth were like the worst of people or if they were like the most pious of them,it will neither reduce or increase the Glory of His Kingdom,He is Self Sufficient,free of all needs,but we are the ones in need of Him.

Posted by poor old man December 25, 09 05:42 AM

Simply AMAZING. I love those pictures, Hubble is the BEST.

Posted by Bledi January 2, 10 03:46 PM

This is simply beautiful, from the infinitely small to the infinitely large. We are made of the same ....We are stardust

Posted by John Giraldo January 4, 10 07:49 AM

Bellisimo, esa foto me hace recordar un cambio de plano dimensional, el cual recuerdo de una experiencia extrasensorial que viví en tiempos pasados bajo lo efectos y esencia divina de la ayahuasca o "yague", bajo el cuido de taitas y chamanes. Resulta espectacular esta imagen, ademas de decirnos tacitamente, que noestamos alone en este mundo, bye bye, ed.

Posted by ED January 4, 10 10:04 AM

Quand on vois ces images on se sent tellement petit dans l'immensité de l'univers. Notre galaxie n'est en fait qu'une toute petite partie du reste! Des milliers d'univers restent encore à découvrir!!!

Posted by Lucie January 4, 10 01:42 PM

re the "caterpillar" in #13: is it just me, or does it bear a strong resemblance to the dark spot on the giant body on the left of the screen? Like a shadow, or a hole left by it's being expelled, or something like that? Kind of like the outlines of Africa and South America fitting together?

Posted by Steve Myers January 9, 10 12:08 AM

Hola soy carlos de Venezuela. Podemos apreciar la maravilla hecha por Dios nuestro Padre Amado. La perfeccion de su obra solo El pudo hacerlo con Su gracia y poder maravilloso. Fenomenos jamas hechos por el hombre y que nunca podremos hacer. Lo que estamos haciendo es destruir lo que El nos regalo para nuestro bienestar y disfrute. Lastima que hayan hombres que en nombre de paises que se hacen llamar potencia y poderosos, pues no el unico poderoso de este mundo es Dios. El es el Rey de Reyes. El unico ue tiene poder en este mundo y poder de decision ante los hombres y las cosas. No equivoquemos en este mundo nuestra mision y obra por la que fuimos envisdos. No traicionemos su Amor infinito. Sean todos y todas bendecidos. Amen y Amen.

Posted by Carlos León January 23, 10 11:35 AM

earth is magical, even more than the hole univers. STOP KILLING OUR HOME!

Posted by SOSO February 19, 10 05:15 AM

You are so annoying.


Posted by sophie May 16, 10 05:51 PM

Todas essas imagens nos fazem continuar a indagar: De onde viemos? Quem somos? Para onde vamos? Por que tão pequenos que somos, continuamos a odiar uns aos outros? Por que razão continuamos a destruir a nossa própria casa, a Terra? Por que somos gananciosos e arrogantes? Diante de tanta grandiosidade, fico pasmo!

Posted by Flávio Marcelo September 12, 10 10:33 PM


Posted by david fernandez-bido September 30, 10 09:32 PM

Wonderful pics and expanation, thanks. :)

Posted by Ruggero November 16, 10 03:02 AM

This is awesome dude!!!!!

Posted by Jenny Roberts November 25, 10 06:14 PM


Posted by ALARA December 2, 10 11:17 PM

Deus falhou e este desastre gigantesco aconteceu. Ele nem pode conceber, quanto mais remediar, a violenta consequência de seu erro, tão grande foi o erro. Fosse ele bom e nenhum animal teria sido sangrado vivo para alimentar outro animal, nesses últimos 15 bilhões de anos. A criação foi um erro, um pecado. O "pecado original" está em nosso DNA, nascemos com ele e dele não nos separamos. Somos o excremento final desse processo de criação. Em nossa consciência existem o amor e o senso de justiça, mas somos totalmente incapazes de exercê-los. E na minha consciência jaz a clara visão do incomensurável erro cósmico, tenho muita vergonha de ser filho de Deus.

Posted by Paulo Salgado Machado Coelho December 3, 10 09:00 AM

I congratulate Paolo Salgado, uncommon excellent evidence.

Posted by Danny December 3, 10 01:07 PM

This is amazing! I am not ashamed to say thank you, God, for creating us a beautiful sight to wonder upon!

We are but a spec of dust upon a mountain of dirt and yet, you chose us to come here and enjoy it! We are so blessed!

Thank you to the magnificent scientist who devote thier lives to thrill our senses and teach us the mysteries of God!

Posted by Ann C. December 5, 10 01:12 AM

Absolutely beautiful! I thank God for having given me
the chance to see this. To me, God does exist and is
with me every step of the way.

Posted by Jim Lamb February 9, 11 11:51 AM

why dont you make a film that will take people to the edge of the Universe, an amazing 3d adventure. (It gives me goosebumps just talking about it !). The human race should realise how insignificant they are in the scale of the Universe and sit back and watch in awe the creation of GOD, who we believe has been overpowered by Science/ Physics and some mind boggling equations

Posted by Leena Jose April 6, 11 07:41 AM

these pictures are amazing. hopefully we will see more of them.
If things like these cease, people who are talking about intelligent design will have won - and we're back into the dark middle ages

Posted by jentiger May 12, 11 04:26 PM
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