Monday, August 4, 2008

Our Milky Way Galaxy


It was a clear Moonless sky, perfect for me to get out of town and snap a few images of our Milky Way Galaxy, which Sky and Telescope has chosen one for their online readers photo section, which is cool. Traveled for about 30 minutes, far from the city lights to a little back country road. So I pull off the main road onto a dirt road that disappeared about 20 yards in, thought this will do, got out of the car and set up my equipment. The Milky Way was a sight, beyond description. As I was taking pictures cars coming up to my spot would slow down thinking I was a cop, once they found out I wasn't they honked their horns, I thought this can't be good, gonna make some people a little upset, Hey whatta gonna do.

I was thinking to myself as I was admiring the utter magnificence of our home galaxy, the people driving by don't know and don't care what's going on, traveling to and fro, while the cosmos is just above them. Whenever I look at the stars I think there is so much we don't understand, example, did you know that we still haven't mapped the entire Milky Way yet, they are saying that there are still areas of the Milky Way that if where on a map would have to say, "There be dragons here". Well when you think about it, it's like trying to map a forest when you're in the midst of it, hard to do.


Some fun facts about our Milky Way.

All the stars we see in the night sky are from our Milky Way, somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-400 billion of them.

Our Milky Way is around 100,000 light years in diameter and 16,000 light years thick.

Dust and non-luminous matter is the reason for the dark rifts in the above images, which block the starlight from the stars behind it from reaching us.

Our Sun orbits the center of the galaxy, which by the way takes 200 million years.

Since it's birth, the Sun has orbited the center of our Milky Way only 20 times.

Our Milky Way Galaxy was formed around 13 billion years ago, the result of a large collapsing ball of gas and dust.

The Milky Way is part of a local group of galaxies of which Andromeda is a part of.

The Andromeda Galaxy is moving towards us at a speed of 1,800 km per minute, impact in 3 billion years, not to worry, the Sun will have fried us by then, not to worry, we will attain Class III civilization by then if we don't destroy ourselves first and will have started to populate other planets in the galaxy, but first we have to get to Mars, which I have already bought property on, being the forward thinker I am.

I'll leave you now with an animated gif of one of my Milky Way images.

36 comments:

Susanne49 said...

What a great post again, Bob! Thank you!

And you are right, why to worry about being destroyed by the moving towards us Milky Way - in 2012 is anyway everything ending here on earth... right? :-)

Texas Travelers said...

Enjoyed this post. Most people have no clue. Wonders abound everywhere.

:crow:
Troy

Oswegan said...

I love views of the milky way. especially when out camping away from the city lights.

Don said...

You must feel so good when you see photos like the ones you posted and know that you and your gear did that! Those photos rival anything I have seen, including scenes from Battlestar Galactica.

Kidding aside, excellent post!

Drowsey Monkey said...

Excellent post :) And fabulous photos. Living in the city I don't get to see all those stars, I need to get out of town and look up more.

Ruth said...

Now I'm a blathering idiot swimming in that incomprehensible information, mouth hanging open. Your images are fantastic, and I love hearing about how people react to you out there. Be careful though.

Thanks for reminding me how incredible this place it.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, I keep on forgetting about 2012, I even had someone at work just the other day telling me it was all over in 2012,lol.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Troy, so true.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for dropping by oswegan, camping and the Milky Way, an excellent combo.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol fellow BSG fan, Thanks Don, it felt pretty good, was quite surprised the difference getting out of town did to the final product, I was actually amazed I took them,lol.

The city lights just take away so much of the night sky, too bad.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks drowsey monkey, pictures even awesome ones like mine,lol, just don't do the Milky Way justice, it is so in your face huge in real life, if you ever get the chance, you gotta get out of town and look up.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, I know, always in the back of my mind, I have the door to my car part open, and a plan of escape just in case.\m/\m/

Marvin the Martian said...

Lovely pictures!

I can't believe that you bought Martian land from humans. ;-) What will the Martians say about that?

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, and thanks marvin,\m/\m/

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

FANTASTIC images of the Milky Way, Bob. I was thrilled to find it glows in the sky right above our house on clear nights. We're right underneath a beautiful part of the band. :D I never noticed it when we lived in the city.

JJ :D

Swubird said...

Bob:

Unbelievable shots of the Milky Way. My Queen even took a look, and it's hard to get her in front of the computer.

Love your work.

Happy stargazing

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, you are so lucky to be living in an area where you can see it without having to travel anywhere, like you said, can't see it at all in the city.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks swubird glad you guys liked the images.\m/\m/

jzholloway said...

Great pictures Bob! I put up a couple of new moon photos, not the greatest, but they are alright.

Jared

Will said...

When we were just camping, my son asked me a couple of questions about the Milky Way. One was "Are all the stars we see in the Milky Way? I told him I thought so, but knew just who to ask. Here I am back in civilization and the first post I read here answers the question. Weird kind of cosmic coincidence, I guess.

Carole said...

Great shots Bob, wow wonderful very interesting post.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jared, I'll have to get over and take a look.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey glad to be of service Will, too cool that it happened that way.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks and thanks for dropping by Carole.\m/

Sherer said...

Wow bob, what a beautiful pictures..... And yes i do believe we will find dragons.

That great to be able to drive 30 minutes and have a view like that. For us about 45 will give us the milky way - but not in the glory like that. Then death valley which is spectacular is about 1 hour 30 away. But well worth the drive.

I had a great view of the lagoon nebula last night. Beautiful. Have you ever been able to get a good image of that one?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jesse, wow, Death Valley, I bet you get great views there, it would be worth the trip.

No I haven't imaged the Lagoon yet, but it is on my hit list, major problem with light pollution where I live, very hard to get good deepsky images, it is a beautiful nebula.

kml said...

Bob, I have never seen such magnificent images of our galaxy! It was worth the drive - they are beautiful, and I am glad we have you to share them with us!

AngelBaby said...

Wow! Another amazing post, you did it again. I loved the pictures, really beautiful. I love looking at the stars and wondering if we will ever figure out how it all started, let alone map the Milky Way. I think we will figure out a way to survive, so don't worry about it, OK?

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Bob Johnson said...

thanks Kathy, glad you liked them.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks AngelBaby, glad you liked the post.\m/\m/

Priyank said...

Wow Bob, one of your finest posts I think. Its not easy to mix information, humor and knowledge together. Indeed, looking at the stars makes me wonder about the little things we are so preoccupied with.

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люстры said...

Cool men! Post cool!

Xenical said...

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