astronomy

When you wish upon a star

THAT STAR IS NOT DEAD. 

Im sure you’ve seen the post or heard the quote “when you wish upon a star, technically that star is a million light years away and it’s already dead, just like your dreams”

This is false. That star is not dead, it is not millions of light years away! the Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across, so the oldest light reaching us from a star in our galaxy would be less than 100,000 years old (because we aren’t on the very edge). Stars live for millions and billions of years! Sure that supernova we viewed from another galaxy is from a star that had been dead for ages, but the stars you see at night are much closer and very much still burning brightly! 

The light you are seeing of a star is old, but the star itself is not dead and neither are your dreams! 

-this has been a slightly uplifting rant by janestreetdog (who is peeved by this misconception) 

Darkness Descending

Saturn’s unusual appearance in this picture is a result of the planet being imaged via an infrared filter. This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from less than one degree from the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 25, 2015 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 890 nanometers.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute