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The wonders and terrors of modern technology evoke the ancient concept of the sublime, and present us with a choice

By Nanda Jarosz, Research officer, University of Sydney
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In recent weeks the world has been awed by the first series of colour images to emerge from the James Webb Space Telescope. A celestial concert, the images of swirling galaxies and conflagrations of gas presented an unprecedented view of the early cosmos. US President Joe Biden spoke of the images as a “reminder that America can do big things” and that there is “nothing beyond our capacity”.

But what is it about images of the cosmos that engage our fascination?

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