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July 18th, 2018: Galaxies

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   xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jul 17 10:01 PM

July 18th, 2018: Galaxies

This is the sky, well part of the sky, and every little speck of infrared light is a galaxy, you insignificant worm.
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is about 100,000 light-years across, and itís packed with at least 100 billion stars.
It would make but a tiny dot on this image.

With that humbling realization in mind, take a look at this incredible image released by the ESA. It was captured by the Herschel Space Observatoryís Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE), and it shows a patch of sky near the constellation of Coma Berenices, or Bereniceís Hair, as seen from Earthís northern hemisphere. This region of the night sky is far from the dense stellar disc of the Milky Way, so astronomers can gaze into the distance with an unhindered view of the cosmos.

The image shows the North Galactic Pole, and it covers some 180 square degrees of the sky. Interestingly, this area happens to contain a galaxy-rich cluster known as the Coma Cluster, which contributes at least 1,000 points of light to this image.
Each tiny mark on this map represents the heat emanating from dust grains lying between the stars of each galaxy. Most of the galaxies in this image produced their signatures well before our Solar System came into existence, but weíre only seeing them now, tens of billions of years later.

A couple of years ago, astronomers came to the startling realization that the Universe contains up to 10 to 20 times more galaxies than previously thought. The current best guess is that the universe contains somewhere between one and two trillion galaxies. This means the universe is absolutely packed with stars, somewhere on the order of 700 sextillion stars.
Thatís 700,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, and thatís only what we can see, not beyond... worm.


Undertoad  Wednesday Jul 18 09:54 AM

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Wiki on the Total Perspective Vortex

Originally created by its inventor Trin Tragula as a way to get back at his wife (who was always telling him to get a "sense of proportion"), the Vortex is now used as a torture and (in effect) killing device on the planet Frogstar B. The prospective victim of the TPV is placed within a small chamber wherein is displayed a model of the entire universe - together with a microscopic dot bearing the legend "you are here". The sense of perspective thereby conveyed destroys the victim's mind; it was stated that the TPV is the only known means of crushing a man's soul.

Undertoad  Wednesday Jul 18 10:01 AM

That said, the Vortex is real; I can almost not stand to consider things like this for very long. It's just incomprehensible.

Kinda makes me wonder how earlier humans felt. They didn't understand anything scientific. How much of the world gave them that level of angst?

BigV  Wednesday Jul 18 03:22 PM

"Get up. What was that sound?"

All the time.

Gravdigr  Wednesday Jul 18 03:30 PM

Originally Posted by BigV View Post
"Get up. What was that sound?"
♪ ♫Everybody look what's going down.♪ ♫

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jul 18 04:21 PM

They just accepted the sky was the domain of the gods and they would take care of it.

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