Originally posted by ImaFungi
Is there an up and down to this region?
Nope, there's not. There is no frame of reference in empty space. Even in non-empty space, this is a relative issue - what's 'up' for Carmen in Cordova is 'down' for Waldo in Wellington.
what if we were launching a spaceship that could travel lightyears in seconds from the northpole, and kept going straight, would we eventually be able to view a birds eye view of the universe?
There's no such thing as a bird's-eye view of the universe. That implies you could leave the universe...which you can't. If you were trapped inside a balloon, could you get a bird's-eye view of it?
Plus, what would be a bird's-eye view for you, with the Earth's north pole pointing a certain direction, won't be a bird's-eye view for Uranians, with the north pole of Uranus pointing in a completely different direction. And that's just two planets in the same solar system. Planets in other solar systems and other galaxies only compound the problem.
what if we were in a space ship and traveled outside of our galaxy and then idled for "a very long time"
would we be eventually moved by surrounding forces, or would we eventually get run into by another galaxy?/ ( is it possible for anything to be completely still for a long period of time?)
Idle relative to what? Our galaxy? In that case, the gravitational pull of the galaxy would eventually (probably over millions, maybe even billions, of years, depending on our distance) pull us back in.
It's also possible that another galaxy would run into us...and, in that case, it would probably pass through the Milky Way.
If we're not idling with respect to the Milky Way, then you have to pick something else to be idling relative to. You can't idle relative to empty space, there's no point of reference.
It's possible to be completely still, if you can provide enough artificial thrust to counteract whatever gravitational forces are acting on the ship, but you have to pick something to be completely still in relation to.
ETA: by the way, with this discussion on the issue of there being no frame of reference in an empty space (that is, a vacuum), I'm hoping we'll get to one topic in particular. I just want to wait until I know you've all got this "no frame of reference in a vacuum" thing down first. Then, I'll pile on the reallly cool stuff.
edit on 7-5-2012 by CLPrime because: (no reason given)