I had just finished my lecture on Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The mathematical equations for one of his basic ideas, the so-called invariance of the space-time interval, filled the blackboards. I still had twenty minutes to spare. Perhaps I had galloped through the details too fast. I tended to overprepare for this course since it was loaded with some of the best students on campus, including Oona Fitzgerald who had scored a perfect 1600 on her SATs.

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Image above:

The Pillars of Creation are set off in a kaleidoscope of color in NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s near-infrared-light view. The pillars look like arches and spires rising out of a desert landscape, but are filled with semi-transparent gas and dust, and ever changing. This is a region where young stars are forming – or have barely burst from their dusty cocoons as they continue to form.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI).