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Just for a sense of perspective


michael.h.f.wilkinson
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I just worked out that in the sixty years (and a bit) of my life so far, the earth has moved just over one third of a arc second in its orbit around the centre of the galaxy. Should I reach 85, that will go up to about half an arc second. Since Galileo's birth, the centre of our galaxy has moved just under 2.7 seconds of arc with respect to distant galaxies.  A bit of a pale-blue-dot moment.

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Thanks for that; it's an interesting thought. 

My 'perspective' is that if the distance between the Earth and the Sun is scaled to 1 inch (the length of the tip of your thumb), then 1 light year is 1 mile (1.6km) and the nearest star is 4.2 miles (6.7km) away. 

When Bessel measured the parallax of the star 61 Cygni in 1838 it was the equivalent of measuring the parallax of something about 13 miles (21km) away just by comparing the view using the left eye and then the right. 

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8 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Since Galileo's birth, the centre of our galaxy has moved just under 2.7 seconds of arc with respect to distant galaxies.

 That does put things in perspective doesn't it, I don't feel so old now! :laugh:

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