Saturday, October 13, 2012

13 Billion Year Old Picture

Or, I need some big picture stuff.  To much politics going on right now, as in "I got my one vote and I'll use it but beyond that..."


This is what galaxies looked like 13 billion years ago, the currently agreed upon age of the universe. (13.7 actually I think)  Go to the APOD site by clicking the picture to read the description.  Amazing.

Lot of stuff out there.  How many pin pricks of sky are there  anyway?   Pretty much everything in there is a galaxy.





14 comments :

  1. This is why they call it space/time.

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    1. Opus, I always wish I had more space and more time.

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  2. That is beautiful, Kid.
    I also like the new planet that looks like diamonds!
    This is very sparkly too.

    I'm ODing on politics now, we're so close to being rescued, but I still get nervous, never
    underestimating the stupidity of the average voter who is ill informed by the MSM.

    Fingers crossed we can all breath relief come Nov. 7th! Have a fun night, stargazing.

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    1. Bunni, I wouldn't change a word. Yea, that diamond planet is pretty cool.

      I don't underestimate the losers either.

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  3. It will take me "light years" to digest the reality of the situation. Everytime we look into the night (I am an avid telescoping night sky hunter)the view is billings of years old by the time we are able to view it. As George Carline once said "Reality -- What a concept"!

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    1. Rosey, I'd like to think we'll have the opportunity to explore all these places in the afterlife. It'd be something to do..:)

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  4. Kid, did you see the discovery of an Earth-sized planet orbiting alpha centauri? That planet in itself is not so interesting because it's too hot (one of the reasons why we could detect it is that it's so close to the star), but now we know there's one planet it's reasonable to suppose others further out. And it's "only" 4 and a half light-years away. Visiting is not so implausible, is it?

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    1. Jez, Yes, I did.

      I don't think visiting at some point in the future is implausible at all. Just in the short span of human existence, we are doing things today, that people a few thousand years ago would consider as amazing as warp drive, or whatever the system actually turns out to be that allows us to travel (6 trillion miles * x) at a clip. I wonder if speed will be measured in light years per.

      I've read rumblings of new ideas on warp drives that may be possible sooner than later. Or maybe, there is something to that string theory related travel method where you could go to the other side of the universe in a wink.

      Did you read the article/theory that "there isn't much life elsewhere in the universe". The author makes a case stating the Earth would be uninhabitable if it were not for things like Jupiter running blocker for asteroids, meteors, etc. and the Moon keeping the seasons stable. And quite a bit more. Personally, I keep that stuff more on simple terms. Einstein said that everything is a miracle.

      Interesting because Jupiter has been hit twice that we've actually witnessed. Shoemaker-Levy, then there was another hit a couple-3 months ago. Big one. That's Darn Frequent eh?

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  5. I think the immediate developments in long distance space travel will be continuous thrust engines such as ion drives. A lot more suitable than rockets, and no major break-throughs in fundamental physics needed.

    On a 4 ly voyage at constant acceleration of 1G, there would be very noticeable time dilation effects -- the astronaut would end up more than a year older than his earth-bound twin!

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    1. Jez, I have to disagree. A light year is 6 trillion miles. Even the trip to Mars is doubtful based on the effects on the body, big problems with the eyes also in space on that long of a trip.

      A trip like that at sub light speed must be assumed to be a multi-generational endeavor, so you'd have to have all the support equipment, medical supplies, food, oxygen, et al, to support child birth and raising, educating while in flight. I sure don't see that happening. Really it seems like too many problems and variables to even list for a multi-generational flight.

      And while we can (apparently) pick up elements that would be present in the atmosphere of a planet 4 ly away, there's no way of knowing what sort of bacteriological or viral problems would await the human travelers. Our daughter serves in the Navy, and did 2 Iraq tours. They weren't allowed to swim in the lake because of all the foreign elements in the water that they weren't equipped to vaccinate against, (and why would they spend the time/money/risk in a combat sit anyway...) Point being, this is the same planet - I think we can assume even with comparable atmosphere, the first breath or even contact would highly likely be deadly.

      Actually, the travelers age less than the Earthbound twin.

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  6. True, got the time dilation backwards. It certainly would be expensive and dangerous, but exploration always was and it didn't stop us. Of course it was made worth-while by the prospect of lucrative trade routes, a motivation which is unlikely to apply to space exploration. But the point is, if you ignore what we lack in propulsion technology, it's a distance that a human could comfortably travel (ie, no crushing G-forces) in a not-outlandish amount of time (ie, it doesn't have to be multi-generational).

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    1. Jez, Ok, if you could get close to light speed, that's still 4 years of human needs on a spacecraft. You'd still need some sort of active shielding to repel even dust particles at that speed and many things I'll never think of, but in theory, I agree with you that the known challenges could be overcome given a money is no object environment. Which if we think we need to move to another planet because the sun starts to go supernova or some of us decide we can't live with liberals on the same planet anymore, would certainly be the case.

      Building huge spacecraft in space with all the necessary life support, making many of them, traveling in a fire-bucket daisy chain to provide support to each other and communicate well, communicating needs for life on the new plant back through the chain, allowing hundreds of years for an entire mission of this kind to complete. Yes. Possible if the planet is out there in sublight distance.

      Absolutely.

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    2. :) On a scale of plausibility that encompasses the "warp drive", these objections are all on the "could be solved if we cared enough" side. It isn't physics that's preventing it. I'm not saying it's gonna happen tomorrow, bare in mind we're a species that hasn't yet worked out how to own and exchange real estate in a manner that doesn't bring society to its knees every couple of decades.

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    3. Jez, You've eluded to an important point here that has to do with (loosely stated) Einstein's prediction that when everyday technology far exceeds the general population's ability to understand it we'll have nothing but idiots.

      It's happening. Technology that eliminates people's need to think or perform basic functions such as cursive writing, which I've read is being eliminated from classes.

      Anyway, if we can get somewhere in 4 or 8 years and are willing to commit the required resources, I can see it happening.

      Yes, as George Carlin said in a but about the absurdity of environmentalists "We can't take care of ourselves yet, we don't know how to care for one another and we're gonna Save The F planet?!

      Yea.

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