Quit your pessimism, ok?

I’m tired of seeing this trite show up in every corner of the internet I frequent. Can we please just get rid of it? Please?

No. Nonononononononono. You can say whatever you like, but don’t be using science to justify your melancholy, thank you.

So… The only way this could happen would be if you were, for some reason, wishing on a star in the Andromeda Galaxy. At 2.5 million light years away, some of the most distant stars you can see are out in that galaxy. But at that distance, you can’t pick them out as individual stars. Andromeda looks like more of a fuzzy blob to the naked eye. And even the hottest, brightest, most short lived stars can live for around 10 million years.

But it’s a lot more likely that you’ll be wishing on a nearby star. One of the ones which appears brightest in the sky. Most of those would be a few hundred, to perhaps a few thousand light years away, and almost all of those will live for billions of years.

So go ahead. Pick your star. Make your wishes. Almost any star you choose is going to still be there in the sky for quite some time.

…with the possible exception of Betelgeuse. I think XKCD said it best:

(On the other hand, if my star turned out to be a supernova? That would be awesome.)

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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4 Responses to Quit your pessimism, ok?

  1. Baribal says:

    Okay, no depressing astronomy, got it. So… Wanna talk about climatology?

    • invaderxan says:

      Frankly, anything can be depressing if one is so inclined, believe me. And to be honest, I’d perhaps mind less if it was factually correct…

      • Baribal says:

        Okay, I’m intrigued… What arguments do you consider factually incorrect? From what I know, things are pretty doomsday at this point, but as I haven’t had the time to read up about on the deep science (though I’d LOVE to find the time to learn about climate modelling), I have to make due with public-level summaries like http://fora.tv/2009/08/18/A_REALLY_Inconvenient_Truth_Dan_Miller

        • invaderxan says:

          Oh, no, sorry if I wasn’t clear. I meant the whole “few million years too late” thing is factually incorrect. Climate-related things, I agree, are both depressing and accurate. Sadly…

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