Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BIG Stars

I am taking a short astronomy course at the local high school.  The teacher is an architect, and avid amateur astronomer and a really good teacher.  The subject tonight was the size of things in the universe.  He started with scale models of the planets, some of which were the size of peppercorns.  Our sun was a soccer ball, in comparison.  Then he wanted to show us that the sun is an ordinary star, and this slide shows some red giant stars, Betelgeuse at left and Antares, on the right.  He is pointing at our sun, which is a tiny dot at the end of his finger, and miniscule in comparison.


Anonymous said...

Putting everything in perspective makes me wonder about how we have evolved and whether life on other planets have the same conflicts as we do. We live in the greatst country on this planet, and we can't get the politicians to act like responsible adults.Is it like this in other parts of the universe? Do astronomers discuss the possibility of life on another star? Or are they interested only in placement and formation? I wish there were evidence of living things that have evolved more than we have - and that there's hope they can come and teach us a few things. Do astronomers talk about stuff like that?

Ken Spencer said...

Astronomers consider all the big questions, and one branch is called "SETI" - the "Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence." That work involves radio astronomy, with big antennas scanning the skies listening for any possible signals that might be from other civilizations.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh. Always so infomrative. Thanks!