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Uh. *JAWDROP*

Okay. THIS is why I love APOD, why it's set more-or-less permanently to be my homepage. Well, I mean, I love it for a bunch of reasons, but it can occasionally get repetitive. Sometimes you admit to yourself that one shot of a spray of galaxies looks pretty much like the rest. However, most of the time it's beautiful and stunning anyway. But this? Guh. GUH.




Watch it full screen. Trust me, it's worth it. More explanation given on APOD, here.

[ETA: ... And apparently it's been taken down. Sometimes I hate the intertubez.]
[ETA2: And now posted on YouTube. Sometimes I love the intertubez. Even if it has made my post all screwy.]
[ETA3: And down again. BBC, you're great, but for crying out loud, if you won't let us see the original program, leave us some crumbs, yes? *pout*]


I mean, it's one of those things – you look at all these gorgeous, stunning pictures, and somehow space becomes frozen and still and kind of ... cold. And then these wonderful CG people come along and take the astronomical footage and images and imagination (and music) and map stuff and actually turn it all into something that reminds you that the space-time continuum is not some placid, drifting thing of a universe but crashing with energy and violence and distortion and unimaginable forces. And while we mostly keep our heads down, as it were, this is where we live. This is the storm of existence raging around us. All the time.

While we're on the subject, ever heard of helioseismology? It's the study of the sound of the sun. In poetic terms, at least. The turbulence of the sun actually makes it ring, continuously, like a bell. Now, of course, sound doesn't carry through space – the study takes place by measuring the oscillations of the surface, and in any case the sound would be far too unbelievably low for us to ever notice if it if it did. And there's all these clever mathematical equations attached to all this, and they tell us terribly exciting things about the interior of the sun and so on. But, more to the point (or at least my point) – we can't hear it, but the sun sings.

... And it's not the only one.

Every star out there is singing its own unique song, voices cueing in and out, galaxies upon galaxies of galaxies of them, rising and falling, from the fanfare of the beginning, thrumming ceaselessly on to the end ... think of the most stirring, overwhelming, powerful chorus you've ever heard, Verdi or Mozart or something, and multiply it by as close to infinity as you can get before your brain implodes.

This is what God hears.

And I respect everyone's right to their beliefs and opinions and all, and I'm not trying to be insensitive in this, but the idea that there is no God and that this universe-sized song is playing aeons unheard pretty much breaks me. Even though I don't even believe it.

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