A Public Service Announcement

Ordinarily I’m the one doing all the writing in my posts. But I ran across this graphic and its accompanying article from The Atlantic today and I thought it was worth sharing.

Over the course of a decade and a half, a team at the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (a.k.a. NANOGrav) worked to prove that gravitational waves from the birth of the universe are echoing in the background of space-time today. https://theatln.tc/FY2lfe5U

They have now found proof that “every proton and neutron in every atom from the tip of your toes to the top of your head is shifting, shuttling, and vibrating in a collective purr within which the entire history of the universe is implicated,” Adam Frank writes. “The gravitational-wave background is huge news for the cosmos, yes, but it’s also huge news for you. The nature of reality has not changed—you will not suddenly be able to detect vibrations in your morning coffee that you couldn’t see before. And yet, moments like these can and should change how each of us sees our world. All of a sudden, we know that we are humming in tune with the entire universe, that each of us contains the signature of everything that has ever been.” ⁠

“As children, each of us had a deep and easily triggered sense that the world is full of wonder, that everything is strange and amazing,” Frank continues. “Today, gifted with a new understanding of the architecture of the universe, each of us has an opportunity to revisit that wonder. After you finish reading this, take a look around you. Ponder how the solid-seeming ground beneath your feet is quietly shaking with the force of billions of years of cosmic collisions. Go outside, if you can, and watch the wind blow through the trees … The endless comings and goings of galaxies, stars, and planets create a melding of songs that you are part of too. The NANOGrav discovery exposes the intricacy and gracefulness of that melding. It’s a reminder that the world always has been, and always will be, worthy of wonder.” ⁠

📷️: Bill Ingalls / NASA / Getty

And then there’s this. Enjoy.

The James Webb Space Telescope recorded new images of the Cartwheel galaxy. This one is a composite made with two tools, the Near-Infrared Camera and the Mid-Infrared Instrument.Credit…NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

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