Q & BA Episode 3: The Farthest Star

Contributed by
Feb 18, 2007

When you look up at the sky at night, the velvet vault seems peppered with thousands of stars. But how much of the Galaxy are we really seeing? Just how far away is the farthest star you can see? What about the farthest object?

Q & BA Episode 3: "The Farthest Star" is now online. Here are your viewing options:

  • Watch it here as an embedded YouTube video. (Note: I originally had this as a Gooogle video, but the audio and video weren't synched for some reason. In the file I uploaded they were fine. I tried to re-upload a different file, and the same thing happened, so I have replaced the Google embed with the YouTube one). [Later note: I uploaded a new video to Google and it's fine now. There is a link to it below].

  • Go to Google video to watch it (note: updated with a new version where the audio and video match)
  • Go to YouTube (Another note: It took YouTube over 12 hours to get the video processed, and that was only after I had to upload it twice! YouTube is teh suck.
  • LibSyn (video)
  • LibSyn (audio)

I am also trying something new. The ITPC protocol supposedly lets you automatically subscribe to a podcast via iTunes. Here is that link. It worked for me when I tried it, but your

mileage kilometerage may vary. If you click on it, tell me in the comments what happened. Unless your machine melts. Then it's Apple's fault.

Show notes

The question asked was, "How much of the Milky Way Galaxy do we see with the naked eye?", asked by Richard Saunders. Full disclosure: Richard is a dear friend, but his question was so good I decided to use it despite any possible accusations of cronyism.

For more info about stars, get yerself over to Jim Kaler's site. He's one of the nicest guys in astronomy, and his site is pretty cool.

Image pedigrees:

Deneb and Mu Cephei from Davide De Martin's Sky Factory

Small star next to Sun: NASA/Walt Feimer

Star sizes (for giants): Wikipedia

Keck Observatory: JPL/NASA

GRB 990123: NASA/STScI/Andy Fruchter

M81: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Jupiter orbit: I did that one myself, using The Sky planetarium software.

Orion/Rigel: I had that image lying around at work for an educational activity we developed, and I had permission from the photographer, but danged if I can find it now. Pretty though, isn't it?

Minties: the best

candy lolly in the whole wide world. Yummy. Those are courtesy of many Aussie friends who keep me supplied. Thanks!

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