Squid Nebula, Big Numbers

Interesting new discovery posted on Astronomy Picture of the Day. A faint nebula, maybe 14 quadrillion miles away, and maybe fifty light years long. That’s so big that if the sun were on one end and we were on the other, we couldn’t even see our own star without a telescope. If those three bright stars caused it, then the distance estimate would be about right. I suppose it could be closer and the three stars just happen to be behind it.

Someday our sun will produce a similar outgassing. These nebulae only last a few tens of thousands of years. Compare that to the expected ten-billion year lifespan of our home star.

Long ages and vast distances await human beings out there.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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