Bertrand Russell once said that “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music.” This video is a testament to that.
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Though Alaska’s Northern Lights are some of the most beautiful natural occurrences in the universe, relatively few people have observed their beauty, and even less understand how and why they appear. People can see the auroral lights above the magnetic poles in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Known as the aurora borealis in the North, and the aurora australis in the South, these beautiful lights are created when ions, or charged particles, interact with solar winds.
The oft-quoted astrophysicist lets loose on America’s incredible capacity for progress and innovation–as well as our straying from those ideals in the past couple decades. Tyson doesn’t think all hope is lost, however. In doing what we deem impossible–not because it’s easy but because it is hard–we can discover the most important aspects of ourselves and that which unites us all.
From the Smithsonian: “An 86-mile-high volcanic plume explodes above the horizon of Jupiter’s moon Io. The plume is erupting over a caldera (volcanic depression), named Pillan Patera, after a South American god of thunder, fire, and volcanoes.”
Kindled by his love of topography, Dutch artist Kees Veenenbos’ career started as hobby and eventually transformed into a grand portfolio of digital imagery. His Mars surface renderings are filled with such an amazing degree of realism that they have been used by NASA as a vital part of its exploration of the red planet.
Veenenbos uses the rendering program Terragen to create the astonishing landscapes that have been featured in National Geographic as well as the highly acclaimed scientific series NOVA. His technique creates awe-inspiring digital maps, which many viewers find hard to believe are not actually photographs.
Now, realize that you are an infinitesimal fraction of half a speck within this image and quit worrying.