Distances in Outer Space

kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,392
IT is bigger than you think. Think of it this way - Voyager 1 was launched in 1977 it took it decades to leave our solar system. In about 40,000 years, it will pass within 1.6 light-years of the star Gliese 445, which is at present in the constellation Camelopardalis.

Voyager 2 is not headed toward any particular star, although in roughly 40,000 years it should pass 1.7 light-years from the star Ross 248.

That is how big space really is.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,368
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Space is big. That's why it's called space. Because there's lots of it.
 

fascinating

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,404
Space is big. That's why it's called space. Because there's lots of it.
Oh you can have small spaces too, like the space I had on the metro that I travelled on today.

As well as the hugeness, the emptiness of space equally astonishing. You can look at this image of distant galaxies. There are plenty of them, but consider the extensive black areas - so looking in those directions, there is essentially NOTHING for about 10 billion light years (= 60 billion trillion miles).
 
Apr 2015
1,705
Italy
we used to think ocean was big and impossible to cross. I see this as an another challenge for human race we'll find a way eventually, considering all the weird ways physics behave on both nuclear and cosmic scale i wouldn't be surprised if some day somebody comes up with a way to workaround this apparent speed of light limit and then the fun begins.

one of the most sad things i can think of is, considering all the amazing things that exists just on this planet, to imagine all the incredible things that must exists somewhere in space and that we may eventually will never be able to see them, i'm no believer in u.f.o. but i believe that life in all his possible forms is the norm and not the exception in space therefore somewhere, in many somewhere actually, there must be something more than rocks and dust.
For sure i won't in my life span see any of that, in the end is what matters to me and actually makes me sad.
 
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Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
Why not see that something is more great than humans, as a thought, that in a way can be a "ressource" for us?
The "insignificance" of our habitat, earth, seems in a way liberating.
 

paranoid marvin

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
The main problem is that we don't know where we are headed. So regardless of the distance or the time it takes to get there space is too big a place to venture into without having a destination. Of course the other issue is that even if you DO know where you are going, by the time you get there it will all have changed.

In the relatively short span of time that Earth is capable of supporting human life, it is unlikely that we will have had enough time to find a habitable planet that we can reach before we are extinct.
 
Oct 2014
1,260
California
Baby steps... we been to the moon a few times (1969-1972) but had no new goal to achieve beyond a space station.

Mars is next and Space X is doing some exciting things to achieve that goal.

Now, if we could solve Warp Drive theory! ;)
 

rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
9,224
India
we used to think ocean was big and impossible to cross. I see this as an another challenge for human race we'll find a way eventually, considering all the weird ways physics behave on both nuclear and cosmic scale i wouldn't be surprised if some day somebody comes up with a way to workaround this apparent speed of light limit and then the fun begins.

one of the most sad things i can think of is, considering all the amazing things that exists just on this planet, to imagine all the incredible things that must exists somewhere in space and that we may eventually will never be able to see them, i'm no believer in u.f.o. but i believe that life in all his possible forms is the norm and not the exception in space therefore somewhere, in many somewhere actually, there must be something more than rocks and dust.
For sure i won't in my life span see any of that, in the end is what matters to me and actually makes me sad.
Arthur C. Clarke, a renowned SF writer had suggested that there will be a way to send human sperm and ova ( several samples actually ), both frozen in a space vehicle and a sophisticated computer to ensure the fertilisation of the ovum by the sperm when a habitable planet is nearby and then raising the human baby to adulthood, by nursing him /her and coaching him in all the knowledge of the human society he/she has left many hundred thousands of years ago, and then expecting him /her to take command of the space craft and land on the said planet and populate it.
So humans populating distant habitable planets is not altogether impossible.
By the way, the visible universe is said to be 80 billion light years long / wide.
Most of it is empty space.