Earlier this month, NASA released the largest photo ever taken by the Hubble telescope. The photo is of our next door neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. At a whopping 1.5 billion pixels, you would need 600 HD televisions to display the photo at its original resolution. Since most of us don't have that many extra flat-screens lying around, some guy created a short video tour of the image. Check it out below:
In case you missed it (like I did), all those little dots aren't "space dust" or camera noise...every single speck in this image is a star with its own solar system. The bright ones are just the ones closest to us at the time of the capture. There are over 100 billion stars in this photograph. Let that sink in...
Now multiple that unfathomable number by another 100 billion, which is the number of galaxies that we know to exist in the universe. Even attempting to visualize such a figure is borderline nauseating. This is the universe we inhabit.
The gargantuan scale of the universe as shown in this video is undeniable, but we get to choose how we react to such a realization. We can either tell ourselves:
"Wow. I am tiny. I am insignificant. What's the point of trying?"
"Wow. my problems are tiny. My problems are insignificant. What's the point of worrying?"
See the difference? We can either use this reminder of our infinitesimality to overwhelm ourselves to the point of curling up in the corner forever, or we could use it to squelch any of our "problems" that are keeping us from doing great things. In light of 100 billion galaxies, minor setbacks to daily tasks are reduced to atomic nothingness.
We are small, but our problems are even smaller.