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  1. 28 Aug '09 16:14
    This is curious. When I look at pictures of our solar system, our galaxy and galaxies surrounding our
    own, it seems to all exist on the same two-dimensional plane. For instance, all the planets are
    depicted as rotating around the sun on a single plane, and all the suns relate to each other on this
    same plane. Is there no up and down? What happens if I travel straight up from our solar system?
    Have we even detected anything from these directions?
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    28 Aug '09 16:45
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    This is curious. When I look at pictures of our solar system, our galaxy and galaxies surrounding our
    own, it seems to all exist on the same two-dimensional plane. For instance, all the planets are
    depicted as rotating around the sun on a single plane, and all the suns relate to each other on this
    same plane. Is there no up and down? What happens if I travel straight up from our solar system?
    Have we even detected anything from these directions?
    Most solar systems come from clouds of previous novae and they mostly start spinning up in the same plane and the galaxy as a whole does much the same but when the dynamics of galactic gravity is taken into account, the planes of the planetary orbits gets more randomized, that is, the whole solar system gets flung about by passing stars, etc., and can end up with the planetary orbits at right angles to where they started so any individual system can be at any angle compared to the plane of the galaxy or the plane of our solar system. For instance, the Alpha Centauri triple system was born from the same nova cloud as our sun but I can bet that the plane of the planets of those stars would not line up with ours even though they came from the same source. For one thing, AC is a triple system so there are massive gravitational wells very close to one another, in long period orbits. They are going to interact with one another in a way that will randomize the planes of the planets they may sport. Even our isolated sun (isolated by over 4 light years of interference with other stars my have had encounters with other passing stars over the 4+ billion year lifetime of the sun and could have resulted in planetary orbital planes out of kilter with the original plane all those billions of years ago when the planetesimals were first forming from the original spinning cloud of star gum pucky that we were born with.
  3. 28 Aug '09 18:14
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    This is curious. When I look at pictures of our solar system, our galaxy and galaxies surrounding our
    own, it seems to all exist on the same two-dimensional plane. For instance, all the planets are
    depicted as rotating around the sun on a single plane, and all the suns relate to each other on this
    same plane. Is there no up and down? What happens if I travel straight up from our solar system?
    Have we even detected anything from these directions?
    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/
  4. 29 Aug '09 08:50 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by David113
    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/
    Excellent! My puny mind can comprehend this. Thank you.

    One question though. Who took this picture? And more importantly, uhm, how?

    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/milkyway.html

    Never mind. I should learn to read a page in its entirety before questioning. Eh.
  5. 29 Aug '09 09:14 / 1 edit
    Oh! Betelgeuse exists!

    Wait a minute. If he was right about that, then maybe 42 really is the answer!
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Aug '09 15:46
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    Excellent! My puny mind can comprehend this. Thank you.

    One question though. Who took this picture? And more importantly, uhm, how?

    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/milkyway.html

    Never mind. I should learn to read a page in its entirety before questioning. Eh.
    I saw on the 'stars within 5000 ly' on that map the star Polaris, our present day north star. I also saw the 'you are here' mark and it was clear that the plane of the solar system, where the planets orbit, is way skewed, not even close to the plane of the Milky Way so I was right about that. Great map. I thought there would be more stars within 50 light years but it says there are only 133 or so and only a handful of those are like our sun in size and color.
  7. 29 Aug '09 17:25 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I saw on the 'stars within 5000 ly' on that map the star Polaris, our present day north star. I also saw the 'you are here' mark and it was clear that the plane of the solar system, where the planets orbit, is way skewed, not even close to the plane of the Milky Way so I was right about that. Great map. I thought there would be more stars within 50 light ye ...[text shortened]... ays there are only 133 or so and only a handful of those are like our sun in size and color.
    The angle between the plane of the solar system and the galactic plane is about 60 degrees:

    http://cs.astronomy.com/asycs/forums/p/31176/368883.aspx

    There are only 133 stars VISIBLE WITH THE NAKED EYE within 50 ly. If we count all stars, visible with naked eye or not, then the number is probably about 2000 (since within 250 ly there are 260000 stars:

    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/250lys.html

    and (50/250)^3*260000 ~ 2000).

    However about 80% of them are red dwarves that are not visible with naked eye even from a distance of 5 ly.
  8. 29 Aug '09 18:41
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I also saw the 'you are here' mark and it was clear that the plane of the solar system, where the planets orbit, is way skewed, not even close to the plane of the Milky Way so I was right about that. Great map.
    Yes you were, and yes it is. My understanding on the subject is rapidly changing. It's as if a whole
    new dimension has been introduced to me. I always thought of the universe like a balloon and all the
    galaxies and their stars floating on its surface (I'm pretty sure it's been described that way to me
    way back when), but now I see that the matter is all over the place.
  9. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Aug '09 21:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    Yes you were, and yes it is. My understanding on the subject is rapidly changing. It's as if a whole
    new dimension has been introduced to me. I always thought of the universe like a balloon and all the
    galaxies and their stars floating on its surface (I'm pretty sure it's been described that way to me
    way back when), but now I see that the matter is all over the place.
    The balloon thing is about the expansion of the universe where the balloon is just an analogy to illustrate how the expansion works on the surface of an expanding sphere, when you blow up the balloon, any features on the surface gets pushed away from one another, if you dotted up the surface with a sharpie and blew it up, while it is getting bigger, the spots move apart, the analogy being the surface of the balloon represents space and the dots represent galaxies.

    I thought for a long time that the expansion idea went down to the planets and stuff but it only is acting on galaxies. The expansion is basically where space is being stretched or more space being pumped in, whatever, that's what the galaxies do, on average, recede from one another but there is no acceleration like from a rocket. It's a free ride.
  10. 30 Aug '09 09:10 / 1 edit
  11. 30 Aug '09 09:11
    Originally posted by David113
    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/
    http://www.wordwizz.com/pages/10exp-35.htm

    Excellent follow-up link from atlasoftheuniverse.com. Hit the +1 button repeatedly. Entertaining and
    educating at the same time.
  12. 30 Aug '09 10:50
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    http://www.wordwizz.com/pages/10exp-35.htm

    Excellent follow-up link from atlasoftheuniverse.com. Hit the +1 button repeatedly. Entertaining and
    educating at the same time.
    http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/
  13. 31 Aug '09 05:52
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    This is curious. When I look at pictures of our solar system, our galaxy and galaxies surrounding our
    own, it seems to all exist on the same two-dimensional plane. For instance, all the planets are
    depicted as rotating around the sun on a single plane, and all the suns relate to each other on this
    same plane. Is there no up and down? What happens if I travel straight up from our solar system?
    Have we even detected anything from these directions?
    Although it seems others have answered your questions quite adequately, I would like to point out that if you look at the sky at night, you will see a band of brighter sky with more stars which is the milky way (our galaxy). However if you look in any other direction you will still see plenty of stars and, if you have a telescope, plenty of galaxies more or less evenly distributed across the sky. If the universe was more or less two dimensional then you would expect to see a band of bright universe across the sky and black nearly everywhere else.
  14. 31 Aug '09 07:45
    Originally posted by David113
    http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/
    You just keep'em coming.

    What I like better about the link I posted is that it comes with a little more information on most
    pictures.
  15. 02 Sep '09 14:25
    on a point they have a map of the universe like the map of the world, yet every time they look they can not find the edge and what it is expanding into?