that was pretty cool, the sun and venus looked nasty. The universe is really amazing when you think about it.
That is cool! Canis Majoris, the last star shown in that image, is the largest star known. It is a red supergiant. Which means it's almost a dead star. When it collapses, it will probably turn into a blackhole. It is 5,000 light years from earth, which is approximately 29,328,480,000,000,000 miles away.
I put this in one of the religious threads. I don't want to spark another religious debate. Just want to show another amazing image that puts earth, and us, into perspective. This picture of earth was taken only 4 billion miles away by the Voyager 1 satellite.
Carl Sagan: "Pale Blue Dot":
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
More cool stuff from space:
The arrow is the location of our solar system in the Milky Way Galaxy. There are at least 200 billion stars like our sun in the Milky Way. It is over 100,000 light years across (586,569,600,000,000,000 miles across).
Each light in this image is a galaxy like our Milky Way. Each one of these galaxies contain over 100 billion stars like our sun.
There are more stars (like our sun) in the universe than there are grains of sand on every beach on earth combined.
we should just get cool space pics in this thread...there are so many.
Anyway, back to topic. The rover on Mars has recently discovered water. Very cool. There are many theories that say Mars was once much like Earth, but something caused the atmosphere to deteriorate. Mars once had rivers and oceans, just like earth, but the loss of a "greenhouse" atmosphere caused the water to freeze in the polar ice caps and soil.
Ancient river drainage on Mars:
River drainage on Earth:
Hypothetical view of Mars oceans:
Mars today (if you look closely you can see the ancient ocean shorelines):
Good stuff...damn, outer space is pretty damn interesting.