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Old 07-17-2018, 09:01 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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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.



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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.


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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.

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Old 07-18-2018, 08:54 AM   #2
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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Wiki on the Total Perspective Vortex

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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.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:01 AM   #3
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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?
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:22 PM   #4
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"Get up. What was that sound?"

All the time.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BigV View Post
"Get up. What was that sound?"
♪ ♫Everybody look what's going down.♪ ♫

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Old 07-18-2018, 03:21 PM   #6
xoxoxoBruce
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They just accepted the sky was the domain of the gods and they would take care of it.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:35 PM   #7
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Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
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?
Based on the Creationists I know, ignorance really is bliss. They're all way fucking happier not knowing. My dog is happier not knowing. I often think about how the only successful evolutionary response to increased knowledge (or increased success of any kind, really) is increased ego. Narcissistic sociopaths can cope with this shit, meaning in a few hundred generations we'll all have to be narcisisstic sociopaths. Evolution favors being a dick.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:48 AM   #9
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Wull,
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:54 PM   #10
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I have a old cartoon in one of many books of such around here with a well-drawn, hefty battle ax type of woman gazing out at the stars of the universe and proclaiming:
"Well they don't make ME feel insignificant!"
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