Image Credit: Randy Bresnik/Instagram
The sense of awe experienced by astronauts viewing Earth
from the black recesses of space is only now being investigated as a psychological phenomenon
, but every human is equipped to experience at least a shred of the same conscious smallness. If you've felt a maudlin, lonely ache while staring up at the stars in Orion's Belt dotting the inky winter skies or faced the wine-dark seas with the sun dropping below the western skyline, you've known awe. If you've ever looked up at the moon and wondered how it is we managed to set foot on something so remote or dreamed of watching it grow closer and closer through a glass porthole, you've known awe. If you've ever stopped dead in your tracks at the sight of beauty, whether in a perfect stranger or a scattering of sun-tinted clouds at dawn, you've known awe. It's the awareness that there's something much bigger than you not just 'out there,' but everywhere, in every moment. Carl Sagan put it best:
"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky."
That's the feeling that these photographs, taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik,
inspire.1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.