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Photo essay.

Nearly every culture in human history has admired and studied the night sky. Yet it wasn’t until the invention of the glass lens and mirror that we really began to understand our place within the cosmos.

Despite technological advances, some of us remain too uncomfortable to ponder the universe. Its age (over thirteen billion years old, and counting) and immensity (over forty-six billion light years, and expanding) make it seem unreachable, more massive than what the mind can comprehend. Maybe this is why cosmic events often cause emotional reactions, like the wonder we feel when we stand in the path of totality during a solar eclipse or watch a meteor break apart in the atmosphere. These experiences render palpable the reality of our existence within a grander cosmos, reminding us that we are both of and within the massive universe we inhabit.

A cosmic perspective need not be confronted ...

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