Ancient Light

Photographs by David Malin, from the book Ancient Light: Portrait of the Universe

During my last semester at college, I took an Astronomy class to fill the required units for graduation. It turned out to be the course that I enjoyed the most in my college career. Recently, I discovered the work of David Malin, who is an astronomer as well as photographer. By attaching a camera to the telescope lens, scientists since the 19th century have been able to record things in the universe that were not visible to Galileo, the father of modern observational astronomy, among other things. "Since human beings evolved, we have been looking at the sky. When the telescope was invented, vision was expanded to see more of the universe and it changed our perspective of our place in it. In 1,000 years' time someone will come along with new technology and they will look at the same universe in a completely different light," says Malin.

For someone who spends most of her life looking at everything, I envy Malin's opportunity to look at the universe, not metaphorically but literally. What he captures in his sublime photographs is light that has travelled thousands of light years. I marvel at every one of these awe-inspiring photographs. There is something so infinitely beautiful in the idea of spending one's whole life looking at the dark empty sky to find the wonders of the universe. What's more impressive, over the course of his career, Malin has found two new galaxies: Malin Carter and Malin 1, which may possibly be larger than our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

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