NASA's achievements in exploring the cosmos serves as an inspiration to all of us. The colorful images inspire painters, the concept of light-speed travel inspires physicists, and the possibility of exploring the unknown inspires authors, designers, and engineers. For more than a decade, NASA has posted one picture each day featuring our universe with a brief explanation. Embedded here are just a few select pictures from APOD.
What I find more impressive than NASA's thousands of gorgeous images taken with billion-dollar telescopes are the photographs taken by amateur astronomer Professor Greg Parker, who took pictures using his backyard 11-inch telescope. He was able to produce an image of a star-like quasar that was almost 12 billion light years away-- the hypothesized age of the entire universe.
Like many of us, Professor Parker's fascination with astronomy stems from his childhood. His dream, no matter how far-fetched they seemed at the time, eventually led him to taking these gorgeous deep-sky images from his own back yard. What are some of your childhood aspirations? Do these images inspire you?