View Full Version : The Milky Way

2007-Jun-15, 05:02 AM
I just came in from sitting outside, staring at the Milky Way running through Cygnus, over to Sagittarius and Scorpio, and it always gives me chills. Just thinking about what I'm seeing, those billions of stars, always brings to mind the line from Sagan's Contact: "If there isn't life out there then it would be an incredible waste of space" (probably not the exact quote). And then I think about the Hubble deep field view of the galaxies and it's almost incomprehensible how large the Universe is. I am, and always will be, in awe.

2007-Jun-16, 02:08 AM
Think of the size of the road map you would need to go buzzing around out there.


2007-Jun-16, 11:16 AM
Always a majestic sight. :)

Far too much light pollution around here to enjoy that awesome spectacle often; and my city is growing (retirees). SE side of town had a tiny subdivision with a paved road that was good for getting a crisp view of the MW span and etc.; now that "tiny subdivision" is a collection of 200+ homes. :-\

Yes, the incomprehensible vastness of the universe; it staggers the mind. To read of objects even 1 million light years away and to try and grasp that even if you could travel in a spaceship at (I've heard it's theoretically impossible) or near the speed of light it'd still take 1 million years to get there. :O And that's a relatively "close" object, cosmologically speaking!

Your Sagan quote: Agree with that too. We surely cannot be the only planet inhabited by sentient beings. I'd be gollywhopped if we are! :)

2007-Jun-23, 06:28 PM
Seeing the vast expanse of space usually gives me a feeling of detachment and loneliness.

The universe is 13.7 billion years old, and for "only" 9-10 billion years conditions for life to develop (2nd and 3rd generation stars, heavy elements present) have been favorable.
It took life on Earth HALF this time (a considerable fraction!) - and a lot of luck, possibly including our oversized moon, surely including NOT getting hit by a large asteroid - to develop as we know it now - so:
It COULD be that we are the FIRST to have come so far - think about it.

2007-Jun-24, 02:58 PM
It COULD be that we are the FIRST to have come so far - think about it.

I do think about it. And it is, of course, a distinct possibility.

2007-Jun-24, 10:04 PM
One of my favorite quotes.

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.

Arthur C. Clarke