I enjoy science fiction (sci-fi) movies and television shows and include the original Star Wars trilogy in my top ten list of favorite movies—certainly Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back but less so the Return of the Jedi simply because I find the ewoks more annoying than cute. This choice in entertainment was probably imprinted upon me at an early age. At age 7, I saw Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope as my first movie in a movie theater, and my brothers and I had piles of Star Wars-related toys. Also, I remember watching reruns of the original Star Trek but only when we could get grainy reception of a distant television station. I watched the original Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who during the Tom Baker years and even Pigs in Space on The Muppet Show. It was the late 1970s and 1980s, and I was surrounded by images of space travel, albeit the poor-quality, often cheesy sci-fi images typical of that era.
To this day, I still like to watch some of those old sci-fi shows when I’m feeling nostalgic, and I smile at the rudimentary special effects. However, when I want more realistic images of space and space travel, I visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Image of the Day Gallery, which is filled with photos of genuine spacecraft (without fishing line to hold them up), asteroids, nebulae, dwarf galaxies, alien landscapes and historic events in space exploration. Every time I visit this web site, I am rewarded with images of colorful supernovae, pioneering astronauts, lunar sunrises and the International Space Station. There are so many great images, I can’t pick a favorite.
Next time you need a 5-minute break, check out the NASA Image of the Day Gallery. You’ll be glad you did.