The seven finest galaxies visible to amateur astronomers

[Click on a picture to scroll through in high resolution.]

Nobody can quite say which of these two men’s great words outdo the other. As Thomas Carlyle said, “History may be called, more generally still, the Message, verbal or written, which all Mankind delivers to everyman,” or, as Lord Kelvin himself put it, “When you can measure what you are talking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it.”

Although I knew the answer, I have been pondering over the need to study history ever since fifth grade when I first remember studying it.…

The supreme arrogance of religious thinking: that a carbon-based bag of mostly water on a speck of iron-silicate dust around a boring dwarf star in a minor galaxy in an underpopulated local group of galaxies in an unfashionable suburb of a supercluster would look up at the sky and declare, ‘It was all made so that I could exist!’

“Maybe nature is fundamentally ugly, chaotic and complicated. But if it’s like that, then I want out.”

—Steven Weinberg

If there is any fundamental quality of nature that has eluded physicists and sparked debates of a fearful scale, it is the question as to whether the universe has a simple (beautiful) underlying principle that runs quite everything in existence.…

To commemorate my short tryst with the study of our Universe, I decided to compile a set of seven of the best photographs available, each describing one of seven phenomenon/bodies that have eluded physicists or struck them as remarkable.

In order, we have,

  1. Neutrinos (Super-K Neutrino Observatory)
  2. Wormholes
  3. Black Holes (‘Black Holes ain’t so black!’ courtesy Hawking, Stephen, A Brief History of Time)
  4. Supernovae (Eye Supernova)
  5. Saturn’s Rings
  6. Nebulae (Horse Head Nebula)
  7. Galaxies