It's true !

March 16 2012 at 12:46 PM
Hal  (Login tracer69)

Response to I never thought about that

When looking at objects in our Universe, you ARE looking into the past!

For example: The Great Nebula in the constellation Orion is 1500 light years away from us. This means that the image we're seeing NOW, started out 1500 years ago. We won't know what it looks like NOW for another 1500 years, if it even exists!

Similarly, Jupiter is 40 light MINUTES away. When we observe Jupiter, we're seeing it as it was 40 minutes AGO! To see what it looks like NOW, we'll have to wait 40 minutes!

The Sun is 8 light minutes away. If the Sun should suddenly extinguish itself, it would still keep shining for us for another 8 minutes.

The Moon is 1.28 light SECONDS away, so we're almost seeing it in real time!

Got it?

Now here's what really grabs me:

The Sombrero Galaxy (M-104) is 65 MILLION light years away from us. When I observe it in my large astronomical telescopes, I'm seeing light that started out to me when Dinosaurs still roamed the Yucatan Peninsula!

That's why I enjoy the noble pursuit of Astronomy!


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