Our ability to see into the night sky is truly amazing. For millennia, human-kind has looked into the stars for guidance, for insight into the future, and most recently, for information on where we came from. But the most amazing thing about the sky above us, is that only about 2% of whats going on up there is visible to us!
That’s correct, 98% of the activity going on in space is invisible to our naked eyes down here on the “Pale Blue Dot”. So to overcome this massive issue of visual handicap, scientists all over the world have developed the finest tools known to man. Tools capable of delving into the unseen depths of space. Instruments capable of making the invisible visible!
We live in a world with a bevy of space objects floating over our heads. Most of the time we think of it as junk that is left over from past experiments, rocket parts, space junk etc etc. But quite a bit of it is active material, designed to aid science in its attempts to increase our knowledge everyday! Below my rambling diatribe is a great representation of the important instruments at work in the sky above, right now!
This picture illustrates just a few of the instruments used by NASA to explore our planet and out into space: HESS, Fermi and Swift for gamma-ray, NuSTAR and Chandra for X-ray, GALEX for ultraviolet, Kepler, Hubble, Keck (I and II), SALT, and Gemini (South) for visible, Spitzer, Herschel, and Sofia for infrared, Planck and CARMA for microwave, Spektr-R, Greenbank, and VLA for radio.
Amazing mechanical marvels helping us peer into the darkness! Technological glasses for an Earth-bound culture! Next time you look up at the sky, remember that there are some hardworking droids up there plying the skies for YOUR benefit!