Scientists operating the Fermi gamma wave telescope have published the results of a four-year study into the light that shines in the universe from current and past stars. The experiment measures the light from the first stars formed after the Big Bang, the so-called extragalactic background light (EBL). This acts as a "fog" …
Surely that average distance, 4000+ light years between stars, is if they were taken out of their galaxies and dispersed through intergalactic space. It seems a happy medium between the 4or so light years between the neighbours of our sun, and the 2,000,000 light years from here to Andromeda.
Re: Dispersed average
That is an almost perfect restatement of how they arrived at that number. Replace "medium" with "mean" and you would have it.
Mean or meaningless?
Why on - or off - earth would anyone be interested in the average distance between stars? It is a meaningless statistic. Nearly all stars are likely to be in galaxies. One reason economists use median income rather than mean income is the the distribution is highly skewed.
Re: Mean or meaningless?
It lets you estimate the density of the universe as a whole, which is useful if you want to know whether it would float in a really big tub of water, or how small you could make it if you crushed it in a rather large garbage masher.
 Shut them all down!
"This might be one of the reasons no extraterrestrials have yet dropped round for a chat."
Apart from those bloody teasers...
You know what this means?
The light switch of the light of the dawn of time can't be far away.
Re: You know what this means?
and the ghostly shadow of an awesomely big Finger switching it on..? :-)
@itzman "I am the Supreme Being, I'm not entirely dim..."
No, not awesomely big. In fact, no larger than the Holy Finger in Michelangelo's fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The SB does not have huge lats or huge pecs or a huge gluteus maximus. Or wear size 25 Wellington Boots.
He's Lord of the Universe. Not Mr. Universe.
Factoid: The Supreme Being was going to play himself in Time Bandits but at the last minute they went with Ralph Richardson. Richardson was more believable delivering the line: "I am the nice one."