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Sunday, 22 June 2014

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities."

An analemma superimposed over an image of the Milky Way.
An analemma is the figure 8 curve you scribe when you mark
the position of the sun over the course of a year from the
same point on earth. It's the record of the earth's journey
around our own star; a movement that defines time.
And, ironically, it's the symbol we use to represent infinity.
Maybe we can never truly grasp infinity.
Maybe we can only know the universe through time.
Milky Way photo by Thomas Zimmer.
Analemma photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis. (The composition is my own.)

“There are infinite numbers between between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.... There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade if for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.'” 

John Green, The Fault in our Stars

See more about The Fault in our Starhere or here.

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