the vey very big and the very very small

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the vey very big and the very very small

From an article by Robert Krulwich at NPR

Science writer David Blatner, in his new book Spectrums, says a group of researchers at the University of Hawaii, being well-versed in all things beachy, tried to calculate the number of grains of sand.

They said, if you assume a grain of sand has an average size and you calculate how many grains are in a teaspoon and then multiply by all the beaches and deserts in the world, the Earth has roughly (and we're speaking very roughly here) 7.5 x 1018 grains of sand, or seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains.

That's a lot of grains.

then...

OK, so how about stars? Well, to my amazement, it turns out that when you look up, even on a clear and starry night, you won't see very many stars. Blatner says the number is a low, low "several thousand," which gives the sand grain folks a landslide victory. But we're not limiting ourselves to what an ordinary stargazer can see.

Our stargazer gets a Hubble telescope and a calculator, so now we can count distant galaxies, faint stars, red dwarfs, everything we've ever recorded in the sky, and boom! Now the population of stars jumps enormously, to 70 thousand million, million, million stars in the observable universe (a 2003 estimate), so that we've got multiple stars for every grain of sand — which means, sorry, grains, you are nowhere near as numerous as the stars.

finally...

So that makes stars the champions of numerosity, no?

Ummm, no. This is when Blatner hits us with his sucker punch. Yes, he says, the number of stars in the heavens is "an unbelievably large number," but then, very matter-of-factly, he adds that you will find the same number of molecules "in just ten drops of water."

Say what?

Let me repeat: If you took 10 drops of water (not extra-big drops, just regular drops, I'm presuming) and counted the number of H2O molecules in those drops, you'd get a number equal to all the stars in the universe.

True, who the hell really knows how accurate any of this this.

But it's probably closer than anything that any of us here might come up with.

And even then being but one infinitesimally tiny and insignificant man or woman amongst billions more on our own rock in our own solar system.

In the midst of all that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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Re: the vey very big and the very very small

Light travels at approximately 186,000 miles a second. That is about 6,000,000,000,000 miles a year.

The closest star to us is Alpha Centauri. It is 4.75 light-years away. 28,500,000,000,000 miles.

So, traveling at 186,000 miles a second, it would take us 4.75 years to reach it. The voyager spacecraft [just now exiting our solar system] will take 70,000 years to reach it.

To reach the center of the Milky Way galaxy it would take 100,000 light-years.

Or consider this:
"To get to the closest galaxy to ours, the Canis Major Dwarf, at Voyager's speed, it would take approximately 749,000,000 years to travel the distance of 25,000 light years! If we could travel at the speed of light, it would still take 25,000 years!"
The Andromeda galaxy is 2.537 million light years away.

Or this:
"The universe is about 13.7 billion years old. Light reaching us from the earliest known galaxies has been traveling, therefore, for more than 13 billion years. So one might assume that the radius of the universe is 13.7 billion light-years and that the whole shebang is double that, or 27.4 billion light-years wide."
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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Re: the vey very big and the very very small

It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe. nasa
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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Re: the vey very big and the very very small

https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/spac ... -universe/

We appear to be alone

There are approximately 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the Universe. And probably more planets than stars. Yet in all this immensity there is only one place we know of where life exists: Earth.

Despite searches for intelligent signals, no sign of intelligent extraterrestrial life has been found. In fact, there is a good argument that if such life-forms exist out there, not only should we see signs of them but they should already have come here.

“Where are they?” the physicist Enrico Fermi famously asked. Some astronomers think the answer is we are alone, that someone has to be the first.

But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It took three billion years for us to go from single cells to complex life, which suggests taking this step is hard.

Technological civilisations like ours may be rare and their lifetimes short; we may have missed any others by millions or billions of years. The other alternative is that the nearest one may simply be too far away for us to detect.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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Re: the vey very big and the very very small

iambiguous wrote:Technological civilisations like ours may be rare and their lifetimes short; we may have missed any others by millions or billions of years. The other alternative is that the nearest one may simply be too far away for us to detect.[/b]

..though doesn’t your average lay-humanoid now believe that aliens/other beings exist.

I don’t think we’ve missed them at all, nor them Us.

Beyond our Universe, is only an idea in our minds.. what lays beyond Us/our part of observable Space, is too far for the light there to ever reach us before we could ever get to see those stars and galaxies that may lie beyond, as they would have ceased to exist by then. Poetic fate? sealed by the qualities of distance and time.. but oh to master that and traverse it, in the most unconventional of ways, that only Science Fiction makes possible.

The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ

MagsJ
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Re: the vey very big and the very very small

iambiguous wrote: If you took 10 drops of water (not extra-big drops, just regular drops, I'm presuming) and counted the number of H2O molecules in those drops, you'd get a number equal to all the stars in the universe.

I can just imagine new romance novels -
I love you Darling more than - more than all the molecules in ten drops of water.

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obsrvr524
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Re: the vey very big and the very very small

Take the power generated by the atomic release of the binding force of those extremely minute particles, and release it, and compare it to the universal binding force within galactical systems, the one can get an idea of the relative force of a symmetrical.conduit between the two systems.

That relative power assures the near absolute stasis of all comperable fields of force, assuring the appearent stasis of an eternally repeating universe.

Think about it how such systems gearing in unity, can ensure that hidden aspect of life, culminating consistently even down to the least perceiptable phenomena: the Soul, the Anima of Aristotle.
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