Can you see the milky way from space? ?
I mean like people aboard the ISS, or I guess anywhere in space (still near earth), can they see the milky way like we can on earth or does the atmosphere change how it looks from up there, vs down here?
To clarify, I meant does it look different.. I dunno if colors would look different or not, the way the sun looks different on the horizon..
- 4 weeks ago
Yep, in fact it would be brighter and sharper in space since there is no air distorting the immage and no light polution from cities.
- 4 weeks ago
I'll tell you after I return.
- nineteenthlyLv 74 weeks ago
Yes, although it would be brighter.
- daniel gLv 74 weeks ago
One can see Milky Way from anywhere. Aboard ISS, a far better view for no atmosphere or light pollution.
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- CliveLv 74 weeks ago
Of course. You'd have to go an enormous distance, because of the enormous distances between stars, for a map of the sky to look any different.
But what you seem to be getting at is what difference it makes being above the atmosphere. In that case, the difference is you get a much better view. The atmosphere blurs everything a bit. Get above it and you have a much steadier view with no twinkling. There is no blue sky because that's caused by the atmosphere scattering the Sun's light, so the sky is always black and whether you can see anything depends on whether the Sun is around and getting in the way. Just as on Earth, you want nothing bright around so the pupils in your eyes can open up wider and you can see more.
Of course this is what the Hubble Space Telescope is for. You can still see the same things in low Earth orbit, but better. No blurring or twinkling and for a telescope that size, that made enough difference to make it worth building and launching it. Pictures from it are SO clear.
Just for fun, I'm British and we have the Royal Greenwich Observatory that started in the 1660s to solve navigation problems. Back then, putting it on a hill in Greenwich made sense. No city lights and it was still pretty much out in the countryside. It would have been like when I camped at Taize in France - that's a tiny village so you really get a dark sky at night. As long as nobody's blundering around with a torch (flashlight) trying to find the toilet, it's a great place to stick your head out of the tent on a pillow and look up.
But as London expanded, skies got smokier and less dark at night, and the RGO moved the telescopes to Sussex. Soon that wasn't enough and now they're on a mountain in the Canary Islands. It's forever a fight for dark and clear skies. The Atacama Desert in Chile is now a popular place to put big telescopes for that reason, but the ultimate is to put your telescope in orbit.
So the RGO is now entirely a museum and if you come to London, I recommend it. It's on the hill in Greenwich Park, you can stand on the zero degrees meridian (everybody does so you might as well), if it's a nice day bring a picnic to eat in the park, and maybe look over the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum as well if that grabs you.
- Old Man DirtLv 71 month ago
There is a difference. The air diffuses the light to some extent because of moisture and dust. That is why they put a telescope into orbit. But over all the effect is the same. The milky way is still just as impressive, only clearer.
- Chris AncorLv 71 month ago
We are INSIDE the Milky Way. Think about it.