The night sky, familiar to all of us, holds a sense of wonder unlike anything else.
For countless generations, we’ve gazed upon the heavenly abyss with awe.
Today, light pollution and satellite contamination have stolen those pristine views from many of us.
Even so, each glimpse of what lies beyond Earth compels us to look farther.
Out there, among the stars, galaxies, and beyond, lies the answers to the greatest mysteries of all.
Each glittering point of light is its own stellar system, containing planets, moons, and possibly even life.
We’ve seen individual planets forming, and may soon discover extrasolar biological activity.
Within the Milky Way galaxy, alone, there are billions of potentially inhabited worlds.
Even beyond that, there are anywhere from 6 to 20 trillion galaxies within the observable Universe.
We can’t see farther because the Universe is a finite age: it’s been a mere 13.8 billion years since the hot Big Bang.
Beyond those limits, the story of our ultimate origin remains obscure.
The Universe provides hints, but the necessary information to draw definitive conclusions eludes us.
Each glimpse into the great cosmic abyss continues our neverending pursuit of knowledge.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.