The latest buzz from space is the stunning photo gallery trickling in from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed safely late Sunday night. While the rover is a big step for space exploration, it's only the tip of the iceberg -- an almost inconceivably large iceberg:
Vast as this slice of the universe seems, its most distant reach is to redshift 0.1, corresponding to roughly 1.3 billion light years from Earth. SDSS Data Release 9 from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), led by Berkeley Lab scientists, includes spectroscopic data for well over half a million galaxies at redshifts up to 0.8 -- roughly 7 billion light years distant -- and over a hundred thousand quasars to redshift 3.0 and beyond.
In an effort to emphasize how goddamn tiny we are relative to the rest of the universe, NASA released this composite image of the night sky to the public. Composed of more than a billion stars and 2.7 million images, it serves as a constant reminder of how little of the universe we've explored. Short version: Fund NASA please.