Prepare to Be Amazed: First Pics From the Repaired Hubble Are Stunning

By Eliza Strickland | September 9, 2009 2:14 pm

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology
  • Stephanie

    That is pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sally

    It’s hard to imagine the distance of two light years! Sometimes when I try to figure out how far that is, I just can’t help thinking—- we are nothing, our earth even our solar system is nothing compared with the vast emptiness.

  • Shelby

    It’s awesome to think that our tiny universe doesn’t even compare to the greatness of God. (the creator of all this)

  • Ben

    Imagine, Shelby, how silly that statement’s implications are, our universe is vast and wonderful and awe-inspiring, yet pales in comparison to “God”, yet God has the time to care about the everyday ho-hums of your personal life? Rather than a testament to God’s love, I like to think it’s a testament to how delusional religious types are. If you understood anything about the universe you wouldn’t need God, nature itself will give you more than enough to ponder for lifetimes.

  • Blake

    Well said Ben.

  • http://www.translationz.com.au/ Indonesian Translation

    My goodness! Amazing! Whoever painted these wonderful things you see up there must have known perfection! The sky out there is sooooooooo beautiful. Thank you for making me feel good by seeing all these!

  • Matt

    Wether these pictures show God’s creation or nature’s awesome power, we shouldn’t refer to another persons beliefs as “delusional”. Not only is it arrogant but it points to a narrow-mindedness that continues to blight both Science and Religion. These pictures are awe-inspiring and show that we have much to learn.

  • Abhimanyu

    Well said Matt :)

  • Giley

    My God! It’s full of stars!

  • Brian

    Shelby and Ben – You’re both arseholes

  • Ivan

    “…if you understood anything about the universe…” and you, Ben, understand the something of universe? Thats great, how did you manage that when no one on earth has come close to understanding anything? I hope you will share your knowledge and wisdom with the rest of us. You presume the ignorance of others when even the most knowledgeable person on earth cant explain the breath in your lungs.

  • Keith

    Oh goody. A religious row. Most helpful.

  • J

    Oh FFS!!! Is it not possible to look at images from space without entering into theological mud-slinging. It’s pathetic and small minded. Those that believe in God, don’t ram it down other people’s throats. Those that do not believe in God, have strength enough in your own convictions not to feel threatened by those who do, and defend yourselves by supercilious attacks. Is it just possible that replies could be focussed on the subject matter for once? Anybody remember Viewmaster? It would be amazing to see these in 3D!

  • http://www.faithfulgenerations.com J Stephen

    David says it best:
    Psalms 19:1  ¶<> The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
    2  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
    3  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

    Those who can’t see the fingers of god are the ones who are deluded!

  • Puzzled

    I will assume no one posting here understands the universe in total, and I assume no one has actually got any proof beyond faith that a god exists. So why not shelve this debate here, and just agree that these images are somewhat amazing. We may be a tiny insignificant or tiny significiant piece of the universe, but we just took a picture of something kazillions of times bigger than us light years away via a telescope orbitting our planet. Galileo would wet his pants.

  • Robbie Price

    My religion is the gap between what science has explained and the remainder of the universe. The glory of my god is the sum of all that is, was and will be unknown. These pictures show my god to be more wonderous than I had ever imagined.
    The more science explains away my god – the more I can appreciate creation. However, the more advanced science becomes the more I must believe in it. I am replacing one belief system with another.

  • http://bitmatic.com Jakob

    It is indeed beautiful. I hope the Hubble telescope has many years left.

  • http://PaulANorman.com Paul A Norman

    Holy Bible Psalms 147:-

    3 He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.
    4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
    5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.

    Holy Bible Prov. 8:-

    22 ¶ The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
    23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
    24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
    25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth;
    26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
    27 When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
    28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
    29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
    30 then I was beside him, like a master workman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
    31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men.

    The Lord Jesus speaking in John 17
    4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
    5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
    6 ¶ “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
    7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.
    8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

  • mike

    could we focus on the subject matter in the article for once instead of rambling on about religion

  • TedvG

    We/you/any human cannot have any real understanding about a symbol “God”. It is incomprehensible. Our intelligence level is simply not high enough. Religions are just models (or stories just to give an explanation, sometime even falsely used for the purpose of manipulation) by leading humans) that shouldn’t be overvalued. To me “God” is an undefined entity, something I cannot understand. It is on the same scale as e.g. a dog which has not enough brains to understand what a book is and its purpose, let alone read it. We have e.g. absolutely no concept of what time really is. We only comprehend nothing more than a very tiny fraction of the domain we are in. Even “laws” of physics, mathematics etc. (and for that matter also religion) are not solid, because they are based on what we know, what we understand, The more we know, the more questions will arise. It is vast out there and I don’t mean space here, but outside the limitations of our minds.
    But whatever you do, don’t stop trying to think beyond or on the boundaries of your limitations, but make no assumptions that cannot fit within your/our frame of mind.
    Now then, why not enjoy the beauty of what you see in this pictures for what it is?
    Greetings

  • Sheppy

    Oh God, yes please Mike, let’s !!

  • Chris

    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. ”

    -Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

  • http://www.joyrack.com JR

    Well said Matt!

  • Sharleen

    @ Puzzled….you are a very clever person in reference to Galileo Galilei and the lights @ Sheppy…..you are a clever and a funny person @ Chris………read the meaning of LIFF by Douglas Adams if you liked the hitchhikers series @ HUBBLE……..BREATHTAKING AND BEAUTIFUL

  • TedvG

    I would like to invite you all to The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, (please use a Cartesion coordinates converter to get there, not your TomTom) but this is very improbable, because I am currently unemployed and therefore cannot afford such a feast. Right now, all I have is my towel, more than 30 years of IT experience, which nobody needs and my Ford Probe..Wish I had an UFO, that will of course turn in to an IFO, the moment I board it. I do humbly realize that a sense of humor is of course fully out of context here. I will further attempt to make useful contributions to this conversation.. I am so sorry.
    Live well and prosper.

  • J

    OK, here’s a science question… In some of the pictures of galaxies and clusters, we can see what appear to be stars outside of the main “mass”. Or are they other galaxies? My real question is, can stars exist in isolation (i.e. outside “boundaries” of galaxies), or do ALL stars belong to a galaxy?

  • Helgi

    Always was a fan of space images. Makes me feel like looking at a Christmas tree without the realisation that the beauty comes from a simple light. With Hubble we only start to chip away our ignorance or incomprehension about the vastness of space. A book I read explaned it as such: the existence of earth has a limited time, the amount of space light can travel through during this time relates to the whole of space as a grain of sand relates to the entire earth. Science explains the current space (through math) from when it was smaller then a grain of sand up until now. The remaining ‘unknown’ leaves room for just about an unintelligent, immaterial ‘principle’ you may call creator or God. However since the origin it seems the fabric of space ‘inflated’ such that a signal from the creator could not have reached us even if it had started at the same time as creation (as lightspeed remained constant). Therefore we should be at present unaware of this creator or should have ‘invented’ him ourselves. It seems to me we have done the latter. Those of you who believe otherwise may do so quietly. But know that your believe, if it had prevailed, had precluded the existence of ALL telescopes including Hubble. Thank you Galilei, you arrogant sob :) !
    Helgi Belgium

  • Gunnar

    =’D This thread was inspiring as well as most entertaining. If god exists he has an eye for beauty in creating the colours we are able to see as well as most satiric tendencies by creating our own limited minds that like so much to believe they’re able to understand and patronise the likes of them.
    It’s just 42 and there!

  • http://mightycrunk.blogspot.com/ MightyCrunk

    Logic and reason are the few things we as humans have to go on, Ben I’m sure, does not think he understands our universe.

    Considering Ben’s statement:

    “If you understood anything about the universe you wouldn’t need God”

    …one can tell this is said clearly enough as a general fact of the human race, and as his own opinion. Im sure he would not have interjected his own if Shelby hadnt forcefully imposed her faith upon everyone around her. And perhaps your own insecurities as religious fanatics, set a blaze the self assuring hatred so deeply woven into the very fabric of your pathetic existence, or maybe you’re just an angry victim of brown priest love…

    “If a person can deny the existence of God it means they haven’t met Him. If you haven’t met God ask yourself, Why?”

    So Ivan, I take it YOU don’t need to ask Why? …you ofcourse HAVE met God. How fortunate for you! I’m sure he told you all of his mysterious ways that we can surely credit him for when something good happens… and when children are brutally raped and murdered its all just mysterious ways too… I bet its just Satan’s mysterious ways then right?

    Surely since you have met him you have all the answers to lifes great unknowns… or is it all just too mysterious for small minded people with only logic and thought to understand?

    And eye for an eye, amen.

    Don’t go FULL-retard.

  • http://www.255g.org mAck

    I would also like to read an informed answer about J’s question. (Stars existing outside galaxies, is it possible?)

  • Hubert (not hubble nor humble)

    great pictures
    great authors
    great humans

    Douglas A. <– the closest a human can get being a "god" (in his own created universe)

    I wish one day we could get similar awesome "images" of this kind of humor everywhere.

    This is what I miss most in my world/universe. Too much fighting, not enough laughter.

    H.

  • K. Tuel

    When I see pictures like these it makes me wish the Enterprise (the one in Star Trek) really existed. It would be so awesome to travel closer and see something like this without a telescope.

  • TedvG

    True, Hubert, thanks

  • Rejan

    Shelby, I know god made the hubble telescope!

  • The_Piper

    Stars existing outside galaxies is possible I would think. Wherever there is enough stuff to coalesce.

  • Jean

    @J…… Usually stars live inside galaxies but, sometimes (due to galaxies colliding, for instance), stars could be ejected out. But since there is little to no matter in the space between galaxies, no stars are born in there. Sometimes a few of these stars can end up coalescing together, wich could lead to another type of galaxy (I don’t recall its name now), where new stars could be formed.

  • Sharleen

    TedvG hahahahaha………….. so long dude and thanks for all the fish. You have to joke otherwise the beauty of this gets lost and rather Mr Adams, Mr Spock and a hubbly bubbly than anything else that becomes more serious.

  • Robert

    What did Einstein say about God?

  • Indy

    J asked: “In some of the pictures of galaxies and clusters, we can see what appear to be stars outside of the main “mass”. Or are they other galaxies? My real question is, can stars exist in isolation (i.e. outside “boundaries” of galaxies), or do ALL stars belong to a galaxy?”

    Nutshell answer: galaxies are comprised of enormous groups of stars (and other stuff, such as nebulae). That said, most of the individual stars you see in images of other galaxies or clusters of galaxies are pretty much foreground stars that are within our own galaxy.

    This is not to say you cannot discern individual stars in other galaxies if they are close enough to us to resolve.

    As for stars existing outside of galaxies, yes, they very likely do exist, but given the vast distances of nothingness between galaxies out there, and the lack of sensitivity of our telescopic instruments, locating individual rogue stars between galaxies would be exceedingly challenging.

    For galaxies far enough away that we can no longer resolve individual stars, we only see the galaxies from the combined light of all the stars in said galaxy. Individually those stars would be too faint to be seen. And by extension, any lone stars roaming between galaxies that are far enough away will never be seen by us.

  • Jean

    Well, even tough Einstein was… well, Einstein, he couldn’t reconcile his math with his religion. His beliefs were so strong, it prevented him from proposing some more magnificent theories, wich had to be done later by others.

  • SimonR

    @38 (Robert) – He doesn’t like craps I believe (or monopoly).

    @those quoting The Bible (and other religious ramblings) – Oh Please!

    @those having a go at those quoting The Bible (and other religious ramblings) – You’re wasting your breath .. you know it .. and I know it.

    @those quoting Douglas A – Just finished a book .. it was poor .. DA on my bookshelf – I know what I’m reading tonight.

    @anyone (religious or not) – read The Mind of God (Paul Davies).

    Back to the matter in question .. stunning ain’t it .. we may be insignificant (although maybe not) but we sure do build some impressive kit. Awesome << and I don't like that word because it's been hijacked of late .. but this really is full of awe.

  • J

    Thanks Indy, Jean and The_Piper,
    So the “bright objects” that appear outside the “mass” of the galaxy on picture 6 NGC 6217 are likely to be stars from our own galaxy getting in the way (or in the case of pictures 3 and 5, the detached bright patches are other galaxies, not stars).
    And the reason for seeing all the stars in the foreground and background of pictures 1, 2 and 4, is that all the stars we are seeing, including the Nebulae themselves, are part of our own galaxy.
    I understand much more, now. Thanks for your help.

  • Jean

    You’re welcome. :)

    I’m still here. Can’t help it, but keep seeing these images. They’re really something!
    Let me know if you wish to know more.

  • Enrique

    Its amazing how people fight for something that will be revealed when they die, if the believers are correct they will be rewarded, if the non-believers are correct then that’s the end of the road, so at the end all these arguments are pointless, we will all know for sure eventually so stop the car and smell the flowers that are along the road! such as the magnificent image thats on top of the page.

  • Indy

    J: one easy way to ID a star in our galaxy from a cluster of stars in another galaxy, or another galaxy entirely: if the object in question has four spikes radiating from it (such as the two stars in the upper right corner of image #6, NGC 6217), those are individual stars within our galaxy. The radiating spikes are an artifact, and come from the diffraction pattern created by the support arms for the secondary mirror in Hubble. So if you poke around the images at hubblesite.org you’ll find numerous examples of this.

    But just as often many of the dots that do not have the radiating spikes are still individual stars in our own galaxy. It’s just that they are dimmer, either from being fainter or further away, and the diffraction pattern isn’t noticeable. So the diffraction spike IDing isn’t 100%. But it’s a good start. :-)

    Now, the reason for all these foreground stars in the images (something I should have mentioned earlier but, ah, ‘spaced’) is that we are buried within our own galaxy (off to the side of center, but buried nonetheless), surrounded by stars on all sides. So pretty much any direction we look, there will be stars of our galaxy along that view path.

  • BrainiacV

    Well all these pictures are fake if “God” created the world only 6 thousand years ago. That deceitful entity trotted out 6000 lightyears and placed all those photons just to make it appear that they are millions and billions of years old, when we know according to the Bible is not possible. I will now light a candle for my deity, the flying spaghetti monster.

  • Bucyrus

    I think it’s fairly clear that a higher being was at work here. If I could quote the scriptures:

    Armaments: 2, 9-21:

    And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, ‘O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that, with it, Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits in Thy mercy.’ And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and large …

    And the Lord spake, saying, ‘First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.’

  • Scott

    I think most who discount God, have a right to their opinion. If the non believers are correct, it is the end of the road for them as well as the believers when they pass. However, if the believers are correct in their belief… They will gain everlasting life for having faith in the grand creator and the non believers will be judged accordingly (because God is a Just God). Those who put faith in God and are not afraid to let others know your feelings, they will be rewarded for it.

    You might consider whats stated in Matthew 10:32-39 “Anyone, then, that confesses union with me before men, I will also confess union with him before my Father who is in the heavens; But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my father who is in the heavens. Do not think I came to put peace upon the earth; I came to put, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father and a daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man’s enemies will be persons of his own household. He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worth of me; and he that has greater affection for so or daughter than for me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is not worthy of me. He that finds his soul will lose it, and he that loses his soul for my sake will find it.”

    As for those who believe there is no god because of all the suffering taking place here on earth, note the scripture 1 John 5:19 where it states “We know we originate with God, but the WHOLE WORLD is laying in the power of the wicked one.” God gave everyone the ability to be free in choice. Ecclesiaste 9:11 “Time and unforseen occurence befall them all” We are all fall short of Gods Glory and are all sinners. This means we all do bad at some point of our lives.

    I hope this helps those who choose not to believe, understand the believers viewpoint.

  • Robbie Price

    Brian (@46), sorry to disappoint you, but the flying spaghetti monster is just a myth. She cannot fly – it’s all done with secondary mirrors (ask Indy @45). However, she does like candles – though she has asked me to tell you to stop burning them as it ruins the texture.

    Terry Pratchet would suggest that men make gods. The more people that worship the god the stronger it gets. SO currentl in this discussion it’s “Athe” and “The Christian God” neck and neck, DA & MP & ST coming an entertaining last. Do only worshippers of Athe and TCG look at stars or does the rest of the world only have time to work (I’m having a slow day after a wonderful celebration of Krshna last night)?

    Maybe we should worship the hubble telescope and make it stronger and stronger until it can see all the way into god’s house. God, by the way is a she not a he – even Krshna (the supreme godhead) worshiped at least one woman. When we do it will be such a great distance that god will still be reasonably young. Lets hope her dad doesn’t catch us.

    Till then, roll out those images and figure out what they mean.

  • Jes

    I’m glad hubble is working again. It’s images, these rich beautiful pictures, feel so good to see. Thank you everyone who helped and helps make this possible.

  • Giley

    These pics made me go “wow” especially number four.
    God = S.E.P.

  • Bob

    (@Bucyrus .47) That’s frigging funny… I almost peed my pants! This made me cry:”And the Lord spake, saying, ‘First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin.” ROTFLOL…

  • Giley

    I believe God is alive and kicking and working on a less ambitious project.

  • Hanshi

    It is interesting that seeing pictures of space bring up a discussion of God. Think about the expanse from what we see on these pictures to what happens at the quantum mechanics level. All of this obeying laws of math and physics at a very ordered level. Did this just happen, just appear? For us interested in science (I assume all on this thread), does this make scientific sense to assume that out of nothing (prior to the big bang) this much order could evolve by itself? What would drive that? Chaos theory doesn’t explain it. This and all the other musings in this thread are basically meaninless in the scope of what we see in these pictures and obviously everything out there that we don’t have any idea about. God seems to me to be as good an explanation of this as any other proposition.

  • YourSaviour

    Religion is just man’s attempt at explaining the perceived unexplainable. Invented by man. For the benefit of man. To further that invention, man also created religous texts such as the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. And then held these texts up as proof that god exists. e.g. “How do I know god exists? Because the bible tells me so!” It’s a twisted circle.

    Everything about religion, and it’s attempts to explain god and nature are only delusions of the men who created it and the suckers who believe in it.

    Nature still carries many mysteries. We cannot explain it all. But we learn more FACTS in a 5th grade sceince class than ANY religion has EVER prooved at ANY time in history.

    I’m not saying there is no god. Maybe there is a god. Maybe there is not. I don’t know. But I do know with 100% certainty that no man or woman on Earth has ever known any more about that subject than I do. The only folks who know the answer to these questions are dead, and they ain’t talkin’

    So if you crazy people want to chant in tongues in your temples – hey…that’s your business. But please stop trying to push your cults on the rest of us rational folks.

  • Keoz

    YourSavior you are stupid I am a witness of God because in my everyday life he has gave me opportunities to help me have a better life but many people think they are superior like you and think all these opportunities and miracles comes from their own hand or causality, but your reason cannot explain too many things does it?

  • Wonderer

    Whether we see the world through the prism of religion, science, or both, it seems that few can look upon these amazing images without being startled into thinking about the vastness that currently lies beyond our reach.

  • gypsi

    Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. We will one day understand what causes it, and then cease to call it divine. And so it is with everything in the universe.” –Hippocrates

    So many people still need a god to explain the creation of the universe because we haven’t quite figured that one out yet. Superstition is a band-aid for those with a weak constitution or a lack of scientific knowledge.

    If there is a god, we shall surely find him among the stars, as opposed to rumaging through writings of the Bronze Age.

  • Dave

    Sure God is all powerful right so:

    “And the Lord was with Judah; and He drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but He could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”
    Judges 1:19

    Funny stuff:

    “And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.” (Ezekiel 4:12-13)

    “For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.” (Jeremiah 3:12)
    “Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.” (Jeremiah 17:4)

    “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourself every girl who has never slept with a man.” (Numbers 31:17-18)

    You actually follow this stuff as a testament to live life or do you pick and choose which verses to follow?

  • Scott

    YourSaviour… Do you think Jesus had no clue of what he was talking about? You believe and except your history lessons from your 5th grade class. But because you did not learn about Jesus, you feel that he did not exist? Everything the scriptures have foretold DID take place and Will take place. May God bless you and all the non believers

  • BrainiacV

    Don’t forget that after Creation and all those miracles, GOD is broke and needs your money to further his cause. You think tracking everything in the universe at the quantum level comes cheap?

  • John

    Well I think all of you should go and visit this site and please take a bit of time to read the site from the beginning. There are some amazing nuggets of wisdom contained therein. Noone knows whats going on around here anyway so enjoy your own existence.
    http://www.jesusandmo.net

  • SWord

    So, once I accepted that God exists and cares about me, I figured there needs to be some physical mechanism for transferring your soul…

    So, even before you die, you are eternal. You light and energy and your “being” AKA your soul will never die. It will eminate out just as this nebula does. Now, if there ever is an observer who can see this, you’ll want him to think you’re cool and keep watching you or better yet take all that info and transcribe it somewhere else.

    At your last moment is how you are remembered by the universe. How the heck do you want to be observed?

  • Angie

    As a ‘mature lady of uncertain age’ I have lived long enough to move from radio to TV and from slow autos to jet planes, lunar and solar system exploration and ‘routine’ organ transplants I am delighted and awed by the photos from space. Life is awesome, words fail. I welcome new experiences and knowledge. and respect others’ viewpoints even when they are wrong (joke). The older I get the more I realize the less I know and understand. Love the NASA programs- hope the budget allows them to continue- as they represent the best of our species searching for knowledge about our tiny spot in the universe.

  • Ralph

    Scott (@48)
    If you think that way, just make sure you are in the right religion of the hundreds existing. Think of the punishment you will get if you are with the wrong one, just because you had the bad luck to be born on that one. Not an easy task. Won’t be safer to stay neutral then?

  • Don K

    When you say this is the handy-work of God, which God are you talking about? Are you talking about the God/Jesus/Holy spirit/Church combo as defined by the Baptist, Methodist, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics, Episcopalians, Evangelicals, Mormons, etc.? Are you talking about God as defined by the Jews or Muslims? Are you talking about the Deities of the Oriental religions or the tribal Gods of Africa or South America?

    After a thorough study of the more than 200 religions on this planet I have come to the conclusion that there are only 3 possibilities:
    1. There is no God,
    2. There is a God and he is not concerned about what we think of him or how we worship him.
    3. One of the 200 religions is actually correct and God just has a very poor Public Relations department. (This seems unlikely with the almost universal belief in Godly perfection.)

    If you talk to individuals in any of these 200 religions they will tell you that their personal image of God is at least slightly different than other members of their own religion. Many people believe in the warm fuzzy feeling they have been taught represents God but do not know much about this God. Mainly they believe if they follow this or that ritual without questioning it too much they will go to Heaven. So really what they believe in is going to heaven.

    My religion is that I believe that human consciousness is the most wonderful gift the universe has to give and I am extremely appreciative of that gift. Human consciousness is more marvelous than an entire galaxy without consciousness. I use that gift to evaluate the good and evil in the world and try to live a moral life based on my best understanding of morality. I also use that gift to marvel at the universe (as shown in these pictures) which is much more marvelous than any of the religions have taught. If there is a Judgment day (which I doubt), I will at least be able to stand before this God and say “I love your universe, good job.” and “I lived a moral life based on my ability to understand morality”. I will not have to say I did and believed a bunch of crazy stuff because one of the 200 religions told me too.

  • Scott

    Ralph, I was not born in the religion that I have chosen. After 40 yrs of being in a religion (don’t want to mention any religions here), I realize based on the scriptures I was being taught from, to “get out of her” because of false teachings. God said about “Babylon the Great” in Revelation 18. This basically says, if you are learning things to be incorrect or doing something against Gods law, remove yourself from it.
    I believe the best one can do is read the scriptures and get a firm understanding on them to form an opinion. Meditate on them and ask for Gods holy spirit when going into the bible.

    There is one God and I think most religions all have that same belief. But based on the scriptures, it instructs us not worship false idols OR Other Gods. If there were multiple Gods, can you imagine trying to Create this Universe? Now THAT would be chaos. I think the best one can do is Believe in God, Believe in his son Jesus Christ and Believe that Jesus died for our sins and we should do his will here on earth.

    As stated in Galatians 5:22
    On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.

    A true believer in Christ Jesus and his heavenly father, will posses these traits ;) I for one choose to believe and try with all my heart and soul to do Gods Will.

  • Charvak Karpe

    Referencing comment 13:
    The picture could look amazing with portrayal of depth, but unfortunately objects that are so far away appear very flat even in 3D because their scene depth is such a small fraction of our distance from them. Hubble could take two pictures of the scene half a year apart to create a 3D image, but it would still look flat like the moon does to the naked eyes. Simulating being up close to the object would require some sort of computer manipulation or artistic rendering of the image.

  • Joe

    Well said Don! You have 1 follower!! ;-)

    I don’t understant why people follow to the letter “holy” writings…
    1- They were written by men
    2- Long after the supposed events took place… so they were stories told from generations to generations for hundreds of year before being witten
    3- They were translated many times
    4- They use old expressions that could be interpreted many ways
    5- They are vague and lead to interpretations (which is why we have so many flavors of religions)

    I am not saying that one cannot find some wisdom in them, but I certainly would take them as God’s will…. To many attrocities have been made based on ones understanding of God’s Will… I fear those who truly believe they know the TRUTH!

    I live my life the best I can and one of my values is RESPECT… so the same way I would not go on a forum and bodly state “God does not exists!”… I also expect others would keep their beliefs for themselves by respect and don’t think that they KNOW better than others.

  • God

    Will you Morons please shut-up! Yes…all of you! You’re givng me a headache. Bunch of friggin pinheads, like having teenagers in the back of your car or something. Makes me wonder why I ever let you all have offspring.

  • Anthony

    Joe (@69) You can certainly say that about the bible. You can also say that about the Constitution, which is considerably younger. However, despite the differences in prose and words, we all like to think we have a pretty good understaning of what it means. And everyone has an opinion on what it means. So cut the Bible a break everyone. Possibly not the perfect document, but show me something of great historical significance that is not up to interpretation.

    As an observation, most of the Bible quotes given are from the Old Testement, a very different era in time from the New Testement, and obviously about very different subjects. I would propse that the Old Testament is more like history lesson and the New Testement is more of the instruction manual on life as we in Western Civilization know it.

    Of course that too is also biased by my beliefs.

    Great pictures too. Stellar

  • alphaB

    Here’s another perspective: Would that dying star look so beautiful if you happened to be on a planet in orbit around it? I think not. You, and your planet, would be incinerated into oblivion. Everything you hold of value in this physical life would be instantly vaporized. This suggests a Third Way through this religious debate: God exists, but he did not create the *physical* universe. Think about it. Would God have created a system in which billions of people could be instantly vaporized when their star dies? In other words, did God create death, or did he create life? What then is “life”? Life is the *eternal* thing (soul) that existed before you were put in a physical body on a physical planet orbiting a physical star; and it is what will still exist after your physical body is vaporized, whether by a dying star, a crematory, or hungry worms. Everything that God creates is *eternal*. Therefore God did not create the physical universe, stars, human bodies, worms, hyenas, etc. The physical universe is a *fabrication* that was made in opposition to God. Who, then, made the physical universe? We did. Check out *A Course in Miracles* for more details.

  • Scott

    Alpha (@72) That is pretty interesting. From what the bible says, God did create the earth for us to inhabit. yes, he caused the great flood in Noah’s day, but he/she also said he would not bring the earth to ruin like that ever again. We know God is not a liar for it is not in him. The earth is to be inhabited by man for ever and ever. After the second coming of Christ during Armageddon, thing will be brought to ruin and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. So, If my belief is warranted, we will not be vaporized in an instant but might be removed by Gods finger alone. If He chooses to remove us from this so called Galaxy, than your chances for everlasting life are gone.
    Again Belief and Faith are just that. Belief in humans existing hundreds of years ago without our seeing with our own eyes (because it is written or someone told us of it), can be paralleled with belief in Jesus AND his Creator.
    There are definite divisions between believers and no believers just as the scriptures say there would be.

  • BrainiacV

    Your comments on the Bible have been noted and I’m sure everything within is as valid as the day it was made (edited), back when the Earth was flat, the sun and everything revolved around us, disease was caused by wickedness, …

    Loved the story about the flood that covered the Earth even though major portions were unexplored. The Resurrection, no doubt happened just as reported, years after the fact. Strange with our modern communications we didn’t get the real story about Tillman’s death for months afterwards. But I’m sure the reporters and authorities of the day were far better at getting the actual events reported than we are today.

    As much as I’d like to see man in space, I think robots are a much better choice at the moment. Only a handful will get into space (at great risk and expense) while we could all visit the moon, Mars, and beyond with teleoperated remotes through the Internet. And when we do go to the moon and Mars, I’d like the habitats to be prebuilt and proven functional before getting on the flight.

    To paraphrase what Calvin said to Hobbes, “It’s a magical universe, let’s go exploring.”

  • alphaB

    Reply to Scott: If you had been born in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, etc., you would be quoting to me from the Koran, not the Bible. Your method of “discovering” truth is dependent on the happenstance of your birthplace. Is that a reliable way to find out what the truth is? You should also learn about how the Bible came to be put together; it was done by many people making decisions decades and centuries after Jesus. The stories and accounts in the New Testament were passed down *verbally* for decades after the crucifixion. Nothing was written down initially. Faith in the Bible and the hundreds of people who constructed it over the centuries should not be confused with faith in God.

    Also, there are many different versions of the Bible. Which one is supposed to be *the* Bible? If God personally ensured that the Bible got through the labyrinthine process of writing, translating, editing, etc. so that it would come out perfect to his Word, then why are there so many different versions of the Bible? Is God inconsistent?

  • Anthony

    AlphaB: I would say that there are different versions of the Bible more for linguistic reasons. New translations are meant to be more approachable by modern readers. Just look at how much trouble people have reading Shakespeare. If you refer to the King James version, then you are debating if God wanted it that way vs. a corruption of it predessor. I don’t think you’d get a solid answer as you would prefer.

    What is civization if not people coming together and agreeing on abstract ideas and calling them facts. Just like we can not directly ‘see’ anything. We can just ‘see’ the light/electons reflecting off of things. But we still take as gospel that we have seen these things and know them. can we factually know anything? Very DesCartes

    Feel free to disagree.

  • http://google Kc

    this is so Beatuiful i luv this

  • http://google Kc

    this is beautiful that god does this for us!

  • Joe

    @Scott (@73): “Belief in humans existing hundreds of years ago without our seeing with our own eyes (because it is written or someone told us of it), can be paralleled with belief in Jesus AND his Creator.”

    This sentence statement is so flawed. If I burn your house down while you are away. When you arrive back to your house and it is a pile of ash, will you call your insurance company and tell them… “I believe my house has caught fire” OR “my house caught fire!”. Facts… your house caught fire…. Belief…. I(Joe) did it! Facts and beliefs are two different things! And scientists are not arrogant to the point of describing things they discovered as facts… they call them Theory, Hypothesis, Observation, etc.

    Anyway… just realize the “fact” that you will not change the views of non-believers on things nor will we be able to change yours… therefore why bother trying to convince each other. Let’s just enjoy these beautiful pictures and not pretend we know who created them.

  • alphaB

    Anthony: God’s true Word and presence — perfect, pristine, eternal, unaffected by human interpretation and meddling — permeates all of existence. It is there for the tapping, 24/7, free of charge. From it comes direct knowledge (or gnosis) of God, the truth, etc. Why settle for anything less??

  • bwana

    This article is about looking at pieces of the universe through a machine very much created by man in much the same manner the bible was created by man.

    Whether god created the universe or it simply erupted from the multiverse is irrelevant. A philosopher once said “If god does not exist, man would create him (to have someone to thank / blame for all the good / bad things that happen to him)”.

    As for the bible being god’s word, I don’t buy that; very cyclical logic here. Man wrote a nice book claiming it was god’s word saying god wrote the book, eh what!

    As for religions, they are simply examples of mass hysteria driven by the peoples’ need to believe in something beyond themselves AND they are willing to pay for this gratification!

    But Hubble is doing a great job in its reincarnation…

  • http://myspace.com/818sourpiff Danny

    that looks like a bunch of galaxies

  • irishair

    very cool pics….i have always believed a picture is worth a thousand words, and here…it has been obviously proven. it isnt my place to judge anyone’s opinion as to the existence of god. if these awe inspiring photos of a natural phenomenon lead to greater learning in any way spiritually or scientifically then we all should be thankful, no? personal attacks are needless.
    it is an impossible debate to win… to those who don’t believe in god..prove he does not exist..?
    to those who do…prove he exists…? or even better agree to disagree and enjoy the damn pics.

  • Evan

    Who created God? We did. Even to the naked eye, the universe is a marvel; and the universe has always been one of the wonders that needed an explanation. Without a body of knowledge of physics, a deity seemed a good answer.

  • dorty

    you guys are great! enjoyed the mental gymnastics. It’s fun to listen to people pontificate with such authority. some of the comments had me laughing out loud, i too am an old gal, just like the universe more or less. more humor, less name calling. hey the pics were pretty cool too eh?

  • Christina Viering

    Very Cool!

  • Mohammad Imran

    Praise Allah.

  • tomulcak

    everything about us humans looks insignificant and ridiculous compared to that…. wow, its beyond stupid human words – especially ones about religion or god. if you can look at this and still want to quote scripture you are a blind, brainwashed meat tool for the ridiculous.

  • Ben

    mightycrunk: thank you, i got a solid laugh from that and fully appreciate your points and agree

  • Scott

    Ok… Ok…. lol, I enjoy reading all the messages and can understand all of your well thought out points of view. I believe the major difference from the Koran and the Bible is that The Koran sites prophecies from Muhammed and that Jesus was not the son of God. Islam means willful submission to God. Christianity means willful submission to God. They both believe in ONE God. The Muslims believe in all the prophets Muhammad, Moses, Jesus… The major difference is the Muslims believe Jesus is Gods Profit and not the Son of God (someone correct me if I am incorrect). Both religions believe avoiding sins like Adultery, gambling, not worshiping false idols, avoiding spiritism, Killing, etc…
    The Koran is a revelation through and angel to the profit Muhammad. All words of the bible are inspired of God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
    The writings of the bible began some 3,500 yrs ago in the hebrew language. Then over 2,200 yrs ago, it began to be translated into other languages. Today almost everybody on earth can read the Bible in his/her own language. Also, the Bible is the #1 printed and owned world wide. Something interesting to note… There have been MANY who tried to destroy the Bible through out the years because of what it is. Bible burnings were once common, even those who were caught reading the Bible were put to death in the past. But guess what? Jehovah has protected it and it still exists today and you find them EVERYWHERE.
    You can ask why is it a bible from God when it was written by man? There were about 40 men who wrote the Bible with the exception for the 10 commandments which was written with the finger of God himself. So, the truly single author of the Bible is Jehovah God, he used men to write the information down. Since God created man, surely he can get in touch with the minds of his servants to provide them with the information to write.
    The amazing thing that we should note is the fact that the bible is made up of 66 books (the greek word biblia, from which the word Bible comes, means “little books”) is that they are all in harmony with each other. All these books were written over a period of 1,600 yrs and because they all have ONE author God, and none of them are contradicting.

    Ok, I am done except for one last piece of important information. Because the scriptures are inspirid by God, it is a grave sin to alter or modify the word of god when putting the bible together (by men). The scripture in Rev 21:18 where it states… “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the word of the prophecy of this scroll: If ANYONE makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll.

    Have a great day and God Bless all of you.

  • DrGoats

    Pretty but pointless
    Spend the cash on the sick and starving instead.

  • deep

    God only wished to send his message through 40 people? What are we…chicken sh#t?

  • Lumpy Dump

    I saw God this morning, and I flushed the toilet to free him. I know he will rise again, ’cause I ate a burrito and my stomach is already rumbling with His majestic purpose.

  • JZ

    What’s that sort of stripey pinkish thing at about 2 o’clock? In image #3?
    [I'm going to ignore all of the other jibber jabber and ask a specific question.]

  • tomulcak

    scott, your rambling is pointless and not appropriate here. go to a bible study web site and hook up with people who care.
    a note of correction: the catholic version of the bible has more books than the protestant one – both versions are a scrambling of human superstition to enslave the ignorant written at various times and various places with many of the authors being unknown for certain.

    perhaps if we stopped looking up and started looking around, the world would be a better place. in any case, its really up to us, not to a make believe god.

  • Vader

    *DEEP MECHANICAL BREATH*

    Your god, and universe are insignificant compared to the power of the force.

    I plan to take a closer look at this star formation. I’ll update this post when I reach there. Let’s see at light speed that will be about in 7500 years.

    Ludicrous speed,GO!

  • Anthony

    Nice pictures from the Hubble! Great to see it collecting data for scientific analysis.
    There sure is a lot of hot gas out there in the universe and on most of these comment postings. :)

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/ Eliza Strickland

    @ JZ: A specific, on-topic question? How refreshing! That stripy pink thing is the distorted image of a far-away galaxy. Its light has been warped by the gravitational lensing described in the image caption.

  • Robert

    Maybe Einstein was even smarter that you give him credit for.
    Are the colors of the rainbow that you can perceive with your eyes all that there are?
    Can you see infrared or ultraviolet with your eyes?
    Can you hear ultrasonic frequencies?
    Yes we have advanced enough over time with technology that we can now prove the existence of frequencies we could not identify with our 5 senses. Does that mean our technology is so advanced that nothing is out of our grasp?
    If there was life two dimensional spaces would could they perceive three dimensional spaces as we do? If they could not, would this mean we did not exist? Are there only three dimensions? If there are more would it make sense that because we can’t perceive them then they don’t exist?
    Is it scientifically possible that our perception of the universe is skewed by our limited ability to see beyond our dimensional limitations?
    If you agree that we are not at the peak of all possible intelligence, that our technology is not at its limit, and that there are things we cannot yet prove but we know should exist based on our ability to theorize then how can you say without a doubt there is no God?

  • YouRang

    How about the tear-dropped shape pink thing at 5 o’clock (same pic as 98 referred to)? I presume it too is gravitationally lensed; but it has a ring of fire. I.E. Bright center darker mid region, ring of fire right at the edge. Maybe in the context of the babbling here, it’s a spermatozoa.

  • alphaB

    Scott (90), it’s a lot simpler than all that: Treat others as you would want to be treated (e.g. don’t judge others and their supposed “sins”). How many “Christians” would you say are good at that?? On the contrary, they (like Muslims, et al) seem to specialize and *excel* at judgment. When you judge, you are playing God. Period. The big irony is that God Himself does not even judge. What he created is perfect and eternal, so there is nothing to judge. What he didn’t create, doesn’t exist. The “evil” and “sin” that religious people love to dwell on is merely a result of psychological projection — an illusion that they choose to fabricate and believe in (as a way of externalizing onto others their own guilt that they feel for the “sins” they think they committed against God). Everybody plays this judgment game (including atheists), but religious people try to dress it up as God’s judgment, instead of their own. In this sense, you might say that atheists are way ahead of religious people, because at least they don’t try to pawn off their own judgments as God’s judgments. Some atheists are rabid egotists, but a lot of them are just more honest than most people. The chief utility of religion for most people is that it allows them to project “sin” and guilt outside of themselves, onto other people. That is a direct violation of the Golden Rule, and dishonest. At least atheists don’t play that game in the name of God (they still play the projection game, but not in the name of God).

  • Don K

    Joe (69) I agree. The Bible can be made to say whatever you need it to say. I am a bit of a history buff and one of the more fascinating aspects of the Civil War to me was both sides belief that they were acting in accordance with God’s will. Both sides read the same Bible and prayed to the same God for divine intervention to help them defeat the heathens on the other side. Those that say the Bible is not self contradictory have not read it.

    I was raised Southern Baptist and the basic philosophy of that religion is that if you are good and stinking miserable you might be going to heaven. If you are enjoying your life then you are obviously in league with the Devil. I finally decided that I have only one life to live and I did not want to throw it away by being miserable. If God wants me to be miserable he will have to do it to me, I refuse to do it to myself. So far he has seen fit to leave me alone and I have had a happy life.

  • GeoManiac

    Very interesting (the images, not the religious debate) – I would like to see a before and after shot (re the fixing / maintenance of the telescope) . . .

  • http://www.myspace.com/ordoilluminatus Mike H

    nice paintings

  • mrd

    THIS IS TO all of those Godless people. ask yourself this simple yet basic questions before you reply with your arrogant messeges,
    Do you really believe the universe spontaneously created iteself ? do you really belive dead matter can become living matter suddently?
    no need for religious debates or passages from the bible . opend your minds a bit use the common sence and intelligenge that was given to you

  • Alaskan

    :
    055.037 And when the heaven splitteth asunder and becometh rosy like red hide -
    055.038 Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
    :
    From Translation of Al-Quran by PICKTHAL – Surah AR-RAHMAN (THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCY GIVING), verse 37-38

    —————————

    067.001 Blessed is He in Whose hand is the Sovereignty, and, He is Able to do all things.
    067.002 Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving,
    067.003 Who hath created seven heavens in harmony. Thou (Muhammad) canst see no fault in the Beneficent One’s creation; then look again: Canst thou see any rifts?
    067.004 Then look again and yet again, thy sight will return unto thee weakened and made dim.
    :
    From Translation of Al-Quran by PICKTHAL – Surah AL-MULK (THE SOVEREIGNTY, CONTROL), verse 1-4

  • MJG

    the top picture in picture 2 looks like a displeased radioactive monkey looking skyward…how cute

  • Jennifer Angela

    Consider one thing guys: If you don´t believe you have got a soul, it´s gonna run away from you! So much for religion. Believe in whatever YOU LIKE… angels and god(s)/ godesses… WHATEVER, but don´t forget to take care of your soul, provided you still have one!

    By the way: The sky looks FANTASTIC! I think it looks like two angels/souls/ghosts kissing! INCREDIBLY COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

  • http://translationvancouver.org/ Translations

    I’m fascinated! What beautiful universe we have! To think that we have more left to discover stuns me. I’m just curious though, what happened to the astronaut who called for a brain surgery in space?

  • http://www.sydneytranslation.com.au Translation Agency

    The butterfly is beautiful…….. amazing what colors a dying star can create…

  • http://www.beatsbydre-cuffie.eu Cuffie Dr Dre Beats

    u do not even torch it?”
    “I look for trees to climb.”

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