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Is this meme factual
Is this meme factual  
Hi again,
A few follow up questions to my first regarding same image. (My bad for not including these with the first o.O ). It is my understanding that other stars and even galaxies CAN be seen from Earth; the Andromeda Galaxy, for one. Is this meme technically correct? What other star systems can be seen with the naked eye, or with the aid of an average telescope, from Earth? And finally, is this a real image, or CGI?   

Thank you, again,

As noted in my answer to your first question, we can see the Andromeda Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds, which are satellites of our galaxy, with the "naked eye" in a dark sky. With an "average" telescope it is possible to see clusters of stars tens of thousands of light years away as faint smudges, and unusually bright galaxies up to a few tens of millions of light years away; and some amateurs own telescopes capable of photographing unusually bright galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away. Most galaxies are of course not "unusually bright", so they could only be seen if much closer.

Finally, as noted in my other answer, the image is an artist's representation, not a photograph. How the artist created it would depend on the individual artist. Some still use actual brushes, but most would use some kind of photo-editing software, and that was probably the case here.


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Courtney Seligman


I can answer almost any question about astronomy and related sciences, such as physics and geology. I will not answer questions about astrology and similar pseudo-scientific rubbish.


I have been a professor of astronomy for over 40 years, and am working on an online text/encyclopedia of astronomy, and an online catalog of NGC/IC objects.

Astronomical Journal, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (too long ago to be really relevant, but you could search for Courtney Seligman on Google Scholar)

I received a BA in astronomy and physics and a MA in astronomy, both from UCLA. I was working on my doctoral dissertation when I started teaching, and discovered that I preferred teaching to research.

Awards and Honors
(too long ago to be relevant, but Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi still keep trying to get me to become a paying member)

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