Visible Stars

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Post  DHF on Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:03 pm

The farthest star that we can see under the best of conditions is probably about 4000 light years away, though we can, of course, see collections of stars much farther away, such as the Andromeda galaxy. The pic should read "within the yellow circle," as the circle is the boundary of stars we can see with the naked eye.

Our Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across; and since we are about half way out from the center (the sun is in the center of the yellow circle), we're 25,000 light years from both the center and edge of our galaxy. The sun revolves around that bright oval center of the galaxy just as the Earth revolves around the sun, except that one galactic year lasts over 222 million Earth years. This means that while the sun is 4.6 billion Earth years old, in galactic years it's only 20 years old, and it will probably die in its early 40's.

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