Photo Uploaded: Jan 09 2008 20:58:22 GMT Taken: 2006:09:15 22:56:53 Manufacturer: Canon Camera: Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL Shutter: 123/1 sec ISO: 400 Flash: No (Turned off)
The star Vega, in the constellation of Lyra, roughly 26 light years distant from us.
This is a two minute expsoure using a Canon EOS 350d SLR through my 200mm aperture Newtonian reflector telescope attached to a motor driven equatorial mount, 35mm efl = 1.6 metres!
This star was made "famous" by the 1997 motion picture "Contact", starring Jodie Foster, which was based on a novel by the late Carl Sagan, who was a very accomplished cosmologist.
In the movie, TV signals from 52 years ago are detected which are in fact signals replayed to us by an another civilisation. The movie rightly makes the point that our TV signals took 26 years to get to Vega and another 26 years to come back!
The point being, that even if we could travel at the speed of light (which we are a long long long way from doing), it would take 26 years to get to Vega.
The sad thing is that Vega is comparatively "next door" to us, the Andromeda galaxy (our nearest galaxy) is 3000 light years away!