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jspets
i would really like to know what is further than our galaxy. i wish we could see further into the universe so we could find out if there are aliens. i think we need to send a group o people on a long space mission lasting 6 years so they can find out what happens in space and so we can hopefully develop some new technologies
Bikerman
jspets wrote:
i would really like to know what is further than our galaxy. i wish we could see further into the universe so we could find out if there are aliens. i think we need to send a group o people on a long space mission lasting 6 years so they can find out what happens in space and so we can hopefully develop some new technologies
We can, of course, see further into space than our own Milky-Way galaxy. The Hubble 'deep field' view is a stunning example of this:
http://www.floridamuseum.org/downloads/1HubbleDeepField.jpg

The problem is that at these distances there is no current technology to detect alien presence (nor is any such technology likely in the near or middle future).
ocalhoun
jspets wrote:
i would really like to know what is further than our galaxy. i wish we could see further into the universe so we could find out if there are aliens.

Look into the SETI program... I think you'll enjoy it.
Quote:

i think we need to send a group o people on a long space mission lasting 6 years so they can find out what happens in space and so we can hopefully develop some new technologies

Unlikely... It would be far too expensive to launch people (and supplies to last them 6 years: a lot of stuff!) into space. Even just into orbit would be extremely expensive, further would be worse. Robotic probes are the way to go. I can only think of two reasons to send humans on long-distance space flights:
1: Prestige, to show that we can.
2: If alien life actually was discovered.
_AVG_
Even I want to know what is further than our galaxy etc. etc.
BUT
I don't think we have enough technology to actually detect what is happening in the outer depths of the universe. So far, our radio waves have only been able to reach 100 million light years outside our solar system (I think - I'm unsure of the exact figure Rolling Eyes ) It may sound big but it is nothing in the expanse of the universe which is about billions of light years wide and continuously expanding.
Another thing, the stars that we may see with even the latest of telescopes and technology are millions of years out of date (as they are millions of light years away).
So, I think that we have a long way to go before actually being conclusive about aliens and other possible phenomena that could exist.

I know I may seem a bit pessimistic in this post but it's the truth.
_AVG_
Even I want to know what is further than our galaxy etc. etc.
BUT
I don't think we have enough technology to actually detect what is happening in the outer depths of the universe. So far, our radio waves have only been able to reach 100 million light years outside our solar system (I think - I'm unsure of the exact figure Rolling Eyes ) It may sound big but it is nothing in the expanse of the universe which is about billions of light years wide and continuously expanding.
Another thing, the stars that we may see with even the latest of telescopes and technology are millions of years out of date (as they are millions of light years away).
So, I think that we have a long way to go before actually being conclusive about aliens and other possible phenomena that could exist.

I know - I've been really pessimistic in this post.
ocalhoun
_AVG_ wrote:
Even I want to know what is further than our galaxy etc. etc.

Believe me, there's plenty of looking left to do in our galaxy...
Its like you're planning a trip to Sirius before you've ever made it into orbit.
Quote:

I don't think we have enough technology to actually detect what is happening in the outer depths of the universe. So far, our radio waves have only been able to reach 100 million light years outside our solar system (I think - I'm unsure of the exact figure Rolling Eyes )

Try this:
# of years it has been since radios were transmitting = # of light years they have spread.
You see, they travel at the speed of light, so 1 year of transmission = 1 light year of travel.
(This is, of course, assuming that the questions as to whether the transmissions can actually be discerned at all very far away are pointless... Once you have light years of attenuating distance, the radio waves could easily be overwhelmed by background noise, especially since they are nearly random to start with.)
Quote:
the universe which is about billions of light years wide and continuously expanding.

Which brings up another depressing point concerning your expanding influence of radio waves...
Some distant parts of the universe are expanding away from us at (apparently) faster than the speed of light... Its very probable that our radio waves would never reach some of those places no matter how long ago we transmitted them.
Gagnar The Unruly
We've seen billions of light years away, actually (the distance record is a quasar at 28 billion light years, I believe). That puts our vision well outside our own galaxy, as the link Bikerman has posted would show you, if you bother to look. In fact, depending on where you live you can see outside our galaxy with your naked eye. The Andromeda galaxy is readily visible on a clear night, and is about 2.5 million light years away.

Also, unless faster-than-light space travel is possible, it may not matter that the stars we see are 'old.' This is because we probably won't ever have contact with denizens of those star systems before we could 'see' them at their home systems.
Bikerman
Personally I like the idea that I exists only in a sphere of radius 47 light years - outside that there is no causal link and, to all intents and purposes, I don't exist. This also leads to a nice corollary - I can pick a star 47 light years distant and call it my 'birth star'. For this year I have chosen Theta Boötis which is 47.7 light years from our Sun. Each year, of course, you get to pick a new birth star (once you get past 4 years old) and as you get older the choice gets wider Smile
crazygriffin
Shocked hahaha, we've seen heaps far into space, but we dont actuall y have to look far past the galaxy, there is plenty in our own solar system to be searching for possble or past life on each planet (mars for etc.), we shouldnt be focusing our attention to something that will take us decades longer to look for, so stick to whats around you until further technology has been discovered.
ocalhoun
crazygriffin wrote:
Shocked hahaha, we've seen heaps far into space, but we dont actuall y have to look far past the galaxy, there is plenty in our own solar system to be searching for possble or past life on each planet (mars for etc.), we shouldnt be focusing our attention to something that will take us decades longer to look for, so stick to whats around you until further technology has been discovered.

Well, I think we can be reasonably sure that there is no intelligent, technologically advanced alien civilization in our own solar system, unless it is much more advanced than us and intent on staying hidden, in which case our search would probably still be fruitless anyway.
Finding non-intelligent life elsewhere would be interesting and informative, and give us a much better idea of how likely it is for there to be other intelligent life around, but it wouldn't really change much.
Establishing communications contact with an intelligent species from a distant star though... That could change the world drastically. Even if the limit of our contact is a message and a reply every couple of decades (still optimistic, really), it could have sweeping consequences for many aspects of our lives. Technology might begin to change extremely quickly with the input of new ideas, and even just the knowledge that they are out there would change the way many see the world.
Bikerman wrote:
Personally I like the idea that I exists only in a sphere of radius 47 light years - outside that there is no causal link and, to all intents and purposes, I don't exist. This also leads to a nice corollary - I can pick a star 47 light years distant and call it my 'birth star'. For this year I have chosen Theta Boötis which is 47.7 light years from our Sun. Each year, of course, you get to pick a new birth star (once you get past 4 years old) and as you get older the choice gets wider Smile

An interesting concept... No causal link is possible beyond that radius, but is a causal link possible within all parts of that radius?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Personally I like the idea that I exists only in a sphere of radius 47 light years - outside that there is no causal link and, to all intents and purposes, I don't exist. This also leads to a nice corollary - I can pick a star 47 light years distant and call it my 'birth star'. For this year I have chosen Theta Boötis which is 47.7 light years from our Sun. Each year, of course, you get to pick a new birth star (once you get past 4 years old) and as you get older the choice gets wider Smile

An interesting concept... No causal link is possible beyond that radius, but is a causal link possible within all parts of that radius?
No, the important point is that if I regard myself as being at the centre then there is a causal link between every 'point' in the sphere and me. Obviously there are other causal links between different points in the sphere (anything in a 47 light year sphere is in causal contact with anything else). That sphere, however, represents my existence in spacetime. For anyone outside the sphere I do not exist.
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