Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million sunsThis is our next door neighbor, Alpha Centauri, looming huge in a night sky full of stars, nebulae, star clusters and even remnants of a supernova (the red gas above the star.) Eventually the gases from the supernova will condense into new stars, the heavier elements perhaps into new planets, and maybe even new life. And the cycle begins again.
It calls me on and on, across the universe
But I have to admit that when I hear "Alpha Centauri," the first thing I think of, always, is that that's where the Robinson family was heading, in Lost in Space, when the evil Dr Zachary Smith snuck aboard the Jupiter II and sabotaged the mission.
(This wonderful image is copyright Marco Lorenzi, one of those astonishing -- well you can't really say "amateur" except in the sense of doing what he obviously loves -- photographers who manage to take stunning pictures of the universe without a government or a billion dollar space telescope at their disposal. In Signor Lorenzi's case, since he lives in light-polluted Shanghai, this involves remote control of a small observatory he built in Australia. Yes, really. Many more beautiful photos at his website.)