Thursday, 3 October 2013

Birthday

Can you believe it... another orbit has passed with Furtheron sat on this lump of rock going around a small star in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way.  A year - is is funny that we get preoccupied with this stuff isn't it, we divide up things into seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, years.  All of these are just to a point arbitary constructs we use to make sense of our planet and it's place in the cosmos if you think about it.  A day is only a day and a year only a year because of where we are in the solar system.  Anyhoo I've managed to sit here on the planet we call home for 51 of these orbits around the sun.

Now if you want to really feel inconsequential in the scheme of things consider this.  The solar system is gracefully swinging around the centre of the galaxy at around about 514,000mph (puts any land speed record into context doesn't it!).  To complete an orbit like this known as the "Galactic Year" will take around 225million years or so.  Therefore if you break up the Galactic Year using the same constructs as we use on earth - i.e. 365 days, 24 hours, 60mins, 60 secs... you find out I'm just a smidgen over 7 Galactic Seconds old.  Even the oldest living person (approx 116 years) is only just over 16 Galactic Seconds...

3 comments:

  1. You don't look 51. Quitting drinking has been good for you ;)

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    1. I must owe you another coffee after a comment like that :-) thank you

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  2. Happy birthday Mr F (sorry it's rather late!) I like how we're all little specks of nothingness in the universe. It means we have to make up meaning for ourselves. And birthdays are one way to do it. I will tactfully refrain from saying I will raise a glass in your directino this evening :)

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