The Horsehead Nebula, as seen with infrared light, shows clouds surrounding it have already dissipated. The Horsehead formation has about 5 million years left before it, too, disintegrates. NASA/ESA hide caption

itoggle caption NASA/ESA

2011: In the early 21st century, attempts to visualize such complex ephemeral phenomena as ocean currents, wind direction, and speed grew increasingly sophisticated, as the volume of real-time data increased and supercomputers proved capable of processing it. This ocean surface current visualization was produced by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Greg Shirah, Horace Mitchell, Hong Zhang and Dimitris Menemenlis/Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Shirah, Horace Mitchell, Hong Zhang and Dimitris Menemenlis/Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Step back in time: This is what 100 million years ago looked like, in a galaxy far, far away. ESO hide caption

itoggle caption ESO