Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Milky Andromeda Way

I made the mistake of watching the Discovery Science Channel tonight. I can easily freak myself out by projecting my mind backward pondering the beginnings of the universe. I believe God made everything and I believe the world is full of all sorts of people with their own interpretations of God or the lack thereof. That's all I'm saying about God because that subject is way too big for this simple blog.

The program I watched was speculating about supermassive black holes. The scientists on the show believe that every galaxy was formed by gas that imploded and created these supermassive black holes which created a spiraling vortex which eventually created quasars and stars and planets and eventually, voila, you got a galaxy. Nice theory but where did the gas come from? How many galaxies are there? How big is infinity? See what I mean?

At the end of the program, we were informed that our nearest galaxy, Andromeda, is moving toward the Milky Way at 250,000 miles per hour. That woke me up. They said that in about 3 billion years, our galaxies will actually collide. Three billion years. Three billion years. I can't quit saying it. Three billion years. Andromeda is 2.2 million light years away from us right now. What the hell is a light year anyway? (I looked it up: 1 light-year is equivalent to 9.46053e12 km, 5,880,000,000,000 miles or 63,240 AU.) The picture above is the view from the cheap seats on some other galaxy as they watch Andromeda and the Milky Way collide.

Then, as I usually do, when it all becomes too much and I start biting my fingernails and begin to develop a nasty rash, I throw my brain into reverse. What is really the smallest element of matter? If the universe goes on beyond comprehension, wouldn't it also go in beyond comprehension?

Dammit! Twenty-three minutes ago, all I cared about was whether or not Bo Bice would be my next American Idol.

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Vettacini Sheppard said...

Informative, interesting reading. Now I'm biting my fingernails and developing a nasty rash.


sleepybomb said...

if those are the eyes of 'god', he looks real pissed . . .

Laurie said...

I couldn't tell if they looked more like eyes or shiny alien boobies.