1060-hour exposure of the Large Magellenic Cloud

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/15/1060-hour-exposure-of-the-larg.html


Ooooh, pretty. :slight_smile:


I knew it! Fairies!




I tried flying to the LMC in Elite Dangerous. Took me about a week to figure out it’s not a nebula and outside the galaxy.


Don’t bother. Nobody even lives there.


What part of this is the LMC and what parts are closer objects that happened to be in the way?


Quick, run it through Perl.


A common mistake…

1 Like

It would be helpful to have a banana in the photo for scale.

Oh wait . . . I think I see it . . .


Funny u say that. Last week I was wondering if there was a way to suggest scale in the black hole image. These things are so incomprehensibly vast that it’s almost insulting to see it in its entirety. Even if there’s just one pixel that says ‘this pixel is 60000x larger than our sun’ or something.

I’m not sure, even if I was told that each pixel represents 60,000 of our suns, that I have the RAM in my skull to process that sort of relative scale calculation in any meaningful way. CPU overrun. Damned big, and then some, to the one trillionth factor.

1 Like

To some, that might be the attraction. :slight_smile:

Loaded with interstellar dust bunnies!

The usual indicator of scale is a football field, Wales, or France.
I have a sneaky suspicion that all of those would prove to be rather inadequate…

I believe it was stated that the diameter of the event horizon was roughly the size of our solar system. So there’s that. That’s titanic, but probably not much help for anyone but an astronomer.

Consider this gem from Terence McKenna:
[Reality] can’t be understood. It is a receding mystery. It cannot be brought under the aegis of rational apprehension. It says in Moby Dick , “reality outran apprehension.” It always outruns apprehension, because apprehension is the primitive functioning of the primate neural network. You do not measure the depth of the universal mystery with the neural network of a primate. Our role is not to understand but to appreciate. We have an immense capacity for resonance with beauty, for aesthetic awareness, appreciation of form, and appreciation of how things go together.


But New York and the Interstellar Master Traders might have reached there by now.

1 Like

XKCD to the rescue!


Posted previously, seems appropriate:
"The Total Perspective Vortex is the most savage psychic torture a sentient being can undergo.

When you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says " You are here "

The Total Perspective Vortex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses. Since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation – every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake.

The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically in order to annoy his wife.

Trin Tragula – for that was his name – was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. She would nag him incessantly about the utterly inordinate amount of time he spent staring out into space, or mulling over the mechanics of safety pins, or doing spectrographic analyses of pieces of fairy cake.

“Have some sense of proportion!” she would say, sometimes as often as thirty-eight times in a single day.

And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex, just to show her.

Into one end he plugged the whole of reality as extrapolated from a piece of fairy cake, and into the other end he plugged his wife: so that when he turned it on she saw in one instant the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it.

To Trin Tragula’s horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain; but to his satisfaction he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot have is a sense of proportion."

Zaphod’s reaction after being put in the vortex:

" Scene 8. Int. Frogstar

[The Vortex door opens]


Beeblebrox! You’re…!

Fine, fine. Could I have a drink please?

You’ve been in the Vortex?!

You saw me kid.

And you saw the whole infinity of creation?!

The lot baby - it’s a real neat place you know, heh-heh.

And you saw yourself in relation to it all?!

Yah, yeah, yeah.

And what did you experience?!

It just told me what I knew all the time: I’m a really great guy! Didn’t I tell ya baby, I am Zaphod Beeblebrox!!

Scene 9. Int. Frogstar

Hey man, is that a piece of fairy cake? My stomach’s just completely out to lunch. Mmmm. Yeah. Mmm…"



This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.