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baronofheck82
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I have a question for you. What, if you're into astronomy and outer space, fascinates you the most about it? For me it would be the sizes and distances involved. Talking about distances, consider: light travels at or around six trillion miles in a year in the vacuum of space. Yet, even moving 186,000 miles a second, it would take even light thousands, millions, even billions of years to get to all kinds of places in the universe. Those are the kinds of distances you can't even really think about, no matter how hard you try.
Then too there are the enormous sizes of things in the universe: galaxies, nebula, stars, what have you. We think our Earth is huge, and it is - to us. But our Earth fades into obscurity from a few billion miles out. Our solar system is tiny, tiny, tiny compared to our galaxy. And even our galaxy becomes a pinpoint of light the further in space you get.
I could prattle on and on about this kind of thing; hey, it fascinates me. Now, what fascinates you?

Last edited by baronofheck82 on 06-17-13 at 20:13

Old Post 06-17-13 00:48 #
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188DarkRevived
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I'm fascinated by the fact that it is seemingly infinite and tirelessly dynamic.
There always seem to be possibilities of existing alternate dimensions. How many of those could there possibly be? Hundreds? Millions? Trillions? Quadrillions? It's impossible to even guess. It's like there will always be more once you think that you've already seen it all.
With that being said, I'm really fascinated by the black holes which might be transdimensional gateways and by nebulas which bring life to new stars.

Old Post 06-17-13 01:06 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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The fact that if you look at things on a cosmic, or even geologic timescale, everything is happening so fast. The sun and Earth have been around for a good chunk of the visible universe's existence. Our entire civilization has barely been around for any of it.

And I love the fact that we can comprehend this and reasonably and scientifically predict what will happen in the future.

Old Post 06-17-13 02:28 #
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bcwood16
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Im like 188DarkRevived, I find black holes very interesting.

Though the mass distances like OP said, is so hard to comprehend.

One thing I find really hard to imagine is if no life existed. Im sure there is lots of other life in our universe, but if none of it existed, what would be the point? Yea, all the matter and atoms do what they do and planets go around their business (haha joke there), but to have nothing to see it, understand it, witness it.....just no life.....that would suck!

Old Post 06-17-13 09:39 #
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Maes
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bcwood16 said:
Yea, all the matter and atoms do what they do and planets go around their business (haha joke there), but to have nothing to see it, understand it, witness it.....just no life.....that would suck!



God in the Quad by Ronald Knox
There was a young man who said, "God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the Quad."
REPLY
Dear Sir:
Your astonishment's odd:
I am always about in the Quad.
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be,
Since observed by
Yours faithfully,
GOD.

Old Post 06-17-13 10:12 #
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Krispy
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InB4 religious discussion.

Old Post 06-17-13 16:51 #
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Eris Falling
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I wouldn't say that Earth bores me, but it's nowhere near as interesting as the stuff beyond. It's the prospect that there are other worlds, and they're all so vastly different to our own. For example, look at Mars, look at Venus. Two planets alone that show how dynamic other worlds can be, and they're just the closest 2 to Earth, which allows you to speculate what other worlds might be like.
With that speculation you begin to get artist's impressions of other worlds, like Saturn VI: Titan, Saturn II: Enceladus

Then there's exoplanet art: one, two, three, and so it goes on. It's the prospect of things like this being real that fascinate me.

This would be a good thread to mention Kerbal Space Program, a game where you build rockets and launch them. I've never managed to get to another world, I just make it to orbit and then I'm stuck forever :P



bcwood16 said:
just no life.....that would suck!

Not that we'd know anything about it though, of course.

Old Post 06-17-13 17:33 #
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TheCupboard
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What fascinates me are the painstaking methods astronomers used to find planets before the age of computer analysis. They would reserve nights at high-power telescopes while praying for perfect weather. Tirelessly they studied thousands photographs displaying tiny flecks of light, circling "possible planets" and charting the course of these unknwon objects as they blinked across the night sky, some of which would disappear for dozens of photograph cycles only to reappear later on almost at random. Then sometimes they would find an object moving in orbit around a star but it would be difficult to determine how big it was because a tiny ball of ice and a huge dull rock could reflect approximately the same amount of light causing them to look the same size on photograph.

And just think how people found celestial bodies before high-power mountain telescopes were created... Just setting up a tripod in a field at the edge of town and studying tiny slices of the sky.

Old Post 06-17-13 17:45 #
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baronofheck82
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Space Engine is another, very damned good, space simulator. You don't build rockets or anything but you can explore the universe. And I mean really explore it - you can go practically anywhere and check out anything. The only problem is it's a resource hog.

Old Post 06-17-13 19:12 #
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Eris Falling
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baronofheck82 said:
Space Engine is another, very damned good, space simulator. You don't build rockets or anything but you can explore the universe. And I mean really explore it - you can go practically anywhere and check out anything. The only problem is it's a resource hog.


That looks awesome :o I'll try to remember it for when I'm relying less on my OpenGL intolerant laptop :P

Old Post 06-17-13 19:16 #
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Megalyth
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Try imagining how far the universe extends! Keep thinking about it until you go insane.

Old Post 06-17-13 22:11 #
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Rayzik
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Dragonsbrethren said:
The fact that if you look at things on a cosmic, or even geologic timescale, everything is happening so fast. The sun and Earth have been around for a good chunk of the visible universe's existence. Our entire civilization has barely been around for any of it.

And I love the fact that we can comprehend this and reasonably and scientifically predict what will happen in the future.




If you compressed the events on earth starting from it's formation, humans would only be on the clock for 1 minute and 17 seconds. That might be easier to comprehend to a normal societal being. And, dinosaurs were 65 million years ago, but on the 24-hours time-scale died out at about 11:15 pm.

Old Post 06-18-13 00:31 #
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baronofheck82
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A
|
|
Now's that's interesting.
Here's something to ponder: if the solar system were shrunken down to the size of a quarter, then the observable universe would be the size of planet Earth.

Old Post 06-18-13 01:21 #
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188DarkRevived
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baronofheck82 said:
Here's something to ponder: if the solar system were shrunken down to the size of a quarter, then the observable universe would be the size of planet Earth.

But how could someone be able to precisely identify such a proportional analogy without personally travelling to an "edge of the universe" and discovering what it looks like or if it even exists?
And does that take alternate realities into account?
People would need to get the original scale pinpointed before they can begin to contrast it to something of a more familiar shape and form.
Otherwise, it would be just as ridiculous as trying to declare whether something will or won't happen to somebody without knowing how long that somebody is going to live and what kind of obstacles they might encounter.
Also, the observable radius can be different from telescope to telescope.

Last edited by 188DarkRevived on 06-18-13 at 02:50

Old Post 06-18-13 02:44 #
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Quast
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188DarkRevived said:

But how could someone be able to precisely identify such a proportional analogy without personally travelling to an "edge of the universe" and discovering what it looks like or if it even exists?


When someone says 'observable universe, they mean the furthest distance we can see from earth given the time it takes light to travel to us. If the light from something has not yet reached us, we cannot detect it, period.

Old Post 06-18-13 03:35 #
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GoatLord
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Like several have already mentioned, I'm fascinated by black holes. The very notion of a hole existing without a surface to bore into is about as strange as it gets. I'm also intrigued by the idea that, given enough space, large groupings of atoms are bound to eventually repeat, meaning there is likely a near identical copy of Earth (and everything else) somewhere. It also fascinates me that stars generate their own light, the universe is expanding and spacetime is distorted by gravity.

Old Post 06-18-13 13:15 #
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Jimi
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I think black holes aren't holes. They're just extremely dense mass concentrations and also something similar to stars. Don't some stars become them after they have exploded or whatever?

But I suppose they could be holes too, since if something explodes, it usually creates a hole. And stars explode with so much energy that maybe sometimes it is enough to crack a hole into the reality?

Old Post 06-18-13 15:07 #
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kmxexii
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Black holes are infinitely dense singularities. They're bad juju. Of course, it's way more complicated than that and I'd feel safe wagering that scientists have a lot to learn on the subject.

Old Post 06-18-13 15:26 #
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bcwood16
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I dont think no matter how good or technology goes, we shall ever be able to explore a Black Hole, only theory....which will most likely be pretty good.

Matter...yet alone any kind of probe can't withstand the crushing forces of a Black Hole.

(sorry that sounds amateurish.....thats because I am.....but I did read a book all about it......but I cant remember much about it.....but it was fascinating and exciting to read......from what I remember. It did give a simple reason why we could never explore a black hole....damn! I cant even remember that.....now I just wish I could remember were I put that damn book)

I do remember though that there is a big ass huge black hole in the centre of our galaxy! Thats how the milky-way rotates. However, that does not mean we shall eventually get sucked in, it just works like a gravity well, in fact if you replaced the sun with a black hole of the same size, we would not be effected.....except we have no light and heat.....which would suck just as much as having no life ever!. The massive black hole also acts like a space cleaner as it pulls in all the crap that doesn't orbit stuff, effectively cleaning our galaxy - yay - see I did remember something...sort of!

Old Post 06-18-13 15:55 #
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gggmork
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I was interested to read how much faster light is than sound recently. Its like a million times faster (or some big number) when to a stupid middle world ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_World ) primate, it might seem like 3-20 times faster or something.

Also if you are a beam of light going east and a separate beam goes west (and I guess east/west only make sense on a planet but whatever), it seems like the other beam should be going TWICE the speed of light RELATIVE to you. And if both start at coordinate 0,0,0, then after one second, one beam should be at +186,282, and the other beam should be at -186,282.. I mean that is twice the distance that one beam would travel.. but physicists are like, no nothing can go faster than light and make up all this Back to the Future crap to explain what happened. Then they're like quarks, or whatever made up units, can, um, consciously predict whether there is an observer or not in the double slit experiment, yeah totally. And string theory, and multiverses... all of this is obviously propaganda to lead any would-be astronomer through a maze of dead ends so the elites can horde the real secrets of the universe for themselves. This gives them absolute monopoly over reality because physics composes everything. Aside from being able to alter reality with their secret knowledge of real physics, they have fun manipulating the public's perception of reality by making up hair brained false theories backed by authority. There is no "universe" beyond the sky, there are no other planets or stars. Its all a deception and has been a way for the government to experiment in techniques to make lies that are as big as possible stick.

Old Post 06-18-13 16:35 #
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Maes
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FUN FACT: gggmork is a Zetetic astronomer.

Old Post 06-18-13 16:41 #
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DoomUK
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This image always fascinates me.

Point the Hubble telescope at a seemingly black part of space, and it reveals countless galaxies. Galaxies.

Old Post 06-18-13 17:03 #
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baronofheck82
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DoomUK: I know, right? You aim the Hubble Telescope at a seemingly barren, dime-sized piece of sky, let it stare at that for ten days or so, and what do you get? 10,000 galaxies, or more. Every one of those galaxies has anywhere from millions to trillions of stars. Almost inconcievable, but it's the truth.
Man...Copernicus, Herschel and Galileo and all those astronomers from waaaaay back in the day would absolutely be shitting all over themselves if they could see the images of galaxies, planets, comets, etc. that we're able to see now.

Old Post 06-18-13 18:22 #
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Quasar
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baronofheck82 said:
Every one of those galaxies has anywhere from millions to trillions of stars. Almost inconcievable, but it's the truth.


And around those stars are billions more planets. Given this, you see the probability that we are "alone" in the universe has diminished to an infinitesimal quantity. Whether or not we ever find life elsewhere will be determined by whether or not our technology and effort-making was sufficient, not on the more or less fact that it must exist, in innumerable places.

Old Post 06-18-13 19:16 #
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CorSair
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DoomUK said:

Point the Hubble telescope at a seemingly black part of space, and it reveals countless galaxies. Galaxies.



And that's the one reason I like astronomy. There's still things undiscovered, planets, stars, unknown phenomenons, maybe something that's out of our physical laws.
Believe it or not, that makes me feel rather comfortable.

Old Post 06-18-13 20:18 #
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Eris Falling
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CorSair said:

Believe it or not, that makes me feel rather comfortable.



That makes sense. It's better to know that there's still stuff left that we are yet to find. How crappy would it be if we took all the knowledge we have of the universe and simply said:

Yeah..that's it..we're done here. Good work people.

Old Post 06-18-13 21:02 #
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GoatLord
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Ever notice how a lot of folks seem to make a distinct separation between their little home (this pale blue dot) and "outer space"? They don't realize that the atmosphere just gradually fades into space with no cut off.

Old Post 06-18-13 21:23 #
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baronofheck82
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For those of you who are fascinated with black holes (and you should be) :)

Old Post 06-18-13 23:09 #
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Quast
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gggmork said:
Also if you are a beam of light going east and a separate beam goes west (and I guess east/west only make sense on a planet but whatever), it seems like the other beam should be going TWICE the speed of light RELATIVE to you. And if both start at coordinate 0,0,0, then after one second, one beam should be at +186,282, and the other beam should be at -186,282.. I mean that is twice the distance that one beam would travel.. but physicists are like, no nothing can go faster than light and make up all this Back to the Future crap to explain what happened.

There are no universal frames of reference. C itself is relative to inertial reference frames. An observer standing at one end would not see the light beam traveling opposite to him going at any speed but light speed. That does not require a 'back to the future' explanation.

Basically what you need to understand is that events that occur do not necessarily happen "at the same time" to all observers. When an event occurs is relative to whatever frame of reference any particular observer may have.


Then they're like quarks, or whatever made up units, can, um, consciously predict whether there is an observer or not in the double slit experiment, yeah totally.


Photons, not quarks. The idea is that the simple act of detecting it, in any way shape or form, rather than letting it simply go about it's merry way along its probability wave, perturbs and alters it's ultimate destination. This is because simply detecting it means you need to interact with it in some fashion.

Old Post 06-19-13 00:20 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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DoomUK said:
This image always fascinates me.

Point the Hubble telescope at a seemingly black part of space, and it reveals countless galaxies. Galaxies.


Yeah, I love that image, I had it as my wallpaper for the longest time.


bcwood16 said:
I do remember though that there is a big ass huge black hole in the centre of our galaxy! Thats how the milky-way rotates.

What's really interesting is that the black hole isn't anywhere near massive enough to affect the entire galaxy gravitationally, yet there's a direct correlation between the speed of the galaxy's rotation and the mass of the black hole at its center.

Last edited by Dragonsbrethren on 06-19-13 at 01:31

Old Post 06-19-13 01:24 #
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