Saturday, December 24, 2011

Over the World a Star

"We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south,
probably in polar orbit....Looks like he might be going
to re-enter soon....I see a command module and eight smaller 
modules in front.The pilot of the command
module is wearing a red suit."

"Stand by. He's trying to signal something."

-- Command Pilot Wally Schirra
Gemini VI
December 1965

The trajectory of the spacecraft traces the number six
on the mission's official patch
The brightest stars in the constellation Gemini 
Castor and Pollux appear inside the capsule.

When you find Gemini in the night sky, 
the direction you are looking in is 
towards the outside of our galaxy.

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains about 500 billion stars, according to 
the Khan Academy video above.

Andromeda, the galaxy nearest to us, (above) 
is 2.5 million light years away.
It may contain one trillion stars.

There are about 500 billion galaxies

The universe, as we know it today,
has a diameter of 26 billion light years.

If you do the math, 
this is a whole lot of zeros
that add up to something.

O, Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining.