A painting of mans’ quest to explore and conquer space. Set against the backdrop of the spectacular galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud, taken by the Hubble space telescope. The scene depicts the silhouette of early man, squatting, bottom left on the edge of a precipice, gazing up at the firmament as if in contemplation. The light from the nebula started its long journey to earth 200,000 years ago at a time when Neanderthal man roamed over Europe and Asia.
Seen in the middle right, as if heading straight towards the starbursts, is Voyager 1, launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter and Saturn then head off into deep space, is now over 10 billion miles from earth making it the most distant man-made object ever sent from earth and it is still sending scientific data.
The Magellenic nebula, which can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, was named after the great Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who was the first human to circumnavigate the earth in 1519-1522 and who made observations and noted in his log about this ‘dim cluster of stars’ calling them Cape Clouds. In April 1961 the Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gargarin, became the first person to orbit earth and in February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit earth. The space race was well and truly underway.