Well, we're in the milky way. So all the stars around us are in the milky way....
Everything else you see, not in that plane, are the galaxies. They are so far away that despite having hundreds of billions of stars, they'll appear as single or fuzzy white dots.
We see the empty spaces because we're in the milky way and thus we can resolve the distance between two stars.
If you place two light bulbs right in front of you, you will be able to see two separate light bulbs. If you keep them the same distance from each other, but move them further back, at some point, with your naked eye, it will only appear as one light bulb. It'll be fainter but you won't see any of the darkness between the two bulbs, you'll just see one small flash of light.
If we went a distance away where you could see the whole milky way galaxy in front of you...it'd be very very bright.
- Water that's close to the moon.
- The Earth (the solid parts)
- Water that's on the opposite side of the earth .
In terms of gravity, the water that's closest to the moon experiences the most gravity, followed by the Earth, followed by the water on the opposite side of the Earth.
So it's obvious that there is a high tide on the side closest to the moon because the water is pulled towards the moon. However, remember that the Earth also experiences more gravity than the water on the opposite side of the moon. So the moon essentially pulls both the water that's closest to it and the Earth towards it more than it pulls the water on the far side of the moon. E.g, it's pulling the Earth away from the water on the other side of the earth. Hence, the second high tide on the other side.
Last edited by silentstriker; 17-11-2010 at 04:54 PM.
The further galaxies may appear brighter than an individual star in the milky way, but if you add up all the stars you see in the milky way and compared the 'combined' brightness, the milky way is way brighter.
In like five years of hanging out in observatories, and learning and TAing for astronomy classes, I confess that question has never come up. And I've never noticed it when observing...so I can't tell you.
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