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Beardie

A strange world full of odd facts

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@Vince1159 We know so much more about our universe now than we did when Carl Sagan was around. Sagan discusses the Quasars towards the end there and theories about what they are and we now know that black holes seem to be the centre of most galaxies and that quasars are believed to be black holes which are 'belching' massive explosive electromagnetic burps from their poles. The galaxy is truly incredible and on an order of magnitude that is hard to comprehend. 

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3 minutes ago, Beardie said:

@Vince1159 We know so much more about our universe now than we did when Carl Sagan was around. Sagan discusses the Quasars towards the end there and theories about what they are and we now know that black holes seem to be the centre of most galaxies and that quasars are believed to be black holes which are 'belching' massive explosive electromagnetic burps from their poles. The galaxy is truly incredible and on an order of magnitude that is hard to comprehend. 

I know but the series's still groundbreaking the same as The Sky at Night,i've got Cosmos on dvd and it's still nice to watch even after all these years...

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Oh Sagan is definitely seen as an outstanding pioneer of cosmology I think. The changes have been coming so thick and fast of late though that you can find a program stating something in 2015 only for that theory or belief to be disproved in 2016. One example is the idea that the water on Earth came from comets colliding with the Earth over the millennia. That would have required an incredible number of comets and we now believe, having got up close and personal with some comets, that the water they carry has too much deuterium in it to match the water signature we have on earth and it's now generally believed that much if not all the water on Earth was locked up in the rock that the Earth is made up of.

 

What never ceases to amaze me is that, when you get to know about our universe, you discover that everything is so 'knife-edge'. If the universe wasn't exactly the way it is we wouldn't exist.

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1 hour ago, Beardie said:

Well that depends on what it hits. If it hits a plant it is absorbed as the energy needed for photosynthesis. If it hits our eyes we absorb it into our eyes, on our skin it is sensed and absorbed as warmth. A photon is simply a packet of energy. If it doesn't hit anything it will travel clear across the universe. When a telescope looks at a galaxy at the other side of the universe, over ten billion light years away it is capturing photons that have travelled unimpeded for more than ten billion years at 300,000 kilometres per second. 

Cor, your ded cleva.

Seriously I did not know that, thanks. We just aren't built, even the Brainiacs of the world, to get a grip on what it's really all about but it's quite enjoyable to thrash about on the periphery of understanding & try to.

Edited by spaddad

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On 12/10/2019 at 09:14, Black Knight said:

In the UK a person may drive a car whilst nude, except for wearing shoes. A driver must wear shoes whilst driving

I had one of my students learn, take and pass her test barefoot. The only comment from the examiner was he was concerned she may trap her foot under the pedals. She was otherwise fully clothed.

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"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."

 

Simplified version c/o Douglas Adams

 

IanJ

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@spaddad I ain't no cleverer than anyone else just got too much time on my hands and I'm nosey 😀  I do find it an incredible struggle to get my head around relativity, quantum mechanics and the sheer scales, from incredibly small to incredibly large, that our world is built on but I am determined to try. I think even Einstein struggled to understand relativity. It's one of those things where you can sort of see how it works right on the edge of you field of vision but it's very hard to bring it into focus. Quantum mechanics/particle physics are real serious mind benders as well.

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The thing I find exceptionally funny is that I originally started looking into the science of the Universe in order to disprove to myself the existence of a 'Supreme Being' and discovered that the world works on principles that are so mind bogglingly odd that it makes a Supreme Being working his magic look like the sanest option. I mean how can a pea sized ball of matter from your average black hole weigh a thousand tons (Not at all certain of that weight estimate but I don't think it's a million miles out) or the entire universe have sprung from a point smaller than a single hydrogen atom? Then there is the fact that we, and most of the stuff around us, are made up mainly of empty space held together by electromagnetic energy then there is the fact that each and every one of us, and every object around us has it's own gravitational field. OK it's very, very weak but it's there nonetheless as we all warp the space time continuum to some degree with our mass. Mind boggling!

 

Here is another crazy one for you. For a few years now it has been believed that there is a ninth planet in our solar system which we can't see because it has an enormous elliptical orbit that takes thousand of years and so is a very far away very dark object. We think it's there because there are signs that something has been having a gravitational effect on objects in the Kuiper belt (a belt of asteroids, comets and icy objects orbiting the Sun out around the orbit of Neptune) and, the experts doing the calculations have come up with an object somewhere round about 'super Earth' size which basically means a solid rocky planet maybe ten times the size of Earth. Well recently it struck somebody that it might not be another planet after all but could rather be a mini black hole. That is an object that could be as small as a tennis ball but have the mass of say ten Earths! Now if that don't boggle the grey cells I don't know what will!

 

"Don't look too hard into the Abyss as you might just see it looking back at you!" 😀

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13 hours ago, Bonhoff said:

"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."

 

Simplified version c/o Douglas Adams

 

IanJ

"Space is small, only planets are big."

 

Arthur C Clarke

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22 hours ago, dnl42 said:

flatteded

@dnl42 

Flat-headed... (ie stupid: not enough space for a brain)

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Given that it's all gone quiet I thought I would add another interesting fact about our crazy universe.....

 

The further away you are from the centre of the Earth the faster your time passes as the rate at which time passes is slowed by gravity so that, if you spend a lot of time mountaineering, live in the mountains, spend a lot of time in the air or live in a penthouse flat your life will be shorter than us poor lowdown folks who spends much of our lives close to see level. In addition to this, the higher you are in the Earth's atmosphere the more chance you have of shortening your life due to incoming cosmic rays. These high energy particles are believed to be a major cause of cancer as they damage our DNA when we are hit by them but, as they pass down through our atmosphere relatively few make it to ground level being slowed and stopped by the atmosphere. So being a poor SOB at ground level does have some advantages.

 

 

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Computers operating above sea level are measurably impacted by the increased cosmic ray flux density @Beardie describes above. A computer operating at an elevation of 5km is more than 10 times more likely to experience a certain class of error than at sea level.

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There are only three real certainties in this world, and they are sunrise, sunset and Southend Utd losing at home!

 

John.

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Not a fact, more a question relating to the spacey things already mentioned!

 

If the Universe is expanding, what's it expanding into?

Or is it just there?

No beginning, no end, just going on and on, for all time, not that time actually exists!

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Ah the problem is that nobody knows. One theory is that we are in a bubble that is getting bigger and bigger amongst a whole lot of other bubbles (other universes) but exactly what those bubbles are contained inside has no answer either it is simply beyond our ability to know what the limits are. 

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On 13/10/2019 at 19:09, dnl42 said:

clothiered

Cloth eared - deaf

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21 hours ago, Beardie said:

So being a poor SOB at ground level does have some advantages.

Except for the gravel rash on your knuckles. That hurts!

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Quote

If the Universe is expanding, what's it expanding into?

As I understand it - nothing. 

I think it's not so much that the universe is getting bigger. But that the distance between things is always increasing. Meaning there's a lot more nothing every day. 

And one day, every single atom will be so far away from every other single atom, that they won't be able to interact anymore ('heat death of the universe"), and at that point the universe can't be said to even exist. 

Cheerful thought to end the evening with, I know...

So, cool factoid to take your mind off this: the space probe Voyager I is the fastest ever man-made object, currently travelling at 38,610 miles per hour. It was launched in 1977, is 13.2 billion miles from earth, and is still (just) working. 

 

 

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The Heat Death is only one of the options. Another is that the Universe will reach a point where it starts to slow down and then go into reverse. It has even been hypothesised that, not only will the universe will start to shrink and accelerate back towards the primeval atom but also that time itself will go in reverse. 

 

Even universal geometry is hard to get a grip on. The current thinking, borne out by observations of the universe, is that there was a 'big bang' when the teeny tiny primeval atom ripped apart and formed the universe (it is thought that most of the universal formation happened in the first three quarters of a second!) and, ever since that time the galaxies that formed have been racing away from this central point. Now here is the mind-bending bit...…. We can see that the galaxies are all moving apart at a very high speed and, if we 'wind back' we can see that they all become closer together the farther back in time we go so human logic tells us that, if we wind back far enough we should be able to see 'The Centre of the Universe' but we can't because everywhere in the universe is the centre of the universe because, no matter where you are in the universe, you are where the big bang happened!! 

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13 hours ago, Beardie said:

The Heat Death is only one of the options. Another is that the Universe will reach a point where it starts to slow down and then go into reverse. It has even been hypothesised that, not only will the universe will start to shrink and accelerate back towards the primeval atom but also that time itself will go in reverse. 

 

Even universal geometry is hard to get a grip on. The current thinking, borne out by observations of the universe, is that there was a 'big bang' when the teeny tiny primeval atom ripped apart and formed the universe (it is thought that most of the universal formation happened in the first three quarters of a second!) and, ever since that time the galaxies that formed have been racing away from this central point. Now here is the mind-bending bit...…. We can see that the galaxies are all moving apart at a very high speed and, if we 'wind back' we can see that they all become closer together the farther back in time we go so human logic tells us that, if we wind back far enough we should be able to see 'The Centre of the Universe' but we can't because everywhere in the universe is the centre of the universe because, no matter where you are in the universe, you are where the big bang happened!! 

That makes my brain hurt.  I think I'll go for a lie down now.

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I was with him all the way to Heat Death and my mind wondered didn’t I go to one of their gigs at the Manchester Apollo?

 

Trevor

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Oh I have to add that the start of the Universe wasn't big as the primeval atom was incredibly small and, as there was no atmosphere for sound to travel in, in fact there wasn't even space, there was no 'bang'. It should be the "The Silent creation event from an infinitely small point" not quite as catchy a name though.

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16 hours ago, Beardie said:

Another is that the Universe will reach a point where it starts to slow down and then go into reverse.

It already has, judging by the number of dinosaurs that I come across each day.

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Eh bien, vous avez décidé de vivre dans la belle France! :tease:

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2 hours ago, Beardie said:

Oh I have to add that the start of the Universe wasn't big as the primeval atom was incredibly small and, as there was no atmosphere for sound to travel in, in fact there wasn't even space, there was no 'bang'. It should be the "The Silent creation event from an infinitely small point" not quite as catchy a name though.

I've always preferred the term "Horrendous Space Kablooie."

(Thank you Bill Watterson!)

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