Monday, January 13, 2014
astro picture for the day
The two bright stars are Alpha and Beta Centauri; the circled star is Proxima centuari; this is the closest star system to our own.
Pluto is between almost thirty and fifty a.u.s out. Astronomical distance is the earth/sun distance. The alpha centuari star system is almost three hundred thousand a.u.s out.(it's approximately 271,000 a.u out)
If a mile corresponds to an a.u., then alpha centauri would be the equivalent of a little further than Earth/Moon distance. This is of course just one star(really two star systems).
One could further try to comprehend the size of the galaxy; according to our size standards of a mile equivalent to an a.u. The Milky Way is approximately a hundred thousand light years across, which is 6,320,400,000AUs across. What would be six billion miles out? Pluto gets to seven billion miles away. So the Milky way would be the equivalent of the distance of the earth pluto distance.
If you look at a diagram to scale of our solar system, you can't really find the Earth/Moon distance without really looking. And note, that we're talking about the distance between our solar system and the nearest Star system, Alpha Centauri, not the planets in our solar system.