This vid always trips me out...we are microscopic.
This is really amazing. Astronomers have viewed stars (like our sun) form and die many times. It is quite common. They have also viewed planets form many times as well. But it is rare to have such a clear photograph of the initial stages of a solar system forming.
In this video they zoom into a solar system forming in the Milky Way Galaxy. A solar system just like ours (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, etc). For me, this puts our place in the universe into perspective. People generally think our solar system is large, and to a lesser extant, even Earth itself, but in this photo a solar system is just a tiny speck in the Milky Way Galaxy. And the Milky Way Galaxy is just 1 of a 100 BILLION other GALAXIES!! And each one of those galaxies has over 100 BILLION solar systems in it!!
Now watch the video again. But before you do, allow me to give a very quick and basic lesson on space:
Think of space/gravity as a very, very, massive, gigantic waterbed. In space, a piece of matter that has more mass will attract the pieces of matter around it with less mass. So for example, imagine a bowling ball and a bunch of marbles lying on a waterbed. The marbles (less mass) will travel towards the bowling ball (more mass). But in space, the marbles collide with the bowling ball and fuse with it, which give the bowling ball even more mass. It is considerably more complicated than that but this is to illustrate what is happening in the video/picture.
A nebula is a cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and other ionised gases where stars (like our sun), planets (like earth) and solar systems form. Here a piece of matter with more mass attracts pieces of matter with less mass. This matter keeps gaining and gaining mass until eventually the mass is so great that hydrogen atoms fuse (fusion) and a chain reactin (sort of) of nuclear explosions occur. This is what is happening in our sun. It is several hundred million nuclear (hydrogen atom bomb) explosions.
When this initial explosion (star formation) occurs, there is a blast of gas and matter/dust particles. But since the star/sun is more massive, the matter/dust forms around the star.
This is what is in the picture. A cloud of matter spinning around a star. You can barely see the star peaking out from the top and bottom of the massive cloud of matter/dust particles. The matter looks so dark, because the star behind it is so bright.
Now keeping in mind the bowling ball/marbles analogy, the more massive matter particles attact the particles with less mass and continue until planet sized collections of matter are formed. Mulitple planets keep forming in this manner. And as all of them are spinning and drawn towards the more massive sun, eventually planets collide (making asteroids), destroying many planets until a balance of planets spinning around the more massive sun (i.e. a solar system) occurs.
Our solar system has a massive asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is the remnants of this initial collision of newly forming planets in our young solar system (around 5 billion years ago). There is now a nice balance between our massive sun and massive Jupiter.
Anyway, I hope I made this clear and I hope some of you gain a new perspective on our place in the universe. Maybe next time you get annoyed by something, just remember how insignificant it really was. Just try and enjoy the short amount of time you spend on this spinning piece of dust we call earth.
Last edited by LJ4ptplay; May 30, 2010 at 15:53.
This vid always trips me out...we are microscopic.
That is a very humbling video. Although, even more humbling is to realize that all of those stars are in JUST the Milky Way Galaxy.
Here is the location of our enitre solar system (sun, mercury, venus, earth, mars, jupiter, saturn, neptune, uranus) in the Milky Way Galaxy:
Our entire solar system is in that tiny spot in the Milky Way. The Milky Way Galaxy has roughly 100 BILLION stars in it and many of those stars have solar systems like ours.
Want to feel even more microscopic?
In 1995 scientists pointed the Hubble telescope in a random direction towards a location in space that had never shown anything previously before from other telescopes. The Hubble zoomed in for 10 days and took this picture:
Every spot of light in this picture is a galaxy. Not a star, or a solar system, or a planet, but a whole freaking galaxy!! There are approximately 3000 galaxies in this picture. Each one of those galaxies has approximately 100 BILLION stars/solar systems.
Ok if that wasn't enough. In 2003, scientists pointed the Hubble in another random direction in space. It focused for 11 days and took this picture:
Again, every spot of light is a galaxy. Not a star or solar system, but a whole galaxy. There are over 10,000 galaxies in this image. Each one of those galaxies contains 100 BILLION stars/solar systems.
There are more stars like our sun in the universe than there are grains of sand on every beach on earth combined.
Humbling....very humbling. Like you said, we are microscopic. We might as well try and enjoy the split second of time spent on a piece of dust that we call life on earth.
Last edited by LJ4ptplay; Jun 01, 2010 at 20:29.
Yea it's all very humbling. I think this proves the whole "god created us in his image" claim is false. We are specs of dust living in a fraction of a second compared to the universe. (now imagine if they are correct and we really live in a multiverse with a near infinite other universes)
Every quarrel, every conjured deity, every delusion and falsehood are so infinitesimally small and wholly meaningless. As are even the brighter things in life: love, spankwire.com, laughter and so on.
OMG should be an abbreviation for "Oh my galaxy"
Thanks for sharing dude...... That was an experience. I'm off to theorise warp speed now.
July 1st, myeh.
In 1990, Carl Sagan requested NASA to have the Voyager spacecraft turn itself around and take a picture of Earth when it reached the outskirts of our solar system (somewhere near Neptune). Originally NASA was reluctant and did not understand why they should bother taking a picture of Earth from so far away (3.7 billion miles).
This is the picture:
That tiny little speck of light on the right side of the image is Earth. This image inspired Carl Sagan to write this:
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again 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.
that was very interesting bro
This is sort of a tangent, but Sagan's research on the possibilities of extraterrestrial life is really interesting. He theorized that we haven't encountered any other life forms in space because any civilization that obtained the necessary advanced technology to travel light-years to our planet would self-destruct before doing so.
He was concerned that our human civilization would reach its demise due to unmanageable technological advancement.
(sorry for another tangent) but this video was made 5 years ago and is eerily familiar now in 2010 [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
The biggest mysteries are the topics of The Ocean and Space.
Amazing how we haven't even explored 5% of The Ocean, there must be thousands of ship wrecks, new species, they even found an extinct shark...if you go on youtube type in extinct shark found...its amazing
Now on the topic of space, it trips me out. Billions of stars in only our solar system and there are like what 100 solar systems, probably more. If we can't see it, it doesnt mean its not there.
It scares me how small we are. Compared to a simple astroid that could wipe out our whole planet, there must be billions and trillions of potential astroids that can blow up this planet.
As a man of faith, I see science and space exploration as truly fascinating. Makes my belief in God stronger, some stuff we just can't comprehend and we don't have answers for everything. Something so massive like space that is infinite is somehow keeping us alive. Somehow for as long as mankind has existed we have never been hit with a huge astroid big enough to destroy our planet. Mind blowing. We are being protected by something, something that has to be supernatural, at least that's my view. There are too many variables against us existing, too many sudden things that can happen. If the Earth tilted just a little off the axis our planet would be in total chaos. The fact that we are perfectly rotating and revolving without inconsistentcy is something we should all think about because we just say "yea we rotate and revolve" but we dont understnand that one little differnce can ruin our existence. This planet is special and our race is special. Unique without a doubt. Protected without a doubt. I know I am not favored on that opinion on this forum but I don't care.
No one knows what's out there in deep space, at least we can all agree on that.
Actually, humans have only been around for approximately 150,000 years. Dinosaurs were around for approximately 150 million years.
Our planet has been hit numerous times by large meteors. There are many pictures like this that show ancient meteor impact craters:
The dinosaur's extinction is suspected to have been caused by a giant meteor. There is ample evidence to back up this theory.
The earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and the universe is approximately 14.5 billion years old.
We have been around for only a second in the time-scale of the universe and our earth. It is quite obvious there is nothing protecting us. Odds are that we will be wiped out by a meteor at some point in the future. It may be another 50 million years or so. The dinosaurs existed 1000 times longer than us and it's obvious nothing was protecting them. Why would anybody think something is protecting us? Especially with the number of natural disasters that kill thousands of innocent people each year.
We do know for certain, without doubt, that our star (sun) will eventually use up all of its hydrogen and die. In about 7 billion years it will expand into a Red Giant and wipe out the earth. It will then retract into a white dwarf. We've seen stars form and die throughout the universe. Our sun and planetary solar system are no different than any star we see.
But as was stated previously, we'll most likely kill ourselves before this even happens. And as an atheist, I believe religion will play a major role in our self destruction. We can see it happening now.
Last edited by LJ4ptplay; Aug 09, 2010 at 11:48.
Anyone saw the meteor shower last night? I went outside the town to watch it, stayed up late until 3 am and managed to get some cool shots on camera. It's a really stunning event that takes place every year in august with the maximum around august 12. If you missed it and have the possibility to go somewhere far from any light pollution tonight, i really suggest you go see it.
I'll post some photos later.