These galaxies are hundreds of thousands of light years away. They call them "interacting spiral galaxies". See how close they are? See how the bigger one is distorting the shape of the smaller one? The long "arms" reaching out are actually long streamers of gas and stars. I'm leaving this pic extra big so you can see it.
This is a spiral galaxy that is known for creating new stars. The pink areas are glowing star-forming hydrogen and the blue are newborn star clusters. The bright nucleus is home to an older population of stars. They kind of huddle in a condensed pack in the middle.
As many of you know, my life has been a little sideways lately. I don't pretend that anything I'm going through is unique or particularly hard. I know many people around me are hurting and feeling overwhelmed these days.
We got the news last night that our oldest son was hurt yesterday. He is in an Army Airborne unit in North Carolina and part of his job is to jump out of airplanes. Yesterday he jumped and had a bad landing and severely broke his leg. As a mom, I can't stand to be this far away when I know my boy is hurting.
I miss my kids.
But I read this quote from a scientist named Homer Hickam, who trained astronauts to repair the blurred optics of the Hubble Telescope. He said, "The Hubble has changed the very way we understand who we, as citizens of Planet Earth, are and where we are going. Yet, within the magnificent pictures of Hubble is a deeper truth. There are miracles everywhere although sometime they are concealed, not by God, but by our own eyes. All we need to do is look, and they will be seen."
God, give me new eyes today. Help me to see where I'm going.
Help me to see the deeper truth today.
Give me the strength to look.