Man, now that is sculpture for you!

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(From the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Click on the thumbnail for 'full sized' picture of a nebula that's actually ten light years tall, so how 'full sized' can we really claim it to be?)

I love the nebula pictures the Hubble gives us. I've loved them since we got the Hubble picture of the chunk of the Carina Nebula that looks like God is flipping off the universe. Never underestimate the power of juvenile humor in inspiring scientific research.

Today's interests me because of the comparisons to fairykind. I can kind of see it, too -- a standing female fairy crowned in light. It reminds me a touch of the actual Hubble photograph they used as a background in a seminal battle between the Vorlons and Shadows on Babylon 5. They managed to put the Vorlons' entry into the battle right into a whirl of the nebula that looked like a gigantic face of God, never come right out and stating it -- it was a profound statement that took maybe a second to resolve and then they moved on.

Maybe it comes down to the human need to believe, or to find patterns where there are none. Maybe it's a reminder that the majesty of the universe is greater than anything we could possibly expect. Maybe it's just our way of making a cloud of dust and radiation more interesting. But I believe in the fairy of the Eagle Nebula.

Of course, I also hold forth that seeing a fairy means you're marked for death. But there's no ruling yet on whether or not photographs produce the effect. Check the mirror later just to be sure.

7 Comments

I'm not sure if God is flipping off the universe. He seems to be more likely trying to direct your attention upward or maybe he liked to point out that he's number one (and who could argue, really?).

I think it's true that we are conditioned to try to see things in all sorts of random patterns. Hell, that's the whole point in cloud watching. Knowing the kinds of clouds there are is cool, but knowing what they might be shaping up as is even cooler.

Well, since being born means you are marked for death, I suppose seeing a fairy may mean that as well ;->.

The "God Flipping You Off" photo looks more like Mr. Fantastic pointing at something to me, and the "Fairy" one looks like a space hound preparing to devour us all. I was quite disturbed, though, by the "Doom Phantom" picture you linked to last year. The universe is a scary-looking place.

I actually see a minotaur in that pic with today's post. Horned, snouted head in the upper left, big long hooved leg in the lower right...

But yeah, the other one, that's definitely god's last message to his creation. ;)

Yeah I see a minotaur in there too. Left arm raised right arm toward the viewer in a forced perspective. I can almost make out a right leg in the left bottom corner, but I think that part might be just because I'm looking for it... Then again beast motifs and fearie motifs are both tied to nature, so there is the link there...

Sadly, I'm more excited that you know about and watched B5.

I'm such a sci-fi geek.

Guess I'm marked for death, I've got several faeries living in the cupboard next to the fridge, and one or two down cellar as well. They're quite polite about returning things though. *wry chuckle* (At least when I misplace something and then lightly chide them about misplacing them next thing I know I turn around and it's in plain sight as if to say "You idiot, why didn't you look on the table to begin with?" *grin*)

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