It's the birthday of the Hubble Telescope, and OH, the wonders it has to show us!
Of all the pictures taken by the Hubble in all these twenty-one years of its epic-is-too-small-a-word Journey, this is the first one I ever saw, and it's STILL the most impressive. It still makes me shiver each time I see it. I glimpsed it in a newspaper, gasped, then looked my eyes full, going over and over each and every curve, every shade, every light and depth and color and glow.
Somehow, I misplaced the paper, and in those days before I knew about Internet, I looked and looked for the image again, thinking of it as "Standing Wolf" in shape. That's kind of how I described it to people, hoping they'd know whereof I spoke, so that I could once more see it and be amazed and awed by the great majesty and power of this portion of Creation. I still think of it as "The Edge of Eternity." The print had stated that these clouds were a place where stars were made, and each tiny point on the image could hold countless galaxies bigger than our own, forming and coming into being.
A friend later gave me the Hubble calendar with that very image on the cover, and I left the cover on, as I tore off page after page for posting on the fridge. I looked at that picture almost every day. No words WILL suffice, no sentences can convey, no verbiage could hope to describe the awesome unimaginability of what must be contained in this image alone, and it's just a drop in the ocean of the Universe.
I find it very hard, every time, to gaze without tearing up from the great unbearable Wonder of it all, and I always breathe a fervent, HOW GREAT THOU ART.
And on this Anniversary, whatever scientists and engineers and astronomers and hopers and dreamers and wizards of marvelous things put the Hubble together, plotted its path and sent it on its way through the vastness, I say "God Bless You, and Thank You."