Last day of Bloganuary, Yayy! Here is today’s prompt:
We see many stars in the sky; Some look huge because they are nearby, like our very own Sun, which is about 150 million kilometres or 8 light minutes away. Proxima Centauri is the next and it is 4.2 light-years away. Even though it includes the word ‘year’, a ‘light-year’ is a measurement unit for astronomical distances, not time. Similarly, the Pole star or North star is around 400 light years away. Other stars, bright and dim, are thousands, millions and billions of light years away.
It is quite logical, but not very intuitive, so most people never realise this. But when we look at a star, we are looking at it not as it is now but as it was. That’s because light takes finite time to travel from there to here. So from a random star a few thousand light years away, light takes about a few thousand years to reach us. In the present time this random star may already be dead, burnt, destroyed, expanded etc. but we would not know that today.
TLDR: How do I feel, when I look at the stars?
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without quoting Carl Sagan, so here it goes:
The immense distances to the stars and the galaxies mean that we see everything in space in the past – some as they were before the Earth came to be.
Telescopes are time machines.
Long ago, when an early galaxy began to pour light out into the surrounding darkness, no witness could have known that billions of years later some remote clumps of rock and metal, ice and organic molecules would fall together to make a place called Earth; or that life would arise and thinking beings evolve, who would one day capture a little of that galactic light and try to puzzle out what had sent it on its way.– Carl Sagan
Thanks for flying by my orbit! 😊
What an end to Bloganuary! ❤️