This stunning image of The Pillars of Star Creation was taken in 2014 by Hubble Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed in 2009. What you’re looking at is interstellar matter (known as elephant trunks) and gas, which are like incubators for new stars. They were located in the Eagle Nebula, 6,500-7,000 light years from Earth.

We reacted right away when Columbine happened, spinning every stray hair of a rumor into a tapestry of explanation. A crisis like that draws us in, makes us nearer to the now. It rattles us where we are usually numb. It reorients our world for a time. We stare down humanity, searching every eye to find either a brother or a monster. People are a mix of those things, but we want an either/or. A definitive separator feels good, draws a clear line between monsters and humans.

The concept of “The Force” in Star Wars seems to resonant universally. The idea of the force seems easy enough to understand when you’re in the midst of the delightful intergalactic ride full of non-stop action and satisfying scene wipes, but it gets a bit more nebulous the more you try to grasp it. What is The Force, really? And why do we respond so powerfully to it?

The spirit of The Martian has struck a rousing chord with the American public: sending them to movie theaters in droves, gluing them to paperbacks, infusing new hunger for scientific pursuits, and even charging up NASA dreams of space exploration.

The film was pitched to execs as a “love letter to science,” and it is. It’s stirs within us dreams of how much we can achieve by learning and building upon our exciting expanse of scientific knowledge. But it also speaks to some other, more complicated emotions. What’s fueling Mark Whitney’s ingenuity is a driving, tenacious will to survive in the face of one of the most lonely circumstances a human could ever find themselves in.