Sunday, September 21, 2014

That Tiny Spec !!!

Finally had clear skies after the on and off grey monsoon clouds. Got my telescope pointing towards the sky and well, even though there were no clouds, could hardly see any distant objects. Guess its the city pollution. After tens of minutes of rigorous sky searching, was able to see this. (check the image below)

Yup, just a tiny spec ! Rather a tiny dot. And oh yeah, thought I need to mention this here, that its not a star :D

Its the galaxy M-13, also known as NGC 6205. Read that again. It is not a star, but a Galaxy ! Compared to our own Milky Way galaxy, it is very small. M-13 has only 300,000 stars (thats 300 thousand.......and yes i said only) within it. Milky way has more than 100 Billion stars, so yeah hardly a comparison. But the wonder and excitement for me was to see what appears a tiny dot in the night sky, is actually a galaxy with about 300,000 stars inside it :). M-13 is 145 light years wide. So light takes about 145 years to travel from its one side to the other. And it is just 25,000 light years away from our Earth :D. So that image I just clicked of M-13 is of the light it emitted 25,000 years ago, which means how it looked that many years ago. And how it is right now, shall know after 25,000 years. ...... too complicated?? or interesting?? :) Universe is vast, can make one truly wonder !

So when we look at the sky everything that shines need not be a star or a planet. Who knows how far that object is, and how many magnificent worlds it has within it.

There was one more dot in the image attached, to the right of M-13, but was so faint that could not be captured with my camera. That too was a galaxy 'M-91', which is about 63 million light years away from Earth. So technically, if we could travel there right now and look back at earth, we would see the extinction of Dinosaurs !!!

No comments: