Another May the 4th, another day of wishing scientists would hurry up and invent FTL propulsion already. But now, NASA has gone and given us the next best thing: a virtual trip to the center of the galaxy, stitched together from a stunning series of Hubble wide-field images.

In thirty seconds, you can take the dizzying 27,000 light year trek from Earth’s lonely vantage in the galactic boondocks to the Milky Way’s densely-packed core, where a million Suns are crammed into the volume of space between here and Alpha Centauri. At the center of our galaxy, stars swarm about the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, a bunch of giant fusion reactors popping off into abyss one by one.


It will leave you feeling very small and powerless, and also, wishing you had a control knob to enhance that damn black hole.


Maddie Stone is a freelancer based in Philadelphia.

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