This galaxy pictured above is not “our” home; but, in many ways it is very similar to our real home, the Milky Way galaxy. This image was of a beautiful spiral galaxy called NGC 6744. Like our Milky Way galaxy, NGC 6744 has a prominent central region packed with old yellow stars. Parts of the dusty spiral arms contain sites of active, young blue star clusters. Our galaxy, like NGC 6744, is composed of billions and billions of stars and one of which is our sun that is central to the solar system which includes our home planet, Earth. Even then, our Milky Way galaxy is relatively isolated in a small “Local Group” of galaxies which are, in turn, a very small part of the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies and they, in turn, are a part of the edge of even still larger superclusters. Yikes! We are not at the center of anything! Sounds a bit over-spread doesn’t it?
It’s true. We seem to be a bit of an afterthought in this vast universe and yet we are still the only known beings in this universe who have tried for centuries and centuries to understand why and how it all exists!
Are we safer there than anywhere else? Yes! But there are many space conditions that are exceedingly dangerous to life on this planet. Even as our solar system orbits at a distance of 26,000 light-years from our galactic center there are imminent dangers from lethal radiation from a massive black hole, a plethora of supernova remnants, and gigantic massive stars that dwarf our sun. Even our own sun has the capacity to remove all of the air we breathe and water we need. Think of Mars?
It is the intent of our future blogs on this website to investigate the myriad of conditions that allow us to live and thrive on this beautiful tiny blue ball in space.
Does Someone really care for us that much?