Thursday, October 15, 2009

Light years

Assalamualaikum w.r.t.

Quite a while I have not posted anything in the blog. Went to PTS raya gathering this afternoon (15/10/2009), and got a dose of adrenalin to write something. I have hyperlinked the blog to 'NASA Image of the Day' and today's image, taken from NASA's Swift satellite, is of a galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, which is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way.

This image of M31 merges 330 individual images taken by Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope showing a region 200,000 light-years wide and 100,000 light-years high (100 arcminutes by 50 arcminutes).

A light year is the distance of light travelling in a year. The speed of light travelling in a vacuum is 299,792,458 metres per second or approximately 300,000 km per second or 1,080,000,000km per hour.

The Andromeda galaxy is 2,500,000 light years from our milky way, so getting there has a lot of zeros in the kilometer. That is only getting there, to tour the galaxy from left to right, top to bottom, masyaAllah, it is quite mind boggling. Compare it with distances that we are familiar with like from KL to JB about 400km, KL to KB about 600km. Phew... not comparable. All I can say is, subhanallah wallahu akbar.