Where Random Happens

Posts tagged “Milky Way

Take Me To The Other Side


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NASA’s Hubble Shows Milky Way is Destined for Head-On Collision

As we look through our telescopes at the wide expanse and variety of space, one of the things that captures our attention and imagination are galaxies that have captured each other (like Galaxy NGC 6052). The enormity of these stellar star crashes are boggling. In fact, they happen often enough that we identify the various types.

Stay with me, here.

Satellite interaction –

A giant galaxy interacting with its satellites. More common than you might think, our own Milky Way galaxy is currently interacting with the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy. In fact, the SDEG is diving right into our galaxy like the idiot who thinks if he purposefully falls into the pool at a party, that will make him the Life of the Party (instead of the death of his social life). But that’s not all.

Galaxy collision –

Galaxies of relatively equal size collide, either forming new galaxies (merge) or tearing each other apart or a combination of the two, where one galaxy grows from the ordeal and the other is scattered to the cosmos. Like getting married.

Galactic cannibalism –

One galaxy, through tidal gravitational interaction, and while remaining relatively unchanged, rips apart and swallows a smaller galaxy. Like cannibalism. Cannibalism is cannibalism and tragically, the relationship analogies I’m using still apply.

Galaxy harassment –

A type of interaction between a low-luminosity galaxy and a brighter one. This often happens in areas of high density galaxy clusters where many galaxies are on their various paths and all crashing into each other like a roomful of drunken party guests all looking for the bathroom or the kitchen.

The eventual result of these messy get-togethers is usually dwarf spheroidals and dwarf ellipticals.

(For more detail with less glib, check out Wikipedia)

So what about our Milky Way? Is it possible that, at the far end of our galaxy, we may already be crashing, stripping, swallowing, or being swallowed by another galaxy?

I wrote a short story a few years ago where just this sort of thing was happening.

In my story, once scientists realized it, many decided to pursue different hypothesis to see if they could come up with a predictive model. Many had the idea that if such a thing were happening, perhaps it had already been happening long enough that other forces, like gravitational echoes of tidal forces, could be detected. It would take a novel approach to determine this. Naturally to make the story interesting, I chose the most far-fetched hypothesis to drive the story.

One of my editors immediately shut me down on the science of it all. Fair enough, but why?

This editor, who fancies himself brilliant due to his bachelor’s degree, sneered, “If we were crashing into another galaxy we would see it.”

First off, we do see it. We are heading for a collision with the Andromeda Galaxy. It won’t happen for another four billion years or so, as Andromeda, aka NGC 224, is 2.5 million light years from us. Also bear in mind that an awful lot can happen, even on a cosmic scale, in 4 billion years.

So yes, under certain situations we would see a galaxy heading toward us or crashing into us. Under other situations we absolutely would not see it.

This is why,

Milky Way, Andromeda, and all other galaxies in our little cluster are all heading to a certain point we call The Great Attractor. There’s at least one at every party, and if there are two, they either get together or hate each other.

What is the Great Attractor? We don’t know. We can’t see it.

Why can’t we see it?

It’s at the opposite end of our galaxy and the Milky Way is blocking our view. Our own galaxy blocks our view of plenty of the sky that lies behind it, and when you are talking about our solar system’s place in the galaxy, and the size of our galaxy, it’s like standing next to a wall.

There is a whole lot to see in ALL other directions that are not wall. But where wall is concerned, what is on the other side remains a mystery. If something is rushing toward wall from the other side, we won’t know about it until it smashes through and clobbers us.

So that particular editor I speak of is an unimaginative dimwit. A dimwit with a bachelor’s degree, but these things happen.

Anyway, what COULD be the Great Attractor? What in our universe is capable of pulling ginormous galaxies toward it? Is it one hell of a huge black hole, one so big that it would swallow our entire Local Group cluster in a single gulp? Like, for example, The Eridanus Void?

EridanusVoid

dailygalaxy.com

Could be. Or it may just be another cluster of galaxies, like the Shapeley Supercluster. (we’re in the Virgo Supercluster which, in turn, is part of the significantly larger  Laniakea Supercluster). Whatever it is, the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Great Attractor, along with many other galaxies, are all going to make contact at about the same time (cosmologically speaking).

Shapeley

ESA & Planck Collaboration / Rosat/ Digitised Sky Survey

In fact, one theory posits that whatever the Great Attractor is, our galaxy and the rest are going to sail right past it, or perhaps sail right with it, into the Shapeley Supercluster.

However, this confusion will be short lived because in around 50,000 or so years, we should have a much better view of the situation.

So stay with me here, because that ALONE is just ONE great reason for being an immortal.

END


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Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Want to bring two books together?

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Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Want to bring all of my writing together?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.

 


UNIVERSAL PERSPECTIVE


Referring back to my blog on June 6th, The Distance Between Us, here is a visual perspective I found all over the Internet in various stages. I don’t know who began this, I do know the full creation has been a group effort (probably thanks to either the Reddit or 4Chan communities or both).

Then some goof added the lame last stage, a cosmic yet local punchline to it all (probably thanks to either the Reddit or 4Chan…)perspective

COMEDY –

I used to work in Comedy. I went pro and got as far as Feature comic (middle between Opener and Headliner) before I gave it up for marriage. I preferred sleeping in a bed with my wife to sleeping in the same room with a bunch of young faux-worldly semi-psychos, vigorously pursuing various addictions to see which one agreed with them, and all crammed together in a Roach & Rat infested Comedy Condo.

As I pursued this path, aging Headliners who never quite got a TV or movie gig (but were sagely comfy with the addiction their youthful fool-self found for them), would scare up a few extra bucks by teaching method comedy to the rest of us. Everything from setting up the punchline, callbacks, to something as seemingly simple (but unbelievably important) as Microphone Etiquette.

Seriously, to people who have never performed professionally with a microphone onstage? You have no idea how simple a thing as the way you hold your mike throughout a performance can enhance – OR – torpedo your act.

Depending on the headliners that month, I’d scrounge to pay my $50 per class at least once a month, sometimes twice. I was serious about the clown craft.

That punchline up there? That would get silence. Crickets would chirp.

Perhaps a few self-styled posturing atheists in the crowd would laugh uproariously because they secretly believed in a God, but were calling themselves atheist because they were Mad at “him” and thought disavowal would hurt “his” feelings.

Huh! God has cheesed me off! Well I’ll show HIM!

Anyone in the crowd who was a god believer and had more than a cursory knowledge of the New Testament might openly scoff.

You can misquote someone and make it work, but it has to be a misquote that still defines or encapsulates what they would say or how they talk.

Tina Fey misquoted Sarah Palin for laughs and it worked, not because Sarah actually said “I Can See Russia from My House”, but because the carefully molded media narrative of the time made it seem like that was something Palin would say.

NEW TESTAMENT –

“Don’t masturbate” doesn’t remotely seem like something Jesus would say. The New Testament pretty much smashes the Old Testament. Throughout the NT, Jesus, while surrounded by all manner of sinners Guy *and* Gal, is constantly revising the ancient laws and confounding all who confront him or try to trip him up with the old text.

Whether or not you believe in the Bible (and I don’t care one way or the other), the New Testament gives readers a clear-eyed view of those who pretend to be Christian, yet gleefully deny him to spout contradictory OT whenever the gospel of JC doesn’t suit them. Particularly for unbelievers, the NT is a step by step method of spotting the self-righteous phonies who come at you.

The image above has a wonderful setup, but a flop punchline.

END


wb2016If you believe you enjoy my writing, buy my book,
WILLOW BLUE.
It’s my second collection of critically acclaimed short stories with all of the Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem, you’ve come to expect (or should by now). Available in paperback for $8.00 or in Kindle for only $1.99. Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free! The tales will last you longer than latte!

Enthused for more? Buy
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection.
It’s a veritable trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller tales – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free!

Have you become a fan?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Addressing the Ghost in the Room


I don’t want to pick on George Dvorsky as he certainly isn’t the only one who believes this way. But I have to start with someone or else this post will come off as a Strawman and I’m left arguing with air.

AndromedaSG

The Andromeda Galaxy! Coming soon to a galaxy near you!

First, his 2013 article at io9,
11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

I’m not going to address his 11 Weirdest Solutions, as they are a fun read and I’m a man who enjoys a fun read even if it’s Terry Pratchett fantasy (and I’m a man who enjoys Terry Pratchett fantasy).

Instead I’m going to address the initial false conjecture, which is based entirely upon Taking Things for Granted at a galactic scale.+

The launch supposition,
“Most people take it for granted that we have yet to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Trouble is, the numbers don’t add up. Our Galaxy is so old that every corner of it should have been visited many, many times over by now.”

Is gargantuan-ly incorrect*. Our galaxy is so old and YET so expansive (100,000 to 180,000 light years from end to end. The writer *really* needs to let that sink in.) that every part of it couldn’t possibly have been visited within the space of 9.5 billion years. Imagine the life forms that possibly rose, gained intelligence plus technological advancement, turned their technological advancement to other systems, and had the ability to visit those other systems across a galaxy (assumed to be spiral barrel shaped like the Andromeda Galaxy~) that is – to be stressed – 100,000 to 180,000 light years diameter and over 20,000 light years deep. We still don’t know if our galaxy is 100,000 light years across or double that.

Such monumental travel is something we have not begun, though we’ve had the initial capability since the 1950s. Now add the optimistically broad assumption that all went so well for said Aliens that they advanced to the next stage beyond us.

Well just how far is that?

We have no idea.

Ray Kurzweil posits that the next stage is Singularity and that means anything from centuries added to our lives and becoming Super Beings to the Robot take-over to humanity becoming beings of energy. In other words, the next watershed event in humanity could take us to the point that who we are now would and/or could not recognize ourselves as life forms, any more than amoebas could recognize a whole human being as a technologically advanced single life form.

This is a logical progression when you account for the fact that our solar system didn’t form until about 10 Billion years after our galaxy formed (our sun is the progeny of other stars that were born, existed, died, and exploded). The first billion years of the Sol system, as we’ve come to regard it, didn’t have its planets form until after about the first billion years of our sun’s existence: our sun is about 4.5 billion years old.

Even if we said that our area of the galaxy may have been visited many times over during the first 10 billion years, the overwhelming result of that would have been aliens looking at a primordial, gaseous cloud, in turn possibly containing planets: uninhabitable and so devoid of life.

In the last 2 billion years? Maybe one of the smallest planets, dangerously close to its star, developed simple life forms. Then that planet got wiped out by another planet.

A few hundred million years later, this now hybrid planet showed single celled life forms again.

They wiped themselves out by polluting their atmosphere with oxygen.

Billions of years later, less than half of our sun’s age,  Prokaryotic single cells appeared (first cells, no nucleus). This generously occurred about 2.1 billion years ago.

Actual multicellular animal life forms rose about 600 million years ago and fell, rose and fell: mass extinctions on an epic scale never seen before or since. Eventually the age of the dinosaurs ceased forever – when the earth no longer had enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support such land-based megafauna – and then came the age of the mammal.

And then it happened all over again. Entire species rose and fell, rose and fell: mass extinctions on a smaller scale yet still epic enough by comparison to never be seen since.

To any of the multitudes of passing aliens keeping track over the course of their species’ lifetime – and let’s make the fantastical assumption that they found and translated long dead historical transcripts of other long dead ancient planetary species that had come and gone into singularity in the multi-billions of years that had gone before – earth must have looked like one hellishly inhospitable place!

The earliest stage of true human, you and me, Cro-Magnon, didn’t appear until about 43 thousand years ago and we didn’t become technologically advanced (I’m being so very liberal with this concept) until about 5,000 years ago – the Bronze Age.

Humanity couldn’t attempt communication with possible alien life (transmit and receive a recognizable communication) until less than half a century ago. Once analog is completely gone from our modern tech – gone the way of punch card and punch tape computers – it will be impossible to find any analog xenoform signals.

And! AND! AND!  This is entirely under a STUPIFYINGLY obtuse concept, which is:

“Well Of course Intelligent Aliens would communicate across the Vast Gulfs of space using a Weak Analog Radio Signal;
Virtually Indistinguishable from the massively powerful random analog radio signals being spewed out by their own Star AND Every Single Star along the route –
ALL within this Strictly Narrow slice of ALL radio spectrums;
In Turn within this Strictly Narrow slice of the sky we are looking at;
Using a technology that was Old when we created Big Ear in 1956;
That’s been receiving signals ever since that We Still Can’t Comprehend using Strictly Narrow parameters
WE Created for understanding Alien Communication in the First Place –
A
nd On Top Of All That
Within the Strictly Narrow confines of a language that we can recognize!

DUH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?”

Triple-facePalmWe can’t even use a digital receiver to recognize a digital signal – our OWN digital signals – from the rest of the universal clutter or “static” unless we first have the codec/software to translate it.

Analog receivers are blind to digital. That’s under the Facepalm preposterous idea that technologically advanced aliens would – naturally – be using 19th Century analog or 20th Century digital radio signals to communicate! The only aliens we stand a chance of communicating with would have to exactly match OUR level of technological advancement.

Oh, I forgot still another thing – they have to be within 1,000 light years of us. Outside of that, you know, the other 199,000 light years across and 19,000 light years depth of our galaxy alone, we’ve got nothing. No way to hear anything.

So the “Great Silence” that covers less than a 1,000 light year freckle of our galaxy and a 50 year molecule worth of time out of our system’s existence – is nothing to a life form so technologically advanced that galaxy hopping Faster Than Light (FTL)  is a snap.

With all of that stacked against us, how can anyone reasonably entertain the preposterous notion that intelligent life does not exist on other planets … Because WE haven’t found it?

END

+ Just look at how people, perhaps you, take things for granted at a mere Solar system scale. Check out Josh Worth’s If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel.moonpixel2

~ FUN FACT: Our Milky Way galaxy is on a collision course with the Andromeda galaxy. Theoretically the collision/merging/tearing asunder may have already begun (we’ve no true idea of how wide our galaxy is. We can’t see that far from our point of view). We’ll know for certain anywhere in up to the next 100,000 to 180,000 years. In any case, since we’re in the outer arm spiral of the Milky Way, it’s possible that our solar system may be ripped out of our current galaxy long before our star is set to expire.

I say current because it is within the realm of possibility that our solar system was captured by the Milky Way in the first place – possibly (again) from a prior collision – instead of being born here. A whole hell of a lot can happen to a universe in 14 or so billion years.

*Again, this is based on one widely accepted initial concept which Dvorsky is postulating upon and not at all on George’s list of wild theories. George wrote an enjoyable read, backed by real-world suppositions from actual scientists and it’s worth checking out. I could have picked someone other than George as my starting point, but their articles are all rather dry.^

^Which is not to say that George’s article is all wet. I’m not new to the ‘Net. I know how some folks love to look for a safe keyboard courage fight, you scurrilous bastards.


pb300The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything (and it’s not 42 – Please forgive me, I’m sorry I had to say that) can be found in
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Looking to burn a whole $20 and maybe buy a sucrose infused torus?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Then go buy the doughnut.

Got a gift card to empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.