Very few people know that the famous equation E=mc² is a shorthand for a longer equation that takes relativity into account. For speeds smaller than a fraction of the speed of light(c,299792458m/s), E=mc² would give a fairly accurate result. When the speed of an object or observer comes close to that of the speed of light, the energy of an object will actually begin to rise.
For those who have not already looked at the equation, the brilliance of this equation is that it sets the universal speed limit to that of the speed of light. The denominator of this equation tells us that the actual energy of the object increases as velocity increases by a factor of 1/[1-(v²/c²)]. However, when the velocity of the observer relative to the object measured reaches the speed of light, a zero is calculated from the denominator. A simple graphing of this equation tells that as the velocity reaches c, the energy of the object will become infinite. In more simple terms, it is impossible to attain the speed of light by any means.
For those who continue to say that matter cannot be created or destroyed, this equation proves you wrong. Matter is a substance which occupies space and has mass. Energy does not have any of these characteristics. Because mass and energy can be exchanged it is logical to say that matter can in fact be destroyed. Energy owever cannot be destroyed because it is the basic form of of matter and...Energy(photons?).
About the Picture:
The equation was made to incorporate astronomy for the large distances involved with c(and also for my interest in astronomy). For m I made a bunch of spheres to denote the nucleus of an atom which is the basic unit of ordinary matter most people are familiar with. c was made with a halo effect to make it resemble a light bulb or neon tube. Personally my favorite illustration was the gravitational lensing that represents the parenthesis for incorporating part of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. I made this by warping images in adobe PS.
All of the images used for this equation/photo/diagram came from NASA or were made by me. NASA photographs are in Public Domain so to continue the generosity I will also release this picture into Public Domain.
Top Right: Pleiades Star Cluster
Bottom Left:NGC 5866
Bottom Center: Mira
Bottom Left: Crab Nebula
Left Parenthesis: Orion Nebula
Right Parenthesis: Messier 82