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Old 01-09-2010, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default OT - largest known star

If you love thinking about things in the Universe as I do then you will love this. I've always wondered how big stars got to be and what was the biggest star known to man (knowing there could be even larger ones not yet discovered). Man was I blown away at that size of the biggest one we know of.

VY Canis Majoris


First, look at the first pic with the Earth next to the Sun. Wow, you realize just how massive our Sun is. Then the next picture is the Sun next to VY Canis Majoris. DOH, that's one big star.

Just to put the pictures into some sense of scale other then visual, it would take a jetliner approximately 50 hours to fly around the Earth. That same plane would take 113 days to fly around the Sun. That same plane would take 1100 YEARS to fly around VY Canis Majoris. This star is so big that if you replaced our Sun with this star, it would probably extend to the orbit of Jupiter.



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Old 01-09-2010, 12:47 AM   #2
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That is really cool. I'd love to see that, from a distance of course. They need to get cracking on the whole space travel bit.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:58 AM   #3
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That is really cool. I'd love to see that, from a distance of course. They need to get cracking on the whole space travel bit.
What's funny is I watch a ton of these Discovery and Science channel shows on things in the Universe and they give distances to other known stars in our galaxy, the size of our own galaxy in light years and many other distances.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, that's fast.

The Milky Way is 100,000 light years across.

I always have to have a laugh when they talk about finding a new home for Humans because the Sun will go into Red Giant phase in about 4 billion years, and it will grow in size to the point where it will engulf the Earth entirely. But what people don't realize is that we can't just find another planet somewhere in the Milky Way because in about 4 to 5 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy is going to collide with the Milky Way and all hell will break lose when that happens so no star or planet will be safe to move to within this Galaxy, or even the next closest galaxy (Andromeda), which is approximately 2 MILLION light years away. The next closest galaxy after that is probably some 4 MILLION light years away. So let's just say that mankind somehow finds a way to travel at the speed of light (which I'm not sure could ever be done but even so, it would probably be thousands of years before we could ever find a way to travel at that speed safely). It's going to take millions and millions of years to even get anywhere safe (if that place even exists). It's mind boggling to think about it. You would have generations after generations born on a star cruiser and dying on a star cruiser on the journey there. I don't think mankind will ever travel to deep space. There are just too many things that can go wrong and the distances are simply mind blowing.

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:05 AM   #4
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Yeah I said that in jest. But give us even 5,000 years (assuming we survive that long as a race) and see what we can do. If Red Giant phase and galaxies colliding is Billions of years away then the millions of light years really is quite a bit shorter....so at least we have that in our favor. haha

Really though its mind blowing when you really think about the time and size of things in the universe. Just incredible
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:17 AM   #5
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Really though its mind blowing when you really think about the time and size of things in the universe. Just incredible
And it keeps getting bigger and bigger, faster and faster. The Universe is not jut expanding, it's accelerating. Things are going to be much further away the more time goes on. That's one of the reasons why I don't believe there are Aliens that have been to Earth. We've studied stars thousands and thousands of light years away and studied the exo-planets around them (using wobble theory since you can't see them they are so far away and their stars outshine them). They can still tell a planets mass and distance from the star using the wobble theory. There is a "life zone" they call it where they think only advanced life can take place. A planet has to be a certain distance from the star. If it's too far, there would be no liquid water, too close and any water would boil away. Even the size of the planet matters. If it's too big, it's mass would be so great that the gravitation pull on living things on the surface would be too great, they would be pancakes. If the planet is too small, not enough gravity and they would float away. Also you have to account for the spin of a planet, if it's even lucky enough to have one. If it doesn't spin, one side just gets baked by the star and the other side freezes to death. And also it probably needs a magnetic field to keep the stars radiation from killing the life forms. Alot of planets don't even have a magnetic field. It's amazing just how many things had to be perfect for us to even be here on Earth (distance from star, size of star, size of planet, liquid water, spin on axis, magnetic field). So you could find single celled life forms in super hot and cold places but for advanced life to take place, it has to be just right. So not only are there not many places at all that are close by that could support advanced life, just think how far Aliens would have to travel to even get here. The Universe is one friggin massive place.

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:25 AM   #6
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Yeah I said that in jest. But give us even 5,000 years (assuming we survive that long as a race) and see what we can do. If Red Giant phase and galaxies colliding is Billions of years away then the millions of light years really is quite a bit shorter....so at least we have that in our favor. haha

Really though its mind blowing when you really think about the time and size of things in the universe. Just incredible
FYI - every Tuesday is Cosmos night on Science channel. They got it all - Blackholes, Quasars, Pulsars, Red Giants, White Dwarfs, Exo-Planets, Galaxies, Supernova's, Hypernova's, Gamma Ray Bursts, Theory of Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Big Bang Theory, Super String Theory, you name it.

I think my favorite show was one called "Journey to the edge of the universe" and it was narrated by Alec Baldwin. Think it was actually on National Geographic channel. It's 2 hours, simply stunning. Might have parts of it on youtube.

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:35 AM   #7
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so is zona trying to say that Jack LaLanne will not have a chance to get the hell out of the way when the next galaxy comes crashing into us? Dude needs to sell more juice mixers and enjoy the next billion years or so.

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:38 AM   #8
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Global warming!@!!1111!!11
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:41 AM   #9
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I wish I had more knowledge in astronomy. I love watching those documentaries on the universe.

Cosmos was amazing.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:13 AM   #10
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There are so many things about space I wish we knew. it is kindof frusterating to think about. Space is simply amazing.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:29 AM   #11
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Great thread. Thanks for the pics. It is mindblowing. We'll all probably be whiped out by the Terminators, long before some stars though.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:40 AM   #12
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Now would global warming - slow down or even cancel out the next ice age?
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:28 AM   #13
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:34 AM   #14
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I had a science teacher in the 6th grade explain distance in space to us. He said on earth it looks like Space is full, crowded with stars and planets and whatever else. But its relative. The distance between those two stars is millions of light years, with a whole lot of nothing in between them. Hard to picture that when you are 13 years old.

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Old 01-09-2010, 04:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZONA View Post
What's funny is I watch a ton of these Discovery and Science channel shows on things in the Universe and they give distances to other known stars in our galaxy, the size of our own galaxy in light years and many other distances.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, that's fast.

The Milky Way is 100,000 light years across.

I always have to have a laugh when they talk about finding a new home for Humans because the Sun will go into Red Giant phase in about 4 billion years, and it will grow in size to the point where it will engulf the Earth entirely. But what people don't realize is that we can't just find another planet somewhere in the Milky Way because in about 4 to 5 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy is going to collide with the Milky Way and all hell will break lose when that happens so no star or planet will be safe to move to within this Galaxy, or even the next closest galaxy (Andromeda), which is approximately 2 MILLION light years away. The next closest galaxy after that is probably some 4 MILLION light years away. So let's just say that mankind somehow finds a way to travel at the speed of light (which I'm not sure could ever be done but even so, it would probably be thousands of years before we could ever find a way to travel at that speed safely). It's going to take millions and millions of years to even get anywhere safe (if that place even exists). It's mind boggling to think about it. You would have generations after generations born on a star cruiser and dying on a star cruiser on the journey there. I don't think mankind will ever travel to deep space. There are just too many things that can go wrong and the distances are simply mind blowing.
This is great stuff. Thanks for posting it. Still, I've gotta wonder: will humans even exist in 4 billion years? Assuming that life still exists on this planet at that time, you've got to wonder how much the species will evolve, if it hasn't gone extinct by then.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:31 AM   #16
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:18 AM   #17
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I love that GIF. Shows how small we really are.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZONA View Post
What's funny is I watch a ton of these Discovery and Science channel shows on things in the Universe and they give distances to other known stars in our galaxy, the size of our own galaxy in light years and many other distances.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, that's fast.

The Milky Way is 100,000 light years across.

I always have to have a laugh when they talk about finding a new home for Humans because the Sun will go into Red Giant phase in about 4 billion years, and it will grow in size to the point where it will engulf the Earth entirely. But what people don't realize is that we can't just find another planet somewhere in the Milky Way because in about 4 to 5 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy is going to collide with the Milky Way and all hell will break lose when that happens so no star or planet will be safe to move to within this Galaxy, or even the next closest galaxy (Andromeda), which is approximately 2 MILLION light years away. The next closest galaxy after that is probably some 4 MILLION light years away. So let's just say that mankind somehow finds a way to travel at the speed of light (which I'm not sure could ever be done but even so, it would probably be thousands of years before we could ever find a way to travel at that speed safely). It's going to take millions and millions of years to even get anywhere safe (if that place even exists). It's mind boggling to think about it. You would have generations after generations born on a star cruiser and dying on a star cruiser on the journey there. I don't think mankind will ever travel to deep space. There are just too many things that can go wrong and the distances are simply mind blowing.
Yep, the universe is an awe-inspiring place no doubt! Theoretically its possible to travel faster than light but we don't know how to do it yet of course, nor the consequences .. Through a worm hole is the most popular motif suggested.

But it wont take millions of years to figure it out, if it is technically possible. That assumption represents linear thinking. Technology increases in exponential jumps and exponential reality is like a magic show.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:36 AM   #19
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We are only on the 4th dimension. Animals are are on the 3rd.

UFO's are simply on the 5th or higher.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZONA View Post
What's funny is I watch a ton of these Discovery and Science channel shows on things in the Universe and they give distances to other known stars in our galaxy, the size of our own galaxy in light years and many other distances.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, that's fast.

The Milky Way is 100,000 light years across.

I always have to have a laugh when they talk about finding a new home for Humans because the Sun will go into Red Giant phase in about 4 billion years, and it will grow in size to the point where it will engulf the Earth entirely. But what people don't realize is that we can't just find another planet somewhere in the Milky Way because in about 4 to 5 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy is going to collide with the Milky Way and all hell will break lose when that happens so no star or planet will be safe to move to within this Galaxy, or even the next closest galaxy (Andromeda), which is approximately 2 MILLION light years away. The next closest galaxy after that is probably some 4 MILLION light years away. So let's just say that mankind somehow finds a way to travel at the speed of light (which I'm not sure could ever be done but even so, it would probably be thousands of years before we could ever find a way to travel at that speed safely). It's going to take millions and millions of years to even get anywhere safe (if that place even exists). It's mind boggling to think about it. You would have generations after generations born on a star cruiser and dying on a star cruiser on the journey there. I don't think mankind will ever travel to deep space. There are just too many things that can go wrong and the distances are simply mind blowing.
When Andromeda and the Milky Way galaxies collide, even though both contain billions of stars (200 billion in ours & about 1 trillion in Andromeda), it is highly unlikely that any two stars will even collide due to the great distances between them.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:51 AM   #21
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/

been my homepage for years.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:20 AM   #22
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http://blogs.usatoday.com/sciencefai...w-planets.html

NASA's Kepler mission finds 5 new planets

Buzz up!
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Opening a new chapter in planet hunting, NASA scientists reported Monday the discovery of five worlds orbiting nearby stars, using the space agency's Kepler space telescope.
Kepler science team leader William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., made the announcement of the "roaster" planets, ones larger than Neptune and orbiting extremely close to their stars, at the American Astronomical Society annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Launched last year, the $591 million Kepler eyeballs some 156,000 stars within 3,000 light years of Earth for planets, according to a study in the upcoming Science journal. One light year is about 5.9 trillion miles.
Kepler detects planets by spotting light-dipping eclipses, or 'transits', of stars by their companion planets. Four of the newly-detected planets are 1.3 to 1.5 times wider than Jupiter in our solar system, while the last one, dubbed Kepler-4b, is only about 0.6 times as wide as Jupiter and weighs only about 8% as much, about the heft of Neptune.
All of the planets, which orbit their stars once within every four day's time because of their closeness, bake at temperatures above 2,240 degrees Fahrenheit. Such close-in planets are the easiest to detect, but Kepler scientists expect to find more Earth-like ones in the next three years. In testing the satellite's optics, the team has determined it should be able to spot any Earth-sized planet transits with 99.4% certainty, if they are orbiting the stars observed by Kepler, according to the study.
By Dan Vergano
Photo: A chart compares the sizes of the five newly discovered planets with Jupiter and Earth. (NASA)
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:05 AM   #23
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What's funny is I watch a ton of these Discovery and Science channel shows on things in the Universe and they give distances to other known stars in our galaxy, the size of our own galaxy in light years and many other distances.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, that's fast.

The Milky Way is 100,000 light years across.

I always have to have a laugh when they talk about finding a new home for Humans because the Sun will go into Red Giant phase in about 4 billion years, and it will grow in size to the point where it will engulf the Earth entirely. But what people don't realize is that we can't just find another planet somewhere in the Milky Way because in about 4 to 5 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy is going to collide with the Milky Way and all hell will break lose when that happens so no star or planet will be safe to move to within this Galaxy, or even the next closest galaxy (Andromeda), which is approximately 2 MILLION light years away. The next closest galaxy after that is probably some 4 MILLION light years away. So let's just say that mankind somehow finds a way to travel at the speed of light (which I'm not sure could ever be done but even so, it would probably be thousands of years before we could ever find a way to travel at that speed safely). It's going to take millions and millions of years to even get anywhere safe (if that place even exists). It's mind boggling to think about it. You would have generations after generations born on a star cruiser and dying on a star cruiser on the journey there. I don't think mankind will ever travel to deep space. There are just too many things that can go wrong and the distances are simply mind blowing.
That's why I got me a wormhole to the Delta Quadrant!
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:18 AM   #24
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I love stuff like this.

I was in Hawaii over the summer, and the stars in the sky are incredible. I live in a major city, so the nighttime skies here are nothing like that. The hotel I stayed in had an astronomer on staff and we went up to the roof of the hotel with a group of others to look through the telescopes he had up there. Antares was one of those stars. But what amazed me more was that you can actually see the galaxy in the sky with the naked eye. It looks like faint clouds, but it's not. To see that was awesome. I'm glad I had a chance to do so.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:57 AM   #25
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duh. stargate. we have one here in colorado springs under cheyenne mountain. haven't you seen all those those documentaries they've been running on the sci fi channel for the past 10 years?




Quote:
Originally Posted by ZONA View Post
What's funny is I watch a ton of these Discovery and Science channel shows on things in the Universe and they give distances to other known stars in our galaxy, the size of our own galaxy in light years and many other distances.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, that's fast.

The Milky Way is 100,000 light years across.

I always have to have a laugh when they talk about finding a new home for Humans because the Sun will go into Red Giant phase in about 4 billion years, and it will grow in size to the point where it will engulf the Earth entirely. But what people don't realize is that we can't just find another planet somewhere in the Milky Way because in about 4 to 5 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy is going to collide with the Milky Way and all hell will break lose when that happens so no star or planet will be safe to move to within this Galaxy, or even the next closest galaxy (Andromeda), which is approximately 2 MILLION light years away. The next closest galaxy after that is probably some 4 MILLION light years away. So let's just say that mankind somehow finds a way to travel at the speed of light (which I'm not sure could ever be done but even so, it would probably be thousands of years before we could ever find a way to travel at that speed safely). It's going to take millions and millions of years to even get anywhere safe (if that place even exists). It's mind boggling to think about it. You would have generations after generations born on a star cruiser and dying on a star cruiser on the journey there. I don't think mankind will ever travel to deep space. There are just too many things that can go wrong and the distances are simply mind blowing.
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