Real Life Science: What Inspires You?

io9 recently posted some amazing footage caught by a passenger in an airplane of the last launch of Space Shuttle Discovery.

It is a gorgeous and awe-inspiring image of man's reach towards the heavens. It reminded me of one of my favorite recent pictures. It's an image of astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson staring out of the window of the International Space Station at home.

I like the images of the astronauts all suited up floating over Earth, and they, too, are awe-inspiring. But there's something about seeing her face, knowing what she's looking at, how she's looking down and not up.

So then I had to go further out.  With Hubble, there's so many amazing images at our fingertips. My favorite, though, isn't the one where you see the amazing colors or the highly detailed surfaces of the planets. Nope. The one I love is the one with the galaxies.

What I love is that those balls of light aren't stars--they're galaxies. Full, glorious, spinning, chaotic, amazing galaxies. The universe is just so vast.

In searching up these images, I found this: a view of the Orion constellation from the ground all the way into the starstuff. It's mostly magical.

This is what inspires me: the giant universe. This is why I write my books.

What inspires you? 


Sarah said...

I am inspired by the unending complexity of the human mind, and both the wonderful and terrible things that come from it. I love adding a twist on some social scientific or psychological concept in my stories.

Anonymous said...

I find space totally fascinating, too. It's hard for our minds to wrap around the sheer size of the Universe, mostly because "size" is a misnomer. How do people who stick themselves inside of walls, inside of cities and states and nations and barely make it beyond the atmosphere--how do we comprehend infinity? I love pondering this question. I also enjoy the way that our upbringing, culture, even our language and the labels necessarily associated with it, affect our ability to view and understand the Universe and physics.

It is just...lovely.

Great photos.

Matthew MacNish said...

How do you know those aren't just little LEDs in the ceiling of a spaceship, hmm?

Jacqueline Howett said...

The constant wonder. The infinite, and the thought and how its weighed, and our taking part at all...

Jen said...

Fabulous pictures! Off to watch the video now.

Nature inspires me, raw and unedited. These images are pure magic!

Bethany said...

I'm sort of the opposite ;)
The bottom of the ocean inspires me. All the strange fish, ocean rigde, and the hydrothermal vents.

More people have been on the moon then the bottom of the ocean.

Yeah... I'm such a geek, but it fills me with wonder when I think about the stuff we don't know even on our own planet. Plus, it's kinda pretty. :)

Sierra Gardner said...

I love, love, love all things microscopic! As a microbiologist (big surprise right?) I'm fascinated by how beautiful things on a small scale can be.