NASA’s Hubble telescope has captured a stunning image showing that chaotic beauty is universal as well as global. Not unlike the wandering ash cloud from Chile’s Puyehoe volcano that I wrote about yesterday, this is a picture of clouds of dust and gas drifting in another galaxy, 11 million light years away, residue that hints at a catastrophic origin. Flecks of red are the signatures of young stars; in the centre is a “supermassive” black hole that weighs 55 million times as much as the sun.
It says something for focus and perspective. This galaxy was first spotted in 1826 but generally ignored for the next 100 years, dismissed as a blurry, shapeless mass thought to be more or less in our own back yard. But sharpen your gaze and the close becomes distant, space opens up and the blur becomes breathtaking. Where’s the beauty in your chaos today?