Friday, February 11, 2011

On my mind

A light year is a distance that is almost 6 trillion miles. The
nearest star to our sun is 4.3 light years away or roughly 25 trillion
miles. Our Milky Way Galaxy contains 200 to 400 billion stars and is
about 100,000 light years across. This alone is a staggering size
and at one time we thought that our galaxy was the entire Universe.
(Why would you need anything else?)

Then people began to discover other galaxies, the closest of which is
about 2.5 million light years away. We now know that there are at
least a hundred billion other galaxies, which makes for a Universe so
large that it defies comprehension, at least for my brain.

Nobody knows where the center of the Universe is. It appears as if we
are in the center, but this is thought to be an illusion caused by
space itself expanding. I haven't yet bought into the notion that
space is expanding, but many people smarter than me believe it.

The entire mass of our galaxy is about a trillion times the mass of
our sun. Like most galaxies, it has at least one black hole in the
center whose gravitational tug helps hold the galaxy together.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fwd: Deja Vu

From: larry.r.trout

'For 15 million years, an icebound lake has remained sealed deep beneath Antarctica's frozen crust, possibly hiding prehistoric or unknown life. Now Russian scientists are on the brink of piercing through to its secrets.

"There's only a bit left to go," Alexei Turkeyev, chief of the Russian polar Vostok Station, told Reuters by satellite phone. His team has drilled for weeks in a race to reach the lake, 3,750 meters (12,000 ft) beneath the polar ice cap, before the end of the brief Antarctic summer.

It was here that the coldest temperature ever found on Earth -- minus 89.2 Celsius (minus 128.6 Fahrenheit) -- was recorded.

With the rapid onset of winter, scientists will be forced to leave on the last flight out for this season, on Feb 6.'

Isn't this how Clive Barker's "The Thing" Started…..