Why do we see distant stars?

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posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 01:49 AM
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I.e. Hipparcos 5926 in Cassiopeia is 16,308 light-years away. One light year is 9.4607 × 10*12 km. How come we can see that star without any major flickering? Seeing a star means that the light traveled an almost unimaginable distance without being absorbed, or blocked along the way. I feel the photons should have hit something along the way, i.e. planets, gasses, suns, space debris, etc.. The universe is full of moving objects. Yet, we see that star continuously shinning at night?




posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:03 AM
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Stars are massive. To block light from a star, space debris would have to be like the same size as the sun.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:04 AM
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Hey, I'd never thought about it...but you're absolutely right. That's an unimaginable distance to us in thinking about it or even considering how much is floating between here and there. This is what is in close, for that matter.



I've wondered for awhile now if someday we're going to find out that looking out from Earth will end up being like a side view mirror in a car. "Objects may be closer than they appear". That would be both exciting and real sobering, wouldn't it?


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posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:05 AM
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Originally posted by Parksie
Stars are massive. To block light from a star, space debris would have to be like the same size as the sun.


Really? In order to block our sun from view, your finger needs to be the size of the sun?
edit on 1-4-2013 by AllIsOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:09 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


They tell us that the universe is mostly empty, but somehow that doesn't compute with my gut feeling. But I've been wrong before ... lol.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:09 AM
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reply to post by AllIsOne
 


Op there are many stars we can't see,, because they are blocked by gases and dust etc.

Just like we can see a distant light on earth, with anatmosphere that is also full of moving objects, birds planes, dust, debris, people cars and airplanes. The amount of empty space vs the space taken up by the small objects inbetween, is very huge. Chances are, the light won't encounter anything at all.

So as you experience in everyday life light travelling from a distant light source, it should be easy to parse out the rest.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:15 AM
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Originally posted by inverslyproportional
reply to post by AllIsOne
 


Op there are many stars we can't see,, because they are blocked by gases and dust etc.

Just like we can see a distant light on earth, with anatmosphere that is also full of moving objects, birds planes, dust, debris, people cars and airplanes. The amount of empty space vs the space taken up by the small objects inbetween, is very huge. Chances are, the light won't encounter anything at all.

So as you experience in everyday life light travelling from a distant light source, it should be easy to parse out the rest.


Sorry, but I don't see a comparison at all. A "distant light on earth" doesn't even come close to the amount of light-years that the photons have to travel to get to us. The probability gets so much smaller IMHO. At least we should see lights on / lights off moments, but we don't ... ?
edit on 1-4-2013 by AllIsOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by AllIsOne
 


I don't have an answer for your question, I just wanted to make a reply of what a great question this is. It seems very hard to believe that a constant stream of light could make it to earth without something either bending it or getting in the way. Considering the universe is in a constant state of motion it seems very rare any star would have a constant place and/or consistancy in our night sky.

Great question, I hope someone has some kind of answer.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by litterbaux
 


Thank you for your kind words. I have a feeling there is a waste of space out there ... lol.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:30 AM
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I think I read that the stars light is amplified by the atmosphere, When in space - or on the moon, you cannot see the stars that we see here.

Also - those stars are long gone!



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:34 AM
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reply to post by AllIsOne
 


Your not listening to me if your not understanding.

A candle is trillions of times less luminescent than even a small star, one can be clearly seen at great distance on earth. It is the exact same concept, only must larger scale with stars.

Make a bon fire, it is approximately 12 feet high, if a 1 foot ball is held in front of your face you can't see it.

Yet if you just 100 feet away, you would barely be able to see the same ball because of the fire being so much larger and bright.

Now imagine a golf ball, or marble, or pea, or speck of dust. You would not even see any of them.

Now move off a mile, you would still clearly see the fire, but even the ball would be invisible.

Size iis what matters, especially when distance is added into the equation.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by AllIsOne
 


Because massive objects curve space and actually do bend light (or the medium through which it travels) so starlight does go around big objects.

Smaller objects, like the example a finger blocking out the sun, simply aren't large enough or stationary enough to block the starlight in a way that causes it to flicker visibly off and on.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:50 AM
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Originally posted by Im a Marty
I think I read that the stars light is amplified by the atmosphere, When in space - or on the moon, you cannot see the stars that we see here.

Also - those stars are long gone!


No, earths thick atmosphere causes less stars to be visible, and clear. This is why they put observatories on top of mountains, and hubble gets better and clearer pictures than earth based telescopes many times its size.

The light travels quite clearly in space as their is little in its way to diffuse it or block, earths atmosphere is very dense, and absorbs and reflects a lot, making hazy what it does not.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 03:06 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Hey, I'd never thought about it...but you're absolutely right. That's an unimaginable distance to us in thinking about it or even considering how much is floating between here and there. This is what is in close, for that matter.



I've wondered for awhile now if someday we're going to find out that looking out from Earth will end up being like a side view mirror in a car. "Objects may be closer than they appear". That would be both exciting and real sobering, wouldn't it?


Wrabbit, forgetting somthing very important, the kyuper belt just llike the astroid belt between jupiter and mars is visiby shown as full of objects.

This is not the case at all, when one looks at the astroid bekt it is very hard to see one, as there are many many many miles between them.

Just like a map of earth showing the satellites orbiting it, it looks like they are every where, but in reality there are tens of thousands, and the chance that if you spent a million years in orbit of you even being close enough to see one with the naked eye is not likely.

The material isn't packed tight like saturns rings, if it was we would have to steer them through it, w don't, we shot the orbiters for jupiter saturn right thriugh the astroid belt, no worries at all of hitting anything.

Think of voyager one and two, they both skirted thebelt, and now the kyper belt, without manuvering to avoid anything, as there is not really anything at all there,when compared to the vast space the objects occupy.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 03:44 AM
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well the distant stars you talk about are a TINY fraction of the stars actually out there, we can only see so far because light is block and bent by planets, black holes, dust etc.

if all light from every star did get to us unaltered or changed the sky would look far brighter.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 04:35 AM
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Originally posted by AllIsOne
I.e. Hipparcos 5926 in Cassiopeia is 16,308 light-years away. One light year is 9.4607 × 10*12 km. How come we can see that star without any major flickering? Seeing a star means that the light traveled an almost unimaginable distance without being absorbed, or blocked along the way. I feel the photons should have hit something along the way, i.e. planets, gasses, suns, space debris, etc.. The universe is full of moving objects. Yet, we see that star continuously shinning at night?


Many stars we cannot see because of the interstellar gas and dust. Those stars require infrared telescopes to see. Lots of other stars are visible, but very dim and reddish because of the dust. The few stars that we can see clearly just happen not to be obscured, that's all. Why would they be flickering? It's not like there's a crowd of gigantic objects constantly moving around like cars or people in a city. Space is very empty, things in it move very slowly, and at such enormous distances their size is basically a point to us.

Asteroids and other objects in the Solar System block a star's light fairly often, but that is predicted in advance, and most of the stars require a telescope. But even our busy Solar System is big enough and empty enough that we don't see stars being blocked all the time, and can send a space probe without worrying it will bump into something. www.asteroidoccultation.com...


planets, gasses, suns, space debris, etc


~ Planets outside of the Solar System are so small we can't see them (with only a couple of exceptions that used the most powerful telescopes and lots of optical processing). When such a planet gets infront of its parent star, the star's light is decreased by a very tiny bit, which requires an instrument to detect and measure. Planets are usually in a system with their parent star (like planets in the Solar System are orbiting close to the Sun), so I can't imagine lots of random planets just hanging around in the space between us and the star we're looking at.

~ Gasses in space are very rarefied, they're are a better vacuum than we can create in vacuum chambers here on Earth. It's usually the interstellar dust that blocks the stars, but dust is usually gathered in blobs and is concentrated in the galactic plane, so it blocks certain stars, but doesn't block the others. If you've read about our galaxy the Milky Way you would know that we cannot see the galactic core because of all the dust (unless we use infrared telescopes).

~ I have never heard of a star blocking another star. While this might be possible in theory, space is just too big and distances between stars so great that there is enough room for everyone


~ I'm not sure what you mean by space debris, but regardless, at such huge distances, debris of any kind is so small we can disregard it.
edit on 1-4-2013 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 05:11 AM
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Originally posted by Im a Marty
I think I read that the stars light is amplified by the atmosphere, When in space - or on the moon, you cannot see the stars that we see here.

Also - those stars are long gone!



OH not another person who thinks that.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 05:18 AM
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Originally posted by AllIsOne
I.e. Hipparcos 5926 in Cassiopeia is 16,308 light-years away. One light year is 9.4607 × 10*12 km. How come we can see that star without any major flickering? Seeing a star means that the light traveled an almost unimaginable distance without being absorbed, or blocked along the way. I feel the photons should have hit something along the way, i.e. planets, gasses, suns, space debris, etc.. The universe is full of moving objects. Yet, we see that star continuously shinning at night?



Not all stars are the same brightness colour or size!!!!!




posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 06:01 AM
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Originally posted by inverslyproportional

Originally posted by Im a Marty
I think I read that the stars light is amplified by the atmosphere, When in space - or on the moon, you cannot see the stars that we see here.

Also - those stars are long gone!


No, earths thick atmosphere causes less stars to be visible, and clear. This is why they put observatories on top of mountains, and hubble gets better and clearer pictures than earth based telescopes many times its size.

The light travels quite clearly in space as their is little in its way to diffuse it or block, earths atmosphere is very dense, and absorbs and reflects a lot, making hazy what it does not.


A part of me died when I read the explanation.

You're a saint to have responded to it in such a polite manner.

You deserve a flag for that alone. Have a star.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 07:51 AM
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Originally posted by AllIsOne
I.e. Hipparcos 5926 in Cassiopeia is 16,308 light-years away. One light year is 9.4607 × 10*12 km. How come we can see that star without any major flickering? Seeing a star means that the light traveled an almost unimaginable distance without being absorbed, or blocked along the way. I feel the photons should have hit something along the way, i.e. planets, gasses, suns, space debris, etc.. The universe is full of moving objects. Yet, we see that star continuously shinning at night?


Because empty space is a virtual vacuum. Sure -- there are some dust here and there floating around, but it is a far better vacuum than we can produce in a lad here on Earth.

Having said that, when a dust cloud gets in the way, it CAN block out stars. For example, we cannot see the center of our own galaxy (nor the stuff on the other side of the center) because a huge dust cloud is in the way.

As for the oort cloud -- it is thought not to be tremendously dense. The space between Oort cloud objects could be quite great.





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