Fairly easy question. Appears to be some conflicting data out there. But as always, it’s necessary to ask the right question. So is my question: Are the stars we see dead? Or is my question: Are we looking at a star’s past when we search the skies for answers? Here’s what I found.
The stars that we see are close, relatively close with regards to the vastness of our universe. Now, a curve, all the stars we see are larger and more luminous than our sun. The farther the stars—the smaller and dimmer they are, of course. So, in reality, how close is close? At 60 light years away the sun would be invisible.
At great distances, only the brightest stars can to be seen by the naked eye like Rho Cassiopeiae, which is about 8,200 light years away. The number of the biggest and brightest stars that we see is only about 24 total stars.
Which Brings Me To
We don’t see millions of stars. One source said we see 2,000 to 2,500 stars. Another source put the number at about 6,000. Regardless, that is far less than millions. I prefer to say I see millions or even billions. But then, I’m an individual who writes Science Fiction novels.
Stars are born. They live and they die. They are like us in that way. Very poetic, I think.
But they live much, much longer than we earthlings do. So it is highly unlikely that any of the stars we see are dead
But! And this is really, really intriguing
When we look up into that vastness, we see our stars the way they were…once upon a time. Because, though the speed of light is fast, at great distances its speed is not instantaneous. So the search upon which we embark when we look to the stars is a voyage into their past.
A Bit of Poetry
Science Fiction #1—
Time travelers we are all. Move over Dr. Who.
Science Fiction #2—
As a writer of Science Fiction—though I now know the reality, thanks to Astronomers Phil Plait and Larry Sessions, and Wikipedia—I will probably still say, for the sake of the poetry of the language—the stars we see are ghosts.
The Probe’s Mission Statement
The Probe is a blog devoted to the exploration of the unexplainable, to finding the truth in occurrences that resemble science fiction, and to researching and reporting on topics that could be flung upon the wall of weird. New posts are featured every week.
As previously reported, I’m currently revising Books 1 and 2 of my young adult series THE OTHER KIND. Book 1 will be released in February with Book 2 close behind. Fingers crossed. Also, I’m venturing into a new genre as well. I say this in case I’m late on my blog or miss a week. I hope you’ll forgive my tardiness/lateness. I’m not lazy. Or forgetful. Or giving up. Or minus my Muse. It’s just my editor, the awesome Jaime Rasplicka, pushed up my deadline a week on Book 2. Yikes! Wish me luck.
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