# Astronomy Astronomical Distances

Discussion in 'Astronomy' started by Mizar, Oct 26, 2004.

1. ### MizarPremium Member

WE are often unloaded with facts and information from science meida and news about astronomical distances. You often hear something like " And thats about 98,000,000 miles or the distance from earth to the sun," Generrally numbers and staticts like this are hard to take in mbut recently i found a small "Experiment" to help people grasp the imense amout of space the first part i read in a book but the second part i through in myself ( so that peoples heads would explode )
so here it goes! GET A RULLER! this is kinda cool if you get some chalk and a tape measurer and go in the street ( or freeway during rush hour! j/k)

Picture a map of the heavens in which the distance between the Earth and the Sun - 93,000,000 miles- is drawn as one inch. this is called an AU. Astronomers often ues the AU( Astronomical Unit) to measure distances. Earth is 1 AU from the sun Mars is 1.52 AU, Jupiter is 5.20 AU. Venus is 0.72 AU, and Pluto is on average 39.44 Au from teh sun.
On our map where 1 AU = 1inch the earth would be one inch from the sun, mars would be 1.5 inches from the sun and pluto would be 39.44 in from the sun. Where is alpha centauri, the nearst star to our solarsystem on this map? Four and a Third MILES away. and that is the nearest star!

hahaha if you have never grasped astronomical distances before your probally saying to yourself something must be wrong but it isnt now lets move on.
With your new found knowldge of how far the nearest star is take this into account.....

Look at this picture. This is a real picture not some dreamed up place. http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/screen/heic0406a.jpg
that is one of the deepest immages of space we have. the thousands of galixies in that picture are jsut a grain of sand in the universe. We live in a galaxy which is made up of BILLIONS of stars most larger than our sun. each of theoes galixies contain BILLIONS of stars. and thinking about thoes BILLIONS of stars rember our infromation from the first experiment then consider again that there are billions of galixies containg billions of stars and how great the distances are. its quite amazing.

2. ### bluesundayNew Member

OK so um............................then..........like..............ummm.........we.................................well...................are like..................... really , really ......................small then ? .......................ummm...........Ok im getting dizzy now .................................................... who turned out the lights ? ><.....................um................... nevrmind...................umm.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................the awnser is 42 :bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou::bisou:

3. ### instarNew Member

Thanks for that insight, it is indeed fantastic. Makes me all the beleive there MUST be life elsewhere and all the more skeptical
about regular visits from a variety of different Et races in physical craft!
It would be a miracle just to find our world, let alone traverse such a gulf to get here, just to probe folks A\$\$ !
Do you ever wonder if these distances between worlds are so for a reason? like I said before, you dont keep a rat and a snake in the same cage! I donth think we could comprehend "other life" so our wild theorys about them are just that!
Thanks again.