The History of How We Think of Venus

Illustration of Venus

Everything you need to know about the history of Earth’s mysterious neighbour.

From being viewed as two distinct stars, to a planet inhabited by “Venusians”, to being considered the second planet Earth, human perception of Venus has evolved through the ages. 

Named after the Roman goddess of love, likely due to its bright appearance, Venus has sat quietly in the sky while we make our own assumptions as to what it might contain and represent. Only through recent scientific developments have we been able to bring some clarity to what our neighbouring planet is and isn’t.

Ancient civilisations used to believe that Venus was two distinct stars

Due to its proximity to the sun, the illusion created by sunlight fooled the ancient Greeks and Egyptians into believing that Venus was actually two separate stars, visible at sunrise and sunset. These were named the morning and evening star respectively, and became the subject of worship for generations. The disproportionately brighter light given from Venus even earnt itself a mention in the Bible, being compared to Jesus himself. It took a few hundred years before the Greeks realised that Venus was a single object moving within Earth’s orbit, in what must have been a sobering moment for all involved. 

UFO spotters believe that aliens belonged to Venus

In ‘ufology’, the study of extraterrestrial life, it became very convenient to ascribe aliens to Earth’s closest neighbour. Going as far back as the 1950s, alien sightings were claimed to be of “Venusians” who had arrived on planet earth to make contact with humans. While most of the photo and video evidence was investigated and debunked, this hasn’t stopped the fanatical imagination with Venusian life, and conspiracies can still be found in blogs and videos via a quick internet search. 

The idea of Venusians has also made its way into science fiction movies and comics, showing that they are not only a hit with theorists, but with the entertainment industry too.

Some people believe that Venus may be Hell itself

Image of Venus

The mystery of the unknown gives license for the imaginative mind to wonder. None more so than Dr Michael Santini, a former aerospace engineer who wrote a book detailing how Venus is the physical embodiment of hell itself. While the ancient Greeks had beliefs concerning the physical existence of religious places, Dr Santini’s book demonstrates that similar opinions still exist in society today, despite advances in astronomy.

People believe that Venus used to be another planet Earth

These days, due to the wonders of 21st century science, we can be more sure of what Venus is, as well as what it could have been in the past.

It’s boiling hot. 900 degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact. It also has 92 times the pressure of Earth, its atmosphere a veritable blanket of sulfuric acid which clouds its visibility. Thanks to this, the planet is difficult to examine and has therefore been able to maintain a degree of mystique.

Scientists believe that Venus used to boast a cooler climate, similar to that on Earth. This has led to speculation that Venus is presenting us with an insight into the fate of our own planet, as climate change takes hold. While conditions on our sister planet would certainly not be able to support life as we know it, there has been evidence that bacteria could be living in the clouds, where the atmosphere is cooler.

When will we know for sure?

As we can see, the beliefs and discoveries we make about Venus are ever changing. From scientific discoveries to new theories based on faith and opinion, the mystery behind Earth’s sister planet means it will always be a playground for the imagination.

The History of How We Think of Mars

From canals to Martians, we take a look at the history of the Red Planet.

Illustration of Mars

It’s easy to pass cheap judgement on the brilliant minds of the past when we explore the history of Mars. But you might be forgiven for believing in Martians when you are viewing the planet from more than 50 million km away through the world’s first telescope. What we know about our dusty red neighbour has increased parallel to developments in astronomy and space technology, and we are still making new findings to this day. 

The first recorded observations of Mars were around 400BC

And you won’t be surprised to hear that in those times not a lot could be said for Mars. It was known simply as a fiery red colour in the sky. As was typical during this time, the Greeks decided to give this coloured dot a name. They chose the name Ares, after their god of war. The Romans preferred the name Mars, after their own warmongering deity, and the name stuck.

Galileo was the first person to see Mars through a telescope

Galileo - viewed Mars

The father of observational astronomy, Galileo Galilei, was the first to magnify the image of Mars via telescope in 1609. By the end of the same century, ideas about extraterrestrial life on Mars are considered for the first time. Fast forward to the end of the 18th century and, through advances in telescopic technology, the vital statistics for Mars had been uncovered. Most notably, its distance being 54 million km from Earth, its day being 39 minutes longer than Earth’s, and its two neighbouring moons. During this time, Sir William Herschel also concluded that not only do aliens live on Mars, but also the sun. Clearly, further investigation was still required. 

A simple translation error sparks Martian mania

In 1877 Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli described the lines he could see on Mars through his telescope as “canali”, which translates to “channels” in English. ‘Canali’ was misinterpreted to mean canal by American astronomer Percival Lowell. Considering canals to be a man/alien made entity, Lowell dedicated his life’s work to publishing books which suggested that Martians had been busy constructing a complex water supply system on Mars. As a result, Martian mania was born. 

Adding fuel to the fire, a young Orson Welles produced a radio adapted version of “The War of The Worlds”. Presented in storytelling format, the broadcast unintentionally beguiled New York listeners into fleeing their homes, in the belief they were under attack from the inhabitants of Mars. 

The world of media got wind of the fascination with Mars, and the idea of Martians gave inspiration for comics, movies and music. Rest in peace, David Bowie. 

It took until 1965 to debunk the existence of Martians

In a blunt and conclusive manner, the NASA-launched Mariner 4 space probe broadcasted to Earth images of a dusty barren wasteland. There was a collective groan from the conspiracy theorist community, and Martian mania was as good as over. 

While the fantasists amongst us felt disappointment, others saw an opportunity for a new home for humanity. Curiosity, the NASA space rover, was sent to Mars in 2012 to inspect whether its conditions would be suitable for supporting life on the Red Planet. While we have proven the lack of water on the surface of Mars, there remains hope that dormant life may be present beneath the surface. That is all we need for our imaginations to run wild!

How long are days on the different planets?

Does the length of a day change on each planet?

When it comes to exploring the solar system, there’s a reason that the amount of time spent in space is calculated in hours rather than days. That’s due to the reason that our measurement of time is directly related to our position on Earth and its relation to the Sun. A day on our planet is very different to a day on another planet.

If you’re here for the “too long, didn’t read” answer, then the table below will be helpful. We’ve put together the amount of hours that a day lasts on each planet. That is how long it takes for a complete rotation on the planet’s axis to complete.

Planet Hours to complete axis rotation (A Day)
Mercury 1,408 hours
Venus 5,832 hours
Earth 24 hours
Mars 25 hours
Jupiter 10 hours
Saturn 11 hours
Uranus 17 hours
Neptune 16 hours

The table might come as something of a surprise. It would be natural to assume that the length of days might increase or decrease depending on distance from the Sun but it appears that it is composition that has a major impact on day length. The gas giants clearly spin at an incredible rate compared to the smaller, solid based planets of Earth and Mars.

It’s also worth noting that the orbits of the planets aren’t perfectly circular and, in fact, Earth’s own elliptical orbit means that some days are shorter than others. Therefore, the best way to measure the length of a day is to use a measurement called sidereal days, or the amount of time it actually takes to complete a whole rotation. On Earth, that’s 23 hours and 56 minutes, rounded to 24 hours to make for easier time calculations.

Notable differences in days

Planets- different length of a day

Some of the planets rotations and orbits throw some interesting facts our way. Take Mercury, for instance — if the human race was able to successfully terraform the planet and create a sustainable settlement, day/night would have to become an artificial concept. In fact, over the course of one Mercurian day (sunrise and sunset), there would have been 2 Mercurian years (rotations around the sun).

Similar can be said for Venus, where the length of a day is longer than a year (by 18 days). Factor in Venus’ reverse rotation (compared to Earth) and those living in terraformed settlements would see only 2 sunrises each year — which would also happen with the sun rising in the west and setting in the east.

Looking for further unusual days and years, Uranus tops the class. Thanks to its tipped axis, only one part of the planet is pointed at the Sun over the course of each year. That means that the length of a day on the planet is matched with the length of a season. Terraformers would spend each “day” in a different season, making particularly interesting temperature challenges.

Each of the planets produce interesting and complex challenges when it comes to managing days, nights, seasons and years. It’s these challenges that terraformers will have to cope with when settling our solar system.

The Science of TerraGenesis: Sky Farms

Tech Dive: New Age Sky Farms

When it comes to colonizing and terraforming a new planet, those that are carrying out the heavy lifting and leg work need to eat. The land, especially that of Mars and beyond, might not be suitable for farming, and it might not be suitable for a long time to come. That’s where the Sky Farms of TerraGenesis come in. 

The strain put on an ecosystem is at it’s peak when civilizations look to support the people within it. This has to become priority number one. Well, once you have breathable air and water… ok so maybe priority number 3… and then there’s the heat levels… and radiation. Well, no-one said that terraforming would be easy did they?!

Supporting the human population of a colony isn’t straight forward. However, thanks to incredible scientific advances in both hydroponics and zero-G biology the human race is able to look beyond the ground when it comes to growing crops.

Hydroponics and Sky Farms

Image of growing plants - sky farms

Hydroponics enable farmers and scientists to harvest nutrients from water and a mineral solution rather than soil, allowing plants to grow in different environments than previously thought possible. Not only that, the water usage is incredibly decreased. Consider that in traditional farming it takes nearly 400 liters of water to grow just 1kg of tomatoes. When using hydroponics this number is drastically reduced to a mere 70 liters of water. This research was initially powered by those in NASA but has been grasped by the various factions of TerraGenesis in their terraforming missions.

Zero-G Farming

The International Space Station provided a great platform for researchers to understand how zero-g conditions affected plant growth, in the same way that it affects human life. Zero-g farming isn’t just about the lack of gravity either. Plants have a hard time in space, especially due to the lack of sunlight, which they need for fuel through photosynthesis. Artificial lighting can replace this, but to maximize efficiency specially designed LEDs need to be used. 

As an interesting aside, research into sky farms allowed scientists to uncover a unique device that’s function takes ethylene and converts it into CO2 (carbon dioxide) and water. This could be spectacularly important for lengthy journeys into space.

In order to facilitate the colonisation of a whole planet, or even just a colony for starters, terraformers will need a vast network of these sky farms in orbit. The resource cost might be high, but what price can be put on a well fed workforce? 

Sky farms will become incredibly useful during times when water on the surface of the planet isn’t accessible (as it’s frozen) or isn’t available at all. At least for those in the initial terraforming missions, sky farms might well be the only access that they have to get fresh produce in the dark, forbidding world that they’re looking to inhabit.

The Science of TerraGenesis: Soletta

Bringing the heat with Soletta.

Heat. It’s a bit of a problem when it comes to creating new colonies and terraforming new worlds, you can’t have too much and you can’t have too little. Thankfully, scientists have created Soletta.

Soletta is a marvel of technological achievement. It allows previously uninhabitable worlds to become habitable, it can change the surfaces of whole worlds and can unlock the potential they may have. Thanks to advanced artificial intelligence and dynamic sensors, Soletta is able to manage and adjust to create the perfect temperature for life not only to exist, but thrive on previously alien worlds.

How does Soletta work?

Earth, our home world, happens to be in the perfect position for life to exist. A few fractions closer or further from the Sun and our planet would look very different. This, therefore, hugely impacts how we can terraform other planets in our solar. Take Venus for example, whilst it’s a prospect for terraforming, the surface temperature is vastly higher than that on Earth and therefore requires cooling. Somewhere like Mars, being further from the sun, requires the opposite.

Soletta works by either dampening or amplifying solar radiation to decrease or increase the energy coming from the Sun. If you were to stand on the surface of a newly terraformed world and looked up, Soletta would appear as a huge circular array of solar sail style mirrors. They are aligned to focus or deflect sunlight which may have been focused or just missed the planet.

The name of the satellite stems from science fiction, namely the works of Kim Stanley Robinson and the work Aurora. Soletta was built, in this instance, to aid the terraforming process on Mars at the start of the 22nd Century.

For a piece of technology this impressive, you can expect to part with a fair piece of capital. Soletta certainly doesn’t come cheap, in TerraGenesis you can expect to pay 50,000,000 credits but the freedom over temperature control that it allows is worth it. 

Implementing Soletta

Reflecting vasts swathes of heat across a planet’s surface, or deflecting it, can have dramatic effects. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you consider the impact that Soletta will have on your whole ecosystem and the colonists within it.

If you have a reasonably stable water supply but use Soletta to increase the planet’s temperature you can expect a fair percentage of that to be evaporated and the stock to be depleted. The same can be said for the opposite, cool the surface too much and the water supply will freeze at the planet’s extremities. 

It’s worth considering the other buildings that raise or lower local temperature. Take for instance if you have an Aerostat Platform, it would first cause your temperature to drop, but once the gap between current and temperature becomes too big Soletta’s percentage change becomes stronger and rise the temperature, which narrows the gap and reduces Soletta effectiveness, in a negative feedback loop.

The Science of TerraGenesis: Planetary Defense Network

The Planetary Defense Network, your guard against the perils of space.

The Planetary Defense Network is there to save you and your colonists lives. That is a pretty dramatic way of putting it but is also exactly what it does. Whichever faction you choose to be part of, when terraforming a new world you will want to make sure to invest in this device.

Over 65 million years ago Earth was minding its own business. Happily going about its day with a whole world of fauna, oceans and dinosaurs. That was until a humongous asteroid impacted the surface and changed the course of Earth’s history for ever. The dinosaurs and other life on Earth hadn’t invested in a Planetary Defense Network. Sure, the technology wasn’t there, nor was the concept of space… but if they had invested in one they’d still be here today.

The Planetary Defense Network defends the world you’re terraforming from rogue asteroids, meteors and other dangerous threats to the surface from the depths of space. At the basic level the system tracks and monitors threats as they get near to the terraformed world. At the more engaged level, should a threat be more direct and potentially damaging to your world the planetary defense network will intervene and neutralise the problem.

Ever since 2016 teams of scientists and astronomers have kept a weathered eye on the skies and space around Earth, watching for life threatening celestial issues. When a potential issue is spotted it is logged and then monitored. As of 2019, that catalogue sits around 15,000 logged potential issues, with roughly 1500 added each year. That’s just for Earth, that doesn’t include newly terraformed worlds, worlds which are potentially in an even more dangerous position.

Whilst the Earth bound monitoring system was a useful beginning the question was always asked, “What would happen if one was on an imminent collision course with Earth?”. The answer was pretty grim reading… mankind essentially became extinct.

If you’re after some slightly worrying reading head over to NASA’s own Asteroid Watch website. They regularly post about inbound objects, their size, how close they’ll get to Earth and even the date that they’ll pass. The handy approximate size chart measures in house, bus or plane sizes. Their podcast also shares thoughts such as “What would happen if an asteroid hits the Earth?” and other happy questions. Now if that doesn’t fill you with existential dread then nothing will…

Thankfully, that dread and fear is something of the past for those colonising and terraforming new worlds. With an investment into a Planetary Defense Network your faction and colonists can rest assured that their world is safe. At least from asteroids.

The Science of TerraGenesis: Space Elevator

Space Elevators: Going Up?

View from a planet - space elevators

What if strapping yourself to a massive rocket, starting a huge explosion and hoping for the best wasn’t the only way of getting into space? What if you were able to use a device that essentially resembled an elevator and caught that into space instead? Seems a whole lot more convenient and safe? Meet Space elevators!

Space elevators in TerraGenesis enable travel to and from the surface of the planet that your faction is terraforming with ease. 

What Are Space Elevators?

They are essentially exactly what they say they are. They’re elevators that take people and cargo to and from space. The general idea is that they have an orbital station port that is a semi-permanent structure in space and a long, traversable cable that allows you to travel up and down aligned at the equator of the planet. 

This piece of technology, whilst astronomically expensive to initially build, will create a far more cost efficient and environmentally sound method of traveling to space. The initial cost comes from the huge scale of the device. When created, the space elevator will be the largest structure that humans have ever created. It’ll need to be able to reach geostationary orbit, or 35,786km in altitude. That’s a lot of cable.

This isn’t a new concept either. In fact, the idea was first hypothesised back in 1895 by Tsiolkovsky. He proposed the idea that this structure would be built under compression, meaning it supports its weight from below.

Since around 1959, ideas began to spring forward using the concept of tensile structures and centrifugal forces that work together to keep the structure in tension thanks to a counter weight deep in orbit and an anchor on the surface. Whilst this is, thanks to the high gravity levels, is problematic on Earth, on bodies with lower gravitational forces the idea has more potential.

Space Elevator: A Physics Problem

Thanks to the gigantic size of the space elevator there are a few physics issues, that we won’t dive deep into, that need to be overcome. These include:

  • Ensuring that, what for all intents and purposes is, a massive stick tethered to the surface doesn’t collide with anything.
  • The cable is able to maintain straightness
  • The cable is able to hold it’s own weight
  • The cargo is able to sustain the immense G forces it would undertake whilst moving both vertically and horizontally under differing gravitational forces.

These issues are still theoretical in concept in the 21st century, but scientists are investing time, money and effort into finding a solution to these issues. Thankfully, in TerraGenesis, the factions have overcome these problems and have successfully created space elevators to aid and enable further colonization and terraforming of future, distant worlds.

Fire Drill, Tornado Drill…Asteroid Drill?!


The idea of carrying out an asteroid drill sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but this is science fact! 

Image via NASA / JPL-Caltech

As a general rule, people like to be prepared for every eventuality and NASA are no different- welcome to a world where there’s such a thing as an asteroid drill! For most of us there’s already enough to worry about in normal life without planning how to deal with large, hurtling lumps of molten rock as well, but it’s the job of agencies like NASA and the European Space Agency to puzzle out these interplanetary problems. Is a huge asteroid strike on earth likely? Luckily, no. But is it impossible? Not at all!

It’s a scary prospect

Image via Nasa / JPL-Caltech

The phrase ‘asteroid drill’ is a bit of a scary one, but what does it actually mean? Well the various space agencies around the world want to simulate what would happen if the planet were hit by a huge asteroid thrown into our atmosphere from space. They’re not just thinking about the lumps of rock that regularly burn up in the atmosphere, they’re nowhere near terrifying enough. They’re thinking about something that would wipe out a city the size of Tokyo!

The focus is on simulated information-gathering, for example finding out very quickly where and when the asteroid is likely to land. Communications are also key, with governments having to cooperate to potentially evacuate millions of people from a likely strike zone. The more you learn about asteroid drill, the more you hope that this all remains hypothetical and never happens for real!

What have asteroids ever done to us?

Image via NASA / JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Obviously you wouldn’t want to be hit by a falling asteroid, but are they really such a big deal? Well depending on the size, potentially yes. In rural Siberia in 1908, a huge explosion spontaneously flattened 2,000 square kilometers of forest. The culprit was eventually found to be a huge asteroid that burnt up on entry into our atmosphere, turning it into an air-borne bomb. The miraculous fact that no one was hurt is only down to the fact that no one lived there! Imagine that happening over a populated urban area nowadays…it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Of course, we can’t really talk about cataclysmic asteroid events without giving a shout out to the dinosaurs as well. The leading theories on their disappearance all stem back to a huge asteroid strike on earth that led to mass extinction. It’s a good job NASA and friends are working on a plan then, just in case it happens again!

Time is of the essence for asteroid drills

Image via NASA / Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

It would be tempting to imagine that we would spot any sinister-looking asteroids years in advance, giving us lots of time to prepare our defenses, but that’s not necessarily the case. NASA considers that we may only have days or even hours to formulate a response if a threatening object is spotted late, so it’s critical that everyone knows what they’re doing right from the start. 

Even if we have time to prepare however, it’s still a good idea for them to get some practice in. It would take quite a while to evacuate a city like LA or London if they were the likely landing sites after all!

Try not to worry TOO much…

Image via NASA / JPL-Caltech

Scientists identify 150 or more ‘Near Earth Objects’, or asteroids, every month. Not many of them actually enter our atmosphere, and even fewer are large enough to cause a problem. There are some bigger objects on the horizon though, and scientists are currently tracking a rock that could potentially be on a collision course with earth in about 10 years’ time. 

That’s why asteroid drill is so important though, and why we shouldn’t be starting a mass panic just yet. Maybe that rock will come our way, and maybe it won’t. But you should sleep easier knowing that some of the best minds on the planet are working hard today to keep us all safe tomorrow!

Feature Image via  NASA / JPL-Caltech

Want to practice an Asteroid Drill yourself? Download TerraGenesis today!

Did ‘No Man’s Sky’ Redeem Itself?

No Man's Sky
When I first got wind of “No Man’s Sky” just weeks before its release in 2016, I jumped onto the caboose of that hype train and rode those glorious tracks into 18 quintillion procedurally generated sunsets.

No Man's Sky Rings
via Twitter / TerraGenesis

On release day, my coworkers picked up the highly anticipated title and decided to stream it for 24 hours straight — that’s how excited we all were for it — but by hour 2 we’d already lost interest; by hour 4 were so sick of the game we couldn’t bear to look at it anymore.

We weren’t alone — that hype train crashed and burned horrendously, but unlike a beautiful trainwreck, no one wanted to stick around and watch it. Steam had to issue countless refunds, and the game now holds the distinction of having one of the most disastrous launches in history.

No Man's Sky
via Twitter / Linalyx_

What happened?

We could place blame on the unfulfilled promises that lead to the overwhelming hype, such as lack of multiplayer, but a game doesn’t need such a feature to succeed if it’s good on its own. And while “No Man’s Sky”, on paper, had everything it needed to appeal to just about anybody — unique mechanic, beautiful graphics, and, of course, zooming through space discovering things — it was just missing… something.

No Man's Sky NEXT
via Twitter / Berduu

But what?

As I watched the title struggle for two years, I promised myself that I’d give it another go when it released a multiplayer option — out of principle, of course. So when “No Man’s Sky” NEXT came out, I finally caved and bought a copy of my own, jumping back on the hype train’s newfound tracks once again. Surely, adding multiplayer and the other promised features will fix this game, right? All rights have been wronged, and we can all play in peace now, right? Right?

no man's sky
via Twitter / PlayStation

Hmm.

Booting the game up two years later, I was still met with some same critiques along with a few new ones. I’m still a random explorer with a damaged ship and space amnesia, but now I have mini-objectives that, if not fulfilled, will result in death. Each mini-objective is barely explained, and understanding the controls seems to be a privilege, not a right. Nevertheless, I persisted, and managed to get off the first planet…

No Man's Sky
via Twitter / Berduu

…only to immediately land on a nearby moon and start another tutorial.

In a game that boasts endless exploration in the vastness of space, it’s frustrating to focus on something comparatively insignificant as my character not dying. Additionally, while discovering flora and fauna has to be my absolute favorite aspect of the game, there doesn’t seem to be much of a purpose to it besides gaining some credits. Am I furthering in-game knowledge of a certain species, or is this just for shits and giggles? And what’s up with the mining, AKA 300% of the game (with the remainder being not dying of course)?

No Man's Sky
via Twitter / RonanWills

Giving up on Story Mode, I boot up a new game on Creative instead. As I take a few snapshots of the nature that surrounds me and feed a few organisms, I’m reminded why I lost interest so quickly. I wanted to explore this procedurally generated universe, but with more purpose. I wanted to chart the stars with other players and look back on all our accomplishments on a shared map as we populated it with new worlds. I wanted to be a passive observer on some planets but actively settle others. I wanted to find flourishing alien civilizations mixed in with the lesser-evolved life forms.

No Man's Sky
via FaceBook / Heather E. Johnson Yu

Maybe that was too much to ask, but when a game promises something like infinite worlds, it’s easy to believe that the sky’s the limit when it comes to adding features.

Perhaps it’s this selling point that ends becomes one of its weaknesses. 18 quintillion planets sounds cool, but is it necessary? I keep hoping to run into another player’s base or some bustling city just by happenstance, but the universe is too impossibly big for that to be statistically plausible.

No Man's Sky Base
via Twitter / Linalyx_

Then again, there is a beauty to the overwhelming sense of loneliness this provides. Through all the ferrite dust mined, the sentinels avoided, the flora discovered, the fauna named, the bases built and the worlds visited, I’m obstinate in my goal to not only find a connection, but find meaning. What is the purpose of building a glorious home base, only to constantly travel many light years away from it? Why am I naming all of these animals if no one else is around to take value from my discoveries? Why bother pioneering through each planet if I can’t even map them? And why is my motivation to continue to eke out an existence in this infinite universe with no clear direction?

No Man's Sky
via Twitter / Linalyx_

Wait.

Why is this game exactly like life? Why are we here, what is our purpose, and what keeps us going as we climb over the next hill or jet off to the next world?

As I feed carbon to a strange creature and it starts to follow me, purring, I sit down and survey my base. I take a snapshot as the now friendly alien dances around me, seemingly without a care.

No Man's Sky
via FaceBook / Heather E. Johnson Yu

Playing with the lighting controls, I settle on a welcome stillness in the air, and as the sun rises over the horizon, I’m met with the beauty that can only come from a calm morning, a planet yet to awaken after a restful night. I take a photo to immortalize this feeling of “being in the now” and post it to social media, although I know no one will feel the joy I suddenly feel from this moment.

It seems silly, but in that one fragment of time, when everything was still and I could pause to take the beauty in, I was reminded of what I felt was initially missing.

No Man's Sky
via Twitter / RPGSite

Soul.

“No Man’s Sky” spoke to me in a way that only a fresh dawn can, and it healed me, if even for a little while. It reminded me to take in the beauty that is all around us and appreciate the small things that the universe throws our way. We may be lost in the desolate vastness of space, searching for meaning, but we’re always given casual prompts to stop and reflect on the beauty that is all around us.

No Man's Sky
via Twitter / lizaledwards

So, to Sean Murray and the team at Hello Games, a congratulations is in order — thank you for making such a beautiful game (but let’s work on that shared in-game map, eh?).

Feature Image via Instagram / nomansjungle