This is the newest photo of the Andromeda Galaxy taken by Hubble. You’re looking at 1.5 billion pixels, or 4.3 GB of disk space. For. One. Picture. As you’ve probably guessed, it’s the biggest picture ever taken of the galaxy, and it only covers a small chunk of it.

But that’s not even the scary part. Watch the video in full screen:

All those little specs? Not static. Not random space particles. Stars. Even in that area that gets so dense they look like that sandy beach in Jamaica where you drank one too many margaritas.

Of course, I’d seen those videos attempting to put into perspective just how small we are compared to the rest of time and space. They’re cool and mildly interesting, but they didn’t affect me nearly the way this one photo does. We really are nothing in the scheme of things, and to me, that’s the most comforting fact in the universe. It’s also quite inspiring when it comes to the writerly side of things. If there are that many billions of stars, there have to be at least as many stories, right?

Most importantly, this has to mean the aliens are coming. 🙂

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