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Want to feel incredibly small and insignificant?
Product Placement at 8:31AM, July 11, 2010
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Why yes. It's a “let's zoom out and see how ridiculously vast and expansive the entire universe is” thread. Thought Earth was big? Well, you've ain't seen nothing yet.

Since it's all just a collection of boring pictures and text, here's a song you can listen too, while looking at it.




12.5 light years away.
Let's start with a picture of the nearest stars within 12.5 light years. A light year is 9,460,730,472,580.8 Km (roughly 9.5 trillion kilometers or 6 trillion miles)
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* Number of stars within 12.5 light years = 33



250 Light Years away.
This map is a plot of the 1500 most luminous stars within 250 light years. All of these stars are much more luminous than the Sun and most of them can be seen with the naked eye. About one third of the stars visible with the naked eye lie within 250 light years, even though this is only a tiny part of our galaxy.
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* Number of stars within 250 light years = 260 000



5000 Light Years - The Orion Arm
This is a map of our corner of the Milky Way galaxy. The Sun is located in the Orion Arm - a fairly minor arm compared with the Sagittarius Arm, which is located closer to the galactic centre. The map shows several stars visible with the naked eye which are located deep within the Orion arm. The most notable group of stars here are main stars in the constellation of Orion - from which the spiral arm gets its name. All of these stars are bright giant and supergiant stars, thousands of times more luminous than the Sun. The most luminous star on the map is Rho Cassiopeia (ρ Cas) - to us 4000 light years away, it is a dim naked eye star, but in reality it is a huge supergiant star 100 000 times more luminous than our Sun.
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* Number of stars within 5000 light years = 600 million



50000 Light Years - The Milky Way Galaxy
This map shows the full extent of the Milky Way galaxy - a spiral galaxy of at least two hundred billion stars. Our Sun is buried deep within the Orion Arm about 26 000 light years from the centre. Towards the centre of the Galaxy the stars are packed together much closer than they are where we live. Notice also the presence of small globular clusters of stars which lie well outside the plane of the Galaxy, and notice too the presence of a nearby dwarf galaxy - the Sagittarius dwarf - which is slowly being swallowed up by our own galaxy.
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* Number of stars within 50 000 light years = 200 billion



500000 Light Years - The Satellite Galaxies
The Milky Way is surrounded by several dwarf galaxies, typically containing a few tens of millions of stars, which is insignificant compared with the number of stars in the Milky Way itself. This map shows the closest dwarf galaxies, they are all gravitationally bound to the Milky Way requiring billions of years to orbit it.
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* Number of large galaxies within 500 000 light years = 1
* Number of dwarf galaxies within 500 000 light years = 12
* Number of stars within 500 000 light years = 225 billion



5 million Light Years - The Local Group of Galaxies
The Milky Way is one of three large galaxies belonging to the group of galaxies called the Local Group which also contains several dozen dwarf galaxies. Most of these galaxies are depicted on the map, although most dwarf galaxies are so faint, that there are probably several more waiting to be discovered.
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* Number of large galaxies within 5 million light years = 3
* Number of dwarf galaxies within 5 million light years = 46
* Number of stars within 5 million light years = 700 billion



100 million Light Years - The Virgo Supercluster
Our galaxy is just one of thousands that lie within 100 million light years. The above map shows how galaxies tend to cluster into groups, the largest nearby cluster is the Virgo cluster a concentration of several hundred galaxies which dominates the galaxy groups around it. Collectively, all of these groups of galaxies are known as the Virgo Supercluster. The second richest cluster in this volume of space is the Fornax Cluster, but it is not nearly as rich as the Virgo cluster. Only bright galaxies are depicted on the map, our galaxy is the dot in the very centre.
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* Number of galaxy groups within 100 million light years = 200
* Number of large galaxies within 100 million light years = 2500
* Number of dwarf galaxies within 100 million light years = 50 000
* Number of stars within 100 million light years = 200 trillion



1 billion Light Years - The Neighbouring Superclusters
Galaxies and clusters of galaxies are not uniformly distributed in the Universe, instead they collect into vast clusters and sheets and walls of galaxies interspersed with large voids in which very few galaxies seem to exist. The map above shows many of these superclusters including the Virgo supercluster - the minor supercluster of which our galaxy is just a minor member. The entire map is approximately 7 percent of the diameter of the entire visible Universe.
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* Number of superclusters within 1 billion light years = 100
* Number of galaxy groups within 1 billion light years = 240 000
* Number of large galaxies within 1 billion light years = 3 million
* Number of dwarf galaxies within 1 billion light years = 60 million
* Number of stars within 1 billion light years = 250 000 trillion



14 billion Light Years - The Visible Universe
This map attempts to show the entire visible Universe. The galaxies in the universe tend to collect into vast sheets and superclusters of galaxies surrounding large voids giving the universe a cellular appearance. Because light in the universe only travels at a fixed speed, we see objects at the edge of the universe when it was very young up to 14 billion years ago.
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* Number of superclusters in the visible universe = 10 million
* Number of galaxy groups in the visible universe = 25 billion
* Number of large galaxies in the visible universe = 350 billion
* Number of dwarf galaxies in the visible universe = 7 trillion
* Number of stars in the visible universe = 30 billion trillion (3x10²² )


* Info taken from atlasoftheuniverse.com

Well there you have it.



So can I have your liver then?
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
Salsa at 9:00AM, July 11, 2010
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And the sad thing is most Sci-Fi would have you believe that you can travel those distances fairly easily.

No, you may not have my liver. I'm still using it.
RAGE!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:18PM
ozoneocean at 9:36AM, July 11, 2010
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Salsa
And the sad thing is most Sci-Fi would have you believe that you can travel those distances fairly easily.
Not really… That sort of SciFi is pure fantasy, you're not meant to believe anything about it except for within the limited reality of the show. Like you don't actually believe that dogs like Lassie can save the day with remarkably clever solutions to problems, or that vampires glitter and make moony faces at useless clumsy girls, or that the characters in Friends would actually be able to live like that in real life or that they were ever actually funny. -_-
SciFi works in he same way- you accept all the nonsense as plausible for the time it takes to watch it, but it's no more of a leap of faith than imagining that Hugh Laurie is a clever crochety doctor


The universe is a massive place, but it doesn't make me feel insignificant, It just makes me feel like a central part of a much larger organism. We're not separate from any of that stuff and that's pretty awesome to know- everything you see around you as a part of that bigger more massive structure in micro size.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Salsa at 9:43AM, July 11, 2010
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Hmm, good point.
RAGE!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:18PM
altprom at 10:30AM, July 11, 2010
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I don't care what you say, I'm a special insignificant speck in the universe!
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
therealtj at 10:46AM, July 11, 2010
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Sure, we're a tiny part, and to quote a great clich'e: “The sun will rise, whatever happens to you.”

But that doesn't mean we're insignificant. Ever heard of the butterfly effect?

“The only moral it is possible to draw from this story is that one should never throw the letter Q into a privet bush, but unfortunately there are times when it is unavoidable.”
-Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At the End of the Universe
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
Chernobog at 7:29PM, July 11, 2010
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No, you cannot have my liver. I would rather be one with possibly the greatest, most vast example of everything and anything than trapped inside a drunk with cirrhosis.

I can't say I ever felt very important in this world or the greater scheme. I might be somewhat important to a few other people but in the end, so was everyone else in thousands of instances before me. Things that help make the seeing and waking here n' now interesting.

It's like I tell people: I just live here.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
bravo1102 at 4:08AM, July 13, 2010
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As always the universe is best explained by Monty Python. Eric Idle at his best.

To explain Oz's entire post to those of us with short attention spans: suspension of disbelief as is necessary for the plot of the story to work. Star Trek's transporter was a plot device because the studio wouldn't spring for a shuttle craft. Simple plot device.

I need to get my characters across space quickly, viola! Faster-than-light drive. It didn't matter how Dr. Moreau or Frankenstein made their creations as much as the results of that creation.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 8:51AM, July 13, 2010
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bravo1102
To explain Oz's entire post to those of us with short attention spans: suspension of disbelief as is necessary for the plot of the story to work.
Only sort of- I was really saying that the amount of disbelief or belief is exactly the same as in any fictional story.

Scifi doesn't really ask anything more of you than a medical drama.

…And in that respect it ties in with the thread subject nicely! :)
-the universe is an absolutely massive place, but even so, we're all just a much a part of it as the furthest starts and the biggest black holes.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
bravo1102 at 5:48AM, July 14, 2010
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ozoneocean
bravo1102
To explain Oz's entire post to those of us with short attention spans: suspension of disbelief as is necessary for the plot of the story to work.
Only sort of- I was really saying that the amount of disbelief or belief is exactly the same as in any fictional story.


That is precisely what I meant. ;) The necessary suspension of disbelief is the same in all fiction. Though some fiction requires more belief to be suspended. Hugh Laurie as a crumudgeny doctor doesn't ask for as much of me as if he was playing a Time Lord. Doctors are never like that in real life and I know Sarah Palin is a transgender regeneration of the Master or more likely another of Dr. Who's Time Lord enemies: the Rani.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 6:44AM, July 14, 2010
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Sarah Palin is an alien allright… Nah, she is exactly like the worst comedy “soccer moms” in every movie, TV show and cartoon since the late 80's, it's very strange.
bravo1102
Though some fiction requires more belief to be suspended.
No, not “requires”. The audience is key here, not the media. It almost takes alcohol for me to believe Hugh Laurie is an American, but no problem at all to accept Tom Baker as a time travelling all knowing intellectual action hero.
That's not just down to the plots or the actors, that's down to me and my own preconceptions.

P-p-p-p-p-post-modernism. It's a dirty word :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
blindsk at 1:27PM, July 14, 2010
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Then again, speaking of small stuff - just take some deuterium and tritium atoms (which are about 2.3 X 10^28 u times smaller than the average human in mass), mash them together until they fuse…and then you'll get…

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
ifelldownthestairs at 12:30AM, July 15, 2010
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A nuclear explosion! Quick, duck and cover
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
http://www.drunkduck.com/i_fell_down_the_stairs
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:57PM
bravo1102 at 3:02AM, July 15, 2010
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ifelldownthestairs
A nuclear explosion! Quick, duck and cover

Duck and cover = Bend over and kiss your ass good-bye. Unless you can find a refrigerator to hide in, which brings us back to Monty Python.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
TheFlyingGreenMonkey at 1:05AM, July 16, 2010
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One day humans will destroy the universe. We won't be insignificant then, will we! I don't actually believe this :P

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:19PM
lothar at 7:24AM, July 16, 2010
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now consider that our entire universe could just be one of countless other 3 dimensional universes all existing in higher dimensional space

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Zad at 10:00PM, July 22, 2010
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Excuse me while I go sit in a dark corner for a while.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:54PM
Freegurt at 11:01AM, July 24, 2010
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Thinking about the vastness of space makes my chest hurt, so I try not to do it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
impshum at 9:21AM, Aug. 29, 2010
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Your observable universe is made by you. Yeah! You! You made your universe! What is your name again?
Visit my site http://impshum.co.uk
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:57PM
callyabo at 8:44PM, Sept. 18, 2010
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Think of how my poor little goldfish feels. Or Andy the Amoeba sitting on your desk for that matter.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
ozoneocean at 9:37PM, Sept. 18, 2010
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Just witnessing the vastness of my genitalia leaves me shivering with awe…




…half an inch is really big, isn't it?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
bravo1102 at 10:17AM, Sept. 19, 2010
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ozoneocean
Just witnessing the vastness of my genitalia leaves me shivering with awe…




…half an inch is really big, isn't it?

Just think of it as a whopping 13 millimeters. Everything sounds bigger in the metric system.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
TheShah at 7:53AM, Sept. 22, 2010
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I would really like to see this type of information presented to clinically depressed folk.

Imagine the mass window divings and increase in Gillette blades sales.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
ozoneocean at 8:07AM, Sept. 22, 2010
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TheShah
I would really like to see this type of information presented to clinically depressed folk.

Imagine the mass window divings and increase in Gillette blades sales.
What? When they're properly informed about the truly massive dimensions of my genitalia?

…I suppose I can see that happening..

I must never let on the true extent of their size… the guilt would be too much :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
bravo1102 at 10:18AM, Sept. 22, 2010
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TheShah
I would really like to see this type of information presented to clinically depressed folk.

Imagine the mass window divings and increase in Gillette blades sales.

Invest in stock for X-Acto hobby products. A #11 blade is far more effective. That's what Arnold used to rearrange his face in The Terminator.

Want to feel even smaller? Think of how vast time is. If all of the history of the universe is collapsed into one 24 hour day all of human history is a few seconds before midnight and your life is measured in nanoseconds. (billionths of a second.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
ozoneocean at 2:52AM, Sept. 23, 2010
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bravo1102
Want to feel even smaller? Think of how vast time is. If all of the history of the universe is collapsed into one 24 hour day all of human history is a few seconds before midnight and your life is measured in nanoseconds. (billionths of a second.
Pales in comparison to the eternity of my genitals.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Mitaukano at 6:38PM, Sept. 23, 2010
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Ah the universe, sometimes it's overwhelming but then I go read "A Wind in the Door" and everythings a bit better for me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM

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