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Galaxy M104. (not my picture, I have a good telephoto lens but not that good)


28 million light years from earth.

50,000 light years across.

(Light travels at around 300,000km a second, or 1,079,000,000 kilometres an hour.)

To put it another way, if you travel at 1 billion kilometres an hour, it will still take you 50,000 years to get from one side of this galaxy to the other.


Our own galaxy is estimated to be twice as large, 100,000 light years across, containing up to 400 billion stars. One of the closest galaxies Andromeda may have a trillion stars.

The estimate for number of galaxies in the known universe is up to 400 billion.


When viewed at the largest size you can see many other galaxies in this image.


These numbers, this kind of size is not really comprehensible, but it is enough to know it is not comprehensible, in order to reduce one to silent awe.


To gaze at this image and really ponder deeply on what it is and what you are, is a meditation where the normal mind can only give up, and another awareness can take over. That awareness may be the heart.

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Taken on May 28, 2010