Alien Sun, final (?) comment

By Phil Plait | June 29, 2007 7:46 am

I have been getting some interesting mail and comments about the Alien Sun issue. Several people are pointing out that I have been saying the Sun is native to the Milky Way, but I have no proof of that.

They’re right. I don’t. I’ve been a little sloppy in my terminology. The way I have been phrasing things makes it sound like the Sun was definitely formed in the Milky Way Galaxy, and we don’t know that for sure. What I should be saying is that we know it didn’t form in the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy. That much is positive.

But this isn’t the first galaxy the Milky Way has cannibalized. It’s not even the only one we’re eating right now! And over time, no doubt the Milky Way has eaten several other galaxies. The Milky Way has been around for at least ten billion years, long enough to ingest other galaxies and discard the evidence. If a dwarf galaxy happened to impact our own in the plane of the disk, it might be very hard to tell what stars were originally "ours" and which came from the interloper. And given that the Sun is only 4.6 billion years old, it’s possible that some of the gas from which it formed came from Out There.

So I cannot say for sure that the Sun was born in the Milky Way, or is made from 100% Milky Way parts. I don’t know if we could ever prove it… or not. Given our location, our orbit, and other factors, it seems likely the Sun has been here the whole time. But there is always room for doubt.

So let me be clear: the Sun is not from the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy the Milky Way is currently eating. We know that. And if I had to bet, I would put money on the Sun having lived its whole life here in the Milky Way. But I’ll try to be more judicious in my phrasing in the future.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Astronomy, Science

Comments (49)

  1. Roy Mengot

    If our sun did come from the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy, does that drive down land values in neighboring Milky Way star systems?

    Regards
    Roy Mengot

  2. It’s good to see that BA is still making vapid judgements that are not based upon “the study of observable phenomenon”… but rather subjective conjecture based upon assumptions pulled out of ones glut max.

    So now that you have determined the origins of our planet, I think someone should nominate you for some kind of “prize”. Since BA has been able to figure out something that NO OTHER science institute, PhD, or think tank could even touch.

    Bold proclamations from a person who thinks that anyone who begs to differ w/ “the astronomical community” is a “far right winger”.

    BA blog is full of non-science and politically idiotic diatribes plain and simple… and the fact that you got called out on making stupid planetary assumptions proves that you engage in this type of activity at least once every 3 months.

  3. I was going to post a lengthy reply to Mike J, but then I recognized who he is. Remember this little romp, BABloggees? I don’t feel too strongly about the need to reply. :-)

  4. MarshallDog

    Mike J said:

    “It’s good to see that BA is still making vapid judgements that are not based upon ‘the study of observable phenomenon’… but rather subjective conjecture based upon assumptions pulled out of ones glut max.”

    …except everything he said was based on “observable phenomenon” as you so eloquently call it, such as the sun’s orbit around the center of the Milky Way galaxy, it’s iron content compared to stars in the Sagitarius Dwarf…

    “So now that you have determined the origins of our planet…”

    I must have missed that post.

    “…I think someone should nominate you for some kind of ‘prize’. Since BA has been able to figure out something that NO OTHER science institute, PhD, or think tank could even touch.”

    Actually, “BA” used research other scientists have done that confirm the idea the sun is part of the Milky Way. So, what are you refering to?

    “Bold proclamations from a person who thinks that anyone who begs to differ w/ ‘the astronomical community’ is a ‘far right winger’.”

    No, I think what “BA” is really trying to say is anyone who claims the sun is part of a different galaxy is completely wrong. But seeing as how ‘far right wingers’ (and ‘far left wingers’ for that matter) are often irrationally wrong, I can see how you’d jump to that conclusion.

    “BA blog is full of non-science…”

    Prove it’s bad science and I’ll believe you. So will “BA” for that matter. I think these correction posts clearly show that “BA” is not afraid to fix errors in his posts or change his mind completely if someone proves he’s dead wrong. Which no one did, by the way.

    .”..and politically idiotic diatribes plain and simple…”

    What was so politcal about this issue?

    “…and the fact that you got called out on making stupid planetary assumptions proves that you engage in this type of activity at least once every 3 months.”

    Huh? What stupid planetary assumptions? Did the word “planet” even appear in any of these posts?

  5. MarshallDog

    Darn it! “BA” posted before I could finish. I was feeling spirited, so I decided to take him on. I was mostly curious how his mind turned this into a politcal issue. I should have remembered that whole “Eris” tiff.

  6. Phil… too bad you can’t figure out a way to ban the fool.

    I just want to know…. are we sure the sun is our sun? What if something comes and wants it back some day? :)

  7. DarkSapiens

    Hi, I think this is the first time I comment in this blog, but I’ve read it since long time ago. I love it.

    And back on the topic, I was going to say that if the Milky Way cannibalized other dwarf galaxies in the past, they are actually part of it now, so you could safely say that the Sun was born in the Milky Way to mean that it’s not from Sagittarius. If it formed from matter that came into the Milky Way some billion years ago, well, that’s now part of what we call “Milky Way”.

    I mean, our Milky Way is formed from parts of many different smaller galaxies and all stars in it will come from, or from matter from, one of those previously cannibalized ones, it has not much sense to call a group of them “originally be the Milky Way”, and the rest not. You can see it not as a main galaxy that cannibalizes other ones, but some galaxies that merge into a bigger one.

    I hope I stated my point clearly :-/

    Take care

  8. Stonez

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Phil is just as human as the rest of us and prone to the occasional mistake. At least he has the decency to admit when he’s made an error and go about correcting it in a sensible and educated manner. I also hope Phil doesn’t ban ‘the fool’. The whole point of this comment box is so people can (ahem)… comment on his blog, whether for good or bad.

  9. DrFlimmer

    “Phil… too bad you can’t figure out a way to ban the fool.”

    Sadly I’ve been blocked/baned by “this site” for some days now and I don’t know why. The reasons which are named for this ban (“malicious activity”, viruses,…) have not been found!

    But, well, interestingly that there are still people who thinks that this page is full of “non-science”… ok, “BA” sometimes talks about politics, himself,… but, well, it’s his page here and he can do and let be whatever he wants! And I think in most cases it is about science, even when it’s about politics bacause he talks about politics interferring with science.

  10. DrFlimmer

    Well, if the post above was not one of my best ;) … I regret it, but it was somehow a test if I am able to post here again. And it seems: I can! Now I’m happy, my life has a meaning again ;)

  11. I was going to say something only half-way irrelevant about the Milky Way getting the munchies too, but… XD

    I wonder where Mike J. got the ideas that this was political, or about planets? So far as I have seen, it’s the galaxies. Granted, certain celestial bodies might harbor planetary systems, but that was not the topic of discussion.

    There’s at least one in every crowd. ;-)

  12. Kevin, whether he is a fool or not, please avoid the ad hominems.

    Either way, he is most certainly wrong. :-)

  13. Hm… a couple of points;

    1) “conservatives” or especially “neocons” are not the only ones with goofy ideas about science. There’s lots of wierd stuff out on the far left too. They are, however, the ones in power/in the majority right now, trying to stuff their particular brand of goofiness down the throats of students.

    2) The temptation to “ban the fool” should be resisted. First, he only covers himself with patent idiocy every time he touches the keyboard, second if he were banned he would cry ‘censorship’ and third, banning him would deprive us of the comic relief factor.

    3) Unfortunately, science and politics are inextricably intertwined, especially right now. Every time a scientist opines about things political, commenting, for example, on the evidence for global warming, or whether stem cell research should be federally funded, it intertwines the two. The situation may be frustrating, but it is important for science to collectively lobby for evidence-based political decisions, rather than emotion-based ones. It is also important for science to reach out to “the people” including “the politicians” and open a dialog, since the government is the one entity with the deepest pockets for funding.

    4) I am ‘a conservative’ in a rather old-fashioned meaning of the word, but I do not take offense when someone ‘goes off’ on conservatives. I ‘go off’ on ‘the current crop of fascists who call themselves conservative’ frequently too.

  14. Daffy

    The BA posts a reasoned, apologetic clarification…and Mike J posts a childish rant in response. Take that for what you will about their respective political positions.

  15. Demented

    First time poster / relatively new reader.

    I have a question on the more scientific topic. I have read the comments on the first couple posts on the subject of the galaxy collision and no one has mentioned the first thing that came to my mind when seeing the pic and videos.

    I am not an astronomer in anyway, just a skeptic who is amazed by the universe and it’s wonders, so this may be obvious to the likes of the BA and other astronomers. Are we going to get pummelled? We are very close the where the dwarf appears to cross the MW (assumign the immage is correct). It was mentioned in an earlier coment that the timescale is so great that it wouldn’t happen in our lifetimes which make sense, but what are the odds that it wil hapen eventually? Call it a morbid curiousity ;)

    What a fireworks show that would be! ;)

  16. DarkSapiens

    @Demented:

    Well, actually, the distance between stars is so big compared to its size, that most of them pass between the colliding galaxy ones and the galaxies go through each other, like phantoms. But the gravitational interactions work affecting the trajectory of each star, causing the structure of the galaxies to stretch and contort, and the result can be the one you see in the images (the rests of the Sagittarius galaxies), or even more spectacular. You can see some simulations of colliding galaxies in the next link:

    http://www.galaxydynamics.org/

    But, responding to your question, the odds will be very low, I think. ;)

    Regards.

  17. DarkSapiens

    Argh, please replace the sentence in brackets in my comment with “the remains of Sagittarius galaxy”. Sorry :P

  18. I agree with DarkSapiens… the odds of us getting whacked with another object are very low. Space is mostly empty. The Saggitarius dwarf galaxy is being pulled to shreds because the MW galaxy has about 10,000 times more mass.

  19. MarshallDog

    Demented:

    Don’t worry… it looks like there’s a lot of stuff in a very small space, but in actuallity, the density of stars to space is very low. In fact, two galaxies can pass through one another without any “solid” objects like stars and planets hitting one another. When you think about it, stars are thousands of kilometers wide, but are seperated by light years (roughly 10 to the power of 13 kilometers).

    Here’s something you may find interesting… the Andromeda galaxy is potentially on a collision course with the Milky Way! If any humans are still around in a few billion years, they may witness the galaxies merge, but odds are pretty good that even with these giant galaxies “colliding” no stars will crash into one another.

  20. Demented

    Thank you all for your replies :) I guess it is easy to forget just how big space is. One should always remember the words of the late, great, Douglas Adams…

    “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

  21. DarkSapiens Says: “the distance between stars is so big compared to its size, that most of them pass between the colliding galaxy ones and the galaxies go through each other, like phantoms.”

    This is exactly the case. For a more down-to-Earth example, some of you might remember the discussion on vacuum a few months ago where I said the definition of “High Vacuum” is when the chance of a gas molecule running into another one as it transverses a chamber drops below 50-50. With a typical chamber size of 1 meter, that happens at a pressure of about 10^-7 Torr. At that pressure, though, there are still about 100 million molecules per cm^3, meaning that single molecule passes by about 10 billion other molecules on its way across the chamber, and the chances of colliding with one is only 50-50.

    I’m not sure what the relative density of stars is proportional to the distance between them, but I think space is considerably less dense than what I just described.

    - Jack

  22. Stark

    Demented – This same topic came up in a post from a month or so ago. I came up with some rough numbers on how vastly empty a galaxy really is. I’ll reproduce what I posted then as I can’t figure out how to link to specific comment:

    Take, for example, our Milky Way. A middle of the road estimate puts 100 billion stars in it – spread across a disc 100,000 lightyears in diamater and roughly 1000 lightyears thick. So we can do some back-o-the napkin number crunching and get some rough idea of stellar density in our galaxy.

    Volume of the galaxy : ~2.6 x10^51 Km3 (aka. REALLY BIG)
    Numbers o’ stars in the sky (ok, galaxy) ; ~100 billion.

    This gives us a star for around every 2.6X10^40 Km3. Ok, that’s a hard number to grasp so call it roughly a star for every 310 cubic lightyears or so. Still very hard to grasp isn’t it? Considering that an average star is all of 4.7 lightSECONDS in diameter…. well, you get the idea.

    So, if we scale stars to golf ball sizes you’d get 2 golf balls in a space several times larger than the diameter of the solar system. It is safe to say that the probability of stellar collisions in a galactic collison is very, very low.

  23. MichaelS

    To be pedantic, isn’t the title “Alien Sun” a bit off? It’s our star, so it really can’t be alien, unless we didn’t come from the same stuff the Sun did. Since that’s not the topic at hand, the question is really whether the Milky Way is an alien galaxy.

  24. Ban me? For saying that Phil needs to be called out more on his , how shall we call them , assumptions?!

    The fact is that Mr. BA himself has made several jaunts to other blogs in order to “chime in” on the web-discontenet of the day.. whether it be Eris and Dysnomia, or claiming to know the origins of our planetary system/sun … it would appear the BA finds himself correcting himself an awful lot.

    As for my “right wing” comment, it was a jab at phil for calling me right wing when I suggested that the naming of Eris was politically motiviated… (and I might add, I was proved correct by Mike Brown the discoverer of Eris in subsequent interviews ).

    Phil does guest spots on the FAR moonbat leftwing blog called Huffington Post, therefore making a reference to his political bias is something that he has opened himself up to by engaging in political forums. But I agree this is not about Phils left wing bias, this is about Phils tendency to make false assumptions, then make half corrections while still trying to save face— so everyone just doesnt say “this guy is pulling stuff out from who knows where, lets find another blog that is based on SCIENCE not personal conjecture”.

  25. miller

    MikeJ, Phil did not say he was going to ban you. Perhaps you would like to correct your claim?

  26. Elise

    I don’t get it. How are the people pushing this making any money off it? Is there a book deal I don’t know about?

  27. Skepterist

    To Jack and Stark: Can y’all combine your estimates into one analogy? In other words, if the stars were as small as a molecule (you didn’t say which molecule), how big would the chamber be if it were scaled to enclose the entire Milky Way? Or alternatively, how big would the stars be if the galaxy were scaled to fit inside an average 8′x10′ room? (say 8′ ceilings)

    Also, didn’t the space shuttle run some experiments where they dragged a shield behind the orbiter, and measured a vacuum of like 10^-13 Torr or something? I need to look that up…

    Seems the odds of us hitting or being hit by another star moving thru our section of the milky way would be on the order of millions to one… but I’m not a statistician.

    B-)

  28. Well, in response to this:

    “It would appear the BA finds himself correcting himself an awful lot.”

    Well, it depends on what you mean by “an awful lot”. When I make a mistake, I do admit it, and try to correct it. That’s how you know for a fact I’m not a right-wing ideologue. But I take exception that I need to do it a lot.

    And you might want to look at the polls, since most of the people at HuffPo represent 60-70% of mainstream America on most of the big issues these days. Of course, Deepak Chopra and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. post there too, and their words could be used as fertilizer. But they’re the exception.

    But if the best you can do is tell me that I have to make the occasional correction, then you maybe don’t understand how science works.

  29. Oh, I forgot to add– do you have citations for the interviews with Mike Brown which confirmed what you wrote?

  30. Walabio

    It seem that Mike Janitch is a rightwingnut and that Phil Plait is a good scientist, rarely making errors, but with the intellectual honesty to admit them and correct them publicly without embarressment.

  31. CR

    Not only did Phil NOT say he would ban Mike J, but there were a few posts from other commenters reminding the rest of the blog that banning (a) likely would not happen and (b) wasn’t the best course of action. So why is anyone still focusing on that non-issue?

  32. CR

    And for all the criticism Phil receives about ‘politicising’ his own blog by (GASP) voicing political opinions, this particular galactic ‘canibalism’ series has avoided becoming a political rant. Until now, when it went off-topic. (The topic was galactic canibalism, alien sun, all that science-y stuff, remember? I’m not saying we should nor shouldn’t discuss other stuff, but it’s interesting that the topic hadn’t been derailed into political back-and-forth ranting until Mike J’s post near the top which basically hammered Phil, and everyone started responding to it.)

    Oh, well. Interesting galaxy stuff so far. The Sag D debunking was thought provoking, but so have most of the responses and corrections. Looking forward to reading more.

  33. unknownkadath

    In Soviet Russia, Milky Way eats YOU!

  34. Skepterist Says: “Can y’all combine your estimates into one analogy? In other words, if the stars were as small as a molecule (you didn’t say which molecule), how big would the chamber be if it were scaled to enclose the entire Milky Way? Or alternatively, how big would the stars be if the galaxy were scaled to fit inside an average 8′x10′ room? (say 8′ ceilings)”

    Hmm, why don’t we figure it with relative center-to-center distances relative to the size of the objects. That’s a little cleaner than trying to imagine the galaxy crammed into a standard room.

    First, I didn’t say which molecule because there’s lots of different gasses you could be pumping, but let’s use air, which is mostly nitrogen. A nitrogen molecule is roughly 200 picometers in diameter (it’s actually ovoid with a long axis of about 250 pm) or 2×10^-10 meters.

    There are one million cubic centimeters in a 1 meter chamber, so with 100 million molecules/cc, that’s 10^14 molecules/cubic meter. Inverting that means each molecule takes up 10^-14 cubic meters. The center-to-center distance would be the cube root of that, or 2.2×10^-5 meters. As a ratio to the nitrogen molecules diameter, that’s 1.1×10^5 diameters apart.

    Doing the same thing for Stark’s estimate of the galaxy, he says there is an average of one star for every 310 cubic LY, meaning a center-to-center distance of 6.8 LY. This is 2.1×10^8 Light-seconds. With the average star 4.7 L-sec across in his example, that means the average spacing is 4.6×10^7 stellar diameters.

    It’s crude, but that shows that the average spacing of stars in the galaxy is more than two orders of magnitude further apart than molecules in a high vac chamber. Space, therefore, is some 425 times more “empty” than the best industrial vacuum commonly used.

    - Jack

  35. Dear Mike J.,

    Jerfaloo snub carbo. Chicky-poo flipp flipp calamaloo. Ig-jiggy freedo, ap dolisty comobooboohead.

    Also: sneeceejee.

    And that’s all I have to say about that!

  36. Stuart

    Paul: I couldn’t agree more.

    However, you neglected to mention that snigloop upjuk incombobulis lololactasee.

    Furthermore, new did eht enasni nrel ot esu sretupmoc.

    Mike J, you’re quite ungrateful. When are you going to thank Dr Plait for upping your hitcount well into the double figures?

  37. El Cid

    Unfortunately this story has been treated in many countries as a real science story. Colombian daily “El Espectador” had it on its front page as a “scientists discover” story.

    (The website is down at the moment, so I’ll try to link later.)

  38. Stuart,

    I don’t think Mike will take the hint, but I do agree whole-heartedly.
    -Paul

  39. The Bad Astronomer
    Says:

    June 29th, 2007 at 3:58 pm
    Oh, I forgot to add– do you have citations for the interviews with Mike Brown which confirmed what you wrote?
    —————————

    Better than an article, it was on VIDEO!

    You can catch a re-airing of the show on the “science” channel. The show was “voyage to the planets: Pluto and beyond”. Just on last week again.

    Mike Brown comments on the “political” contraversy, and how the names “resonate” with current geo-political happenings.

    Its also basically what Mike Brown said in YOUR OWN interview done w/ him months ago… where Mr. Brown said “he could understand” how [the names Eris and Dysnomia] could be seen in a political light.

    But you had already smeared me with the broad brush of “right winger” .. even thought I’m a registered independent who voted for Harry Brown in 2000, and Kerry in 2004…

    All for what?! Because I said the naming of Eris and Dysnomia (on 9/11 no less) was a double-speak naming event aimed also at current world events.. and to think I was right and you never retracted.

    So please forgive me for jumping on you when you issue a “correction” when making one of your famous “false assumptions” … that I might add are NOT based upon science.

    Science is the study of observable phenomenon.

    Guesstimations using parralax geometry and making the bold claim that YOU (phil the BA) know for certain where our sun comes from (or certain where it did NOT come from) fits perfectly in line with your other vapid “scientific” observations.

    Finally, if you really believe that Huffington Post represents 70% of the population of the USA, either you don’t get out much, or your statistics are just as bad as your “assumptions”.

  40. Damian

    @Jack Hagerty: can I quote your analysis on my LJ? I think it’s really mind-expanding!

  41. Damian

    ETA: http:/ /mrteufel.livejournal.com/

  42. Damian Says: “Jack Hagerty: can I quote your analysis on my LJ? I think it’s really mind-expanding!”

    Help yourself. Everything I post here is for public consumption. Just remember it’s not peer reviewed :-)

    - Jack

    PS – A credit would be nice when you post it somewhere…

  43. MIchael Sutherland

    What you you tell us about how we ‘know’ the sun didn’t form in Sag. Dwarf galaxy?

    Is is true that our solar system is in the intersection between the milky way and Sag Dwarf?

    Is it true that our solar system’s angle of momentem is lined up with the smaller, intersecting galaxy? Could/would a passing ‘rain’ of transient stars torque us about to line up with it, rather than our supposed parent, the milky way?

    Thanks for your insight…

  44. Thanks, and credited.

  45. @Mike J:

    I’ll leave the political parts alone, but I have to point something out. In your last comment, you said:

    Mike Brown comments on the “political” contraversy, and how the names “resonate” with current geo-political happenings.

    Its also basically what Mike Brown said in YOUR OWN interview done w/ him months ago… where Mr. Brown said “he could understand” how [the names Eris and Dysnomia] could be seen in a political light. [emphasis mine]

    By your own words, and Mike Browns’, it seems that what you are asserting doesn’t fly. As Phil pointed out in his first post, Mike Brown points to the astronomy community for the source of the names. Mike Brown saying it “resonates” with and you saying it “could” be political does not mean it is. It only says that you are looking for reasons to make it that way.

  46. Irishman

    MIchael Sutherland said:
    > Is is true that our solar system is in the intersection between the milky way and Sag Dwarf?

    No. The Solar System is near the Sag Dwarf intersection with the Milky Way, but not in the stream.

    > Is it true that our solar system’s angle of momentem is lined up with the smaller, intersecting galaxy?

    No. The Solar System is tilted at an angle to the plane of the Milky Way, but it does not align with the plane of the Sag Dwarf.

    > Could/would a passing ‘rain’ of transient stars torque us about to line up with it, rather than our supposed parent, the milky way?

    No. For stars to have had that kind of effect, to change the orientation of the Solar System, it would have dramatically affected the orbital paths. The Solar System would not be coplanar, but erratic.

    Mike J, you seem to be overreaching. To say that he can understand how one might see the names in a political light is a far cry from stating that he intentionally suggested those names as a political statement, which was your original assertion. You have yet to provide evidence to that conjecture.

    Regarding Phil’s comments on the origins of the Solar System, his original response was in relation to the proposal that the Solar System originated in the Sag Dwarf galaxy and was being captured by the Milky Way. His response in light of that proposal was to say it was not consistent with the evidence, and to point out how the proposal was erroneous. In the process of examining that claim, he did go on to state that the Solar System originated in the Milky Way, which in retrospect he clarified was a bit extreme given that the Milky Way has been absorbing smaller galaxies over time, and it is conceivable that it could have in the distant past absorbed a different galaxy that was the original source for the Solar System. However, the timescale for that was significantly far enough back that it wouldn’t mean a hill of beans to us. Also, there’s no evidence to support that notion, so it’s idle speculation with no means for verification one way or another. And most importantly, it does not negate his point that the Sag Dwarf origin proposal is still wrong.

    In light of that, it does not appear that you have anything meaningful to contribute, and are just here to whine about your beef with Phil.

  47. tom

    not so fast is it true massive objects tend to be abstracted to one another so how close do the have to get to before they will meat in the middle

    lets not forget what one super nova can do if it were inside our galaxy and what would be the effect of 2 stars colliding probably not to bad but the increased gravity and disturbed orbits make a chain reaction we could get an orbiting black hole that swallows everything in its path that would be bad

    1 billion stars the suns gravity extends 2 LIGHT YEARS

    https://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=129503

    Sso what are the odds if the when the adramda galaxy collides

    no for a dwarf galaxy well do we know our own place with enough precision to know that is what galley we really from to answer that what center are rotating around and can we be sure that has not changed in the recent time that is the question now the movement si very slow so how long have we been observing this and how far have we traveled can we see what our wobble is do we know if our orbit is at all perturbed i do not think we have been watching long enough and may also lack the right equipment to detect that bad astronomy at its finest here try to discredit somebody using proof you know you do not have

    wait a minute that is bad science not just bad astronomy

  48. tom

    some body went though lot math and effort to come up to that figure i believe it is relevant cause a object at high speed gains allot of mass a star already has that mass and one big object pull is gonna be greater on a another big object than a much smaller object

  49. tom

    what if the ecliptic was moving very slowly

    because of very strong but distant gravitational force yes it would effect the orbits of our planets and as such they not perfect circles now the effect is because the planets will not all be effected exactly by the same amount as some are father away than others and some are larger than others and lets not forget about small amount of distance the travel as they orbit as we get closer to the source the difference in gravitational pull from one side of the sun and the other side will increases as we get closer to this source the source i would assume is the black hole in the center of the milky way

    we use earth’s magnetic field to move our satellites orientation this effect is not strong enough to pull a satellite down or slow it down by any detectable amount earth’s magnetic field does prudence eddy currents and that does slow satellites down a bit not much though and that has nothing to do with gravity but lets remember that as the planets orbit our sun they get pulled away from our sun a bit and closer depending on the position of the sun in respect to the milky way black hole and that our past position may have lined up with the ecliptic of the milky

    and their could be a line comic line in the sand where energy levels raise and we could be crossing it this line would be hard to see it would be like trying to spot a laser with out seeing it hit something nor seeing its source as this is filed of energy not a concentrated source it could also be compared trying to see the static field on your screen if you touch it you can feel it as it has a direct effect on you how do you measures it with out touching it with an instrument or watching the dust collect on the surface yet where is the surface of a Galaxy not to mention how long it takes for dust to collect on this scale

    look at we know and what we can detect not saying i have an opinion one way or the other here but before we call something fact lets ask what we no to prove that fact if you can not prove the that a contradictory statement is false in comparison to current belief then current belief is not fact it is theory just like the contradictory statement made about the segway galaxy being our home before either one of these beliefs could become fact one of them must be disproven so lets disprove on of them but when you find allot of evidence to support the opposite of your beliefs it maybe time to change your beliefs not to dismiss it and forget it and a good scientist will look for evidence to prove him wrong and with the lack of such creditable evidence and creditable evidence that proves him right he will then try to declare a fact

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