Jason Guenzel on Instagram: "ARP271 - An Interacting Galaxy Pair
  • 3y
    parent [-]
    it's absolutely incredible to try to comprehend the sheer scale of what we are witnessing here.

    think of our own solar system. just reaching any planet outside of the asteroid belt has taken our various spacecraft YEARS of travel.

    reaching the CLOSEST star system to us would take well over 10,000 years with some of the best technology we have currently. 10,000 years of travel, the entirety of organized human society's history, to reach just the next star system.

    now consider that what you're seeing here is several hundred BILLION stars, and about half as many planets.

    also, what you are seeing here is, if i remember correctly, several hundred million light years away. the dance of these behemoths we are observing now ended a long, long, long time ago.


    we can observe the entirety of these imperceptibly massive objects, and just from a pure probability perspective there is certainly life (intelligent though? who knows, and even if it does occur in either of these galaxies, the chances of it existing at the same time we observe it's galaxy could be extremely low), who will never realize they are being observed.

    after all, even if some conscious entity in either of these galaxies possessed the technology to observe earth, the earth they would currently see earth as it was during the jurassic period. or earlier. it will be another few hundred million years before they could even see the extinction event which enabled mammals to thrive, and afterwards tens of millions until they could even see the first mammals which resemble humans in anyway.

    the scale of the universe is fucking incredible. with the current limits imposed by physics, assuming the acceleration of the universe stays somewhat constant, we will never, and CAN NEVER, travel outside of our local galactic cluster at best. while in 150 million years any entities in these galaxies could observe the rise of humans, interaction is literally mathematically impossible through anything short of particles which move at light speed.

    an this is just the OBSERVABLE universe. outside of our 14 billion lightyear radius that we can perceive as 'the universe', we literally CANNOT know what exists, or what the TRUE scale of the 'universe is'.

    space is fucking crazy