Friday, November 7, 2014

Lost in space...

Lost in space...  A CalTech experiment has discovered evidence of something long expected: stars that are in the inter-galactic “voids” – the vast regions of not-quite-empty space between galaxies.  Computational models of star movement within galaxies shows that inevitably some stars will be thrown out of their galaxy, sometimes very energetically.  These individual stars, at long distances, don't emit enough light to be imaged.  The CalTech experiment appears to have discovered their cumulative glow.

When I first read about these orphaned stars, probably 30 or 40 years ago, the first thought I had was to imagine what inhabitants of a planet of such a star might think.  Their astronomers would be able to see all the stars that were parts of galaxies, but might not be able to see any other orphaned stars.  Until their astronomy advanced sufficiently (as ours apparently just has), they might well think they were unique.  A self-centered universe notion might survive for a long time there :)

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