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July 18, 2007

Comments

James

I rather can if I equate it to the delay in sound reaching my ears compared to seeing a ball struck by a batter.

However, the vast distances are beyond any scale with which any human is familiar. That said, I think we naturally we understand the universe in orders of magnitude (logarithmically) rather than in linear terms.

If that all sounds too highfalutin, just watch this video instead:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCfDRvDWid0

Elisson

Having taken astrophysics in college, I have no problem dealing with concepts like light-years and interstellar distances.

Where things really get nutty is with objects like neutron stars (i.e., pulsars) and black holes. Something so dense that even light can't escape it, packing the mass of an entire star into a volume smaller than an atom...now, that's a real leap of imagination.

Karen

Cue Charlie Brown's teacher's voice: "Bwa-bwa-bwah, bwa-bwa-bwa-bwa-bwah." Sorry, it just does not compute.

The Simpsons, on the other hand, I GET. Thanks for the link, and the laugh. :-)

Karan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_monanthum

Allium monanthum

Allium monanthum is a small wild onion found in the woodlands of Korea. It is also known as Korean Wild Chive. The plant is used in traditional Korean herbal cooking alongside other wild "mountain vegetables" such as chwinamul, doraji (also called Chinese bellflower), and deodeok.

I get light years...was a astronomer technician in a former life....just think of them as distance measured in time. What I don't get is how to make plants stay alive.

Karen

I don't get light years AND I kill all plants. Sigh.

Liz

I'm thinking about what Elisson said. If light can't escape a neutron star or a black hole, can light penetrate it? But no, I can't completely get the light year thing, but I have a feeling for it when I see sunrays streaming through the trees. If you look hard, it looks like it's variable and constantly changing. That is how I imagine light years.

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