NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 26 March 2023: Space explorers

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is actually a video! This explores humanity's expansion into the Solar System.

| Updated on: Mar 26 2023, 12:49 IST
Top NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Andromeda Galaxy, Crab Nebula and more
1/5 M1 Crab Nebula (March 20) - Today’s NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is the Messier 1, which was first discovered by Chinese astronomers in 1054. Also known as the Crab Nebula, it is located about 6500 light-years away towards the constellation of Taurus and spans about 10 light-years across. The Crab Nebula is now also known to be a supernova remnant, which are the remnants left behind after a supernova explosion. (NASA/Detlef Hartmann)
2/5 Dark Nebulae and the Taurus Molecular Cloud (March 21) - is a fascinating snapshot of the dark nebulae and the star formation in the Taurus Molecular Cloud (TMC). Located about 400 light-years away, TMC is one of the closest molecular clouds to our solar system. The Taurus Molecular Cloud is also home to Hind's Variable Nebula (NGC 1555) about 650 light-years away as well as the star T Tauri. (NASA/Vikas Chander)
3/5 The Andromeda Galaxy (March 22) - Today’s NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is the Andromeda Galaxy. According to NASA, the Andromeda Galaxy is twice the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy, spanning across nearly 260,000 light-years and containing over 1 trillion stars. (NASA/Abdullah Al-Harbi)
4/5 Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841 (March 23) - It is the Spiral Galaxy, also known as NGC 2841. It is an unbarred spiral galaxy located about 46 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major, which is also known as the Great Bear. According to NASA, NGC 2841 has a relatively low star formation rate as of now, in comparison to other spirals that are alight with emission nebulae. (NASA/Roberto Marinoni)
5/5 Comet ZTF and the stars of Milky Way (March 24) - It is a picture of Comet ZTF fading away in the sky. According to NASA, it is now 13.3 light-minutes away from Earth and will go on its way before it makes another approach with Earth 50000 years into the future. The comet can be seen alongside stars of the Milky Way Galaxy towards the constellation Eridanus. (NASA/Rolando Ligustri)
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Wanderers by Erik Wernquist portrays a hypothetical vision of our future in space. (Video Credit: Visuals: Erik Wernquist)

NASA takes on a quick journey of our universe with a captivating picture every day, accompanied by a concise description written by an expert. However, there is not an image but a whole video depicting the discoveries of the cosmos by humans. The video titled “Wanderers” by Erik Wernquist, a digital artist and animator from Sweden explores humanity's expansion into the Solar System. The film portrays a hypothetical vision of our future in space, founded on scientific ideas and concepts.

While sharing the video, NASA says, “How far out will humanity explore? If this video's fusion of real space imagery and fictional space visualizations is on the right track, then at least the Solar System.” A few of the wonderful scenes in the video depict human beings of the future gliding through Saturn's rings, exploring Jupiter from a nearby spacecraft, and jumping from a tall cliff on the moon of Uranus due to its low gravity.

Though, the settings showcased in the movie are computer-generated replicas of authentic locations within our Solar System, constructed using genuine photographs and map data wherever accessible. NASA further says, “Although no one can know the future, wandering and exploring beyond boundaries -- both physical and intellectual -- is part of the human spirit and has frequently served humanity well in the past.”

More about the “Wanderers” video

The creator of the video says that the ideas and concepts of the video have been taken from several science fiction authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Arthur C. Clarke. The video also features the voice of astronomer Ann Druyan and author Carl Sagan narrates the short film.

Without any apparent plot, the film's main aim is to provide a peek into the wondrous and exquisite environment that encompasses us in our nearby worlds. Above all, it aims to illustrate how these surroundings may appear to us if we were to witness them firsthand.

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First Published Date: 26 Mar, 12:49 IST