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The Universe Taught Me...
01-02-2018, 03:06 AM (This post was last modified: 01-02-2018 06:26 AM by Satyros.)
Post: #1
The Universe Taught Me...
I hear things like "The Universe was giving me this message/lesson/sign/whatever" quite often. Look; if there's one true "lesson that The Universe is teaching" people, it's that the broader your scope, the less things revolve around you.

We start off on Earth, and things revolve around us. The sun, moon and stars trace a path across the sky. Comets shoot by us. Lore and astrology are based on our position and how we view the universe.
But then it gets bigger. We're just one rock of many, orbiting around the sun. We're not special, or really all that important. We're just another dancer in the ballet.

However even the sun isn't all that important. It's really a small player on a galactic scale; one of countless other stars that all orbit around galactic center. And our galaxy? One of who knows how many.

I'm all for divine guidance, lessons and intercession, but sometimes we need to dial down the importance that we place on how often The Universe is showing one iota on a dust-speck in the whole universe which Yoga pants will make their arse pop the best.

EDIT: For the lurking prophets, proselytizers, and general bible-thumpers eager to throw the book at me (going on three now,) as I've told the others there are more gods that offer guidance and lessons than yours. I'm good.

Кровь за Кровь, Во Славу Великим!
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01-02-2018, 05:17 AM
Post: #2
RE: The Universe Taught Me...
(01-02-2018 03:06 AM)Satyros Wrote:  And our galaxy? One of who knows how many.

At lease 1.1 trillion (give or take almost a trillion), with thanks to Hubble - that's 1,000,000,000,000 of them.

(01-02-2018 03:06 AM)Satyros Wrote:  I'm all for divine guidance, lessons and intercession, but sometimes we need to dial down the importance that we place on how often The Universe is showing one iota on a dust-speck in the whole universe which Yoga pants will make their arse pop the best.

Big Grin

You're right Sat: "totally and utterly insignificant" doesn't even begin to describe people, Earth, the solar system, the Milky way, or our galaxy... it's all one zillionth of a dust speck on a universal scale.

Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it
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01-07-2018, 09:07 AM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2018 09:14 AM by Amememhab.)
Post: #3
RE: The Universe Taught Me...
(01-02-2018 03:06 AM)Satyros Wrote:  Look; if there's one true "lesson that The Universe is teaching" people, it's that the broader your scope, the less things revolve around you.

Not only failing to revolve around us, but most if it incredibly remote. Consider M31, often called “the Andromeda Galaxy,” the most distant object you can see with your naked eyes—if you enjoy a sky free of the incessant backglow of our city lights. Now think how fast light travels. Seems instantaneous, yet it takes about 1¼ seconds to reach us from the moon, or about 1½ hours if coming from Saturn’s frigid, pale face.

The faint white smudge you see from M31 is the combined light of billions of stars, none of which you can see individually without a big telescope. Those photons have been en route to your retinas since the day an early man, a Homo habilis, lifted that cobble of chert and struck it with a hammerstone to create the world’s first technological devices, a hand axe and a set of razor-sharp flakes. Now the guy could butcher a wildebeest, or smash the bones a lion had to abandon because it couldn’t access the marrow inside. We were eating in style now!

Flintknapping is hard. I’ve tried it. My clumsy efforts would earn an “F” grade from any competent Homo toolmaker-teacher, erectus, neanderthalensis, or sapiens. This is a technology we’ve nearly lost. Today only a few thousand people can make good replicas of Olduwan or Acheulean implements, although the arrowhead is the modern knapper’s more favored product.

(01-02-2018 05:17 AM)Herminator Wrote:  
(01-02-2018 03:06 AM)Satyros Wrote:  And our galaxy? One of who knows how many.

At least 1.1 trillion (give or take almost a trillion), with thanks to Hubble...

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field photograph is fascinating. Remember when Hubble was “nearsighted” after its launch, so that a few years later NASA sent a space shuttle up to install corrective optics?
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01-07-2018, 09:38 AM
Post: #4
RE: The Universe Taught Me...
(01-07-2018 09:07 AM)Amememhab Wrote:  The Hubble Ultra Deep Field photograph is fascinating. Remember when Hubble was “nearsighted” after its launch, so that a few years later NASA sent a space shuttle up to install corrective optics?

Indeed... that was a pretty costly fiasco Sad

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01-07-2018, 10:17 AM
Post: #5
RE: The Universe Taught Me...
The crux of the story: “No one tested the complete telescope before launch.”
New Scientist
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg1...or-fiasco/

‘Twas spherical aberration that undid the mirror:
ESA
http://www.spacetelescope.org/about/hist...n_problem/

However, not only did the corrective optics work, but an improved camera was swapped in during the “Hubble rescue mission” of 1993. I’d rate it a success, although, as you say, costly: dinner tab running $1.5 billion. Yet given NASA was fully committed to space shuttle launches, the Endeavour would have gone up anyway, just doing something else up there had the mirror been good. The optics package and new camera themselves cost only a few tens of millions. Nearly four years’ observing time had been compromised, although computer enhancement of Hubble’s degraded images proved useful.

Unfortunately, Hubble is nearing the end of its service life. I’m not sure when it will shut down and deorbit, yet we’ve had the use of this scope for a quarter century. The James Webb Space Telescope (named after a NASA director) will be launched to replace it later this year.

Space.com
https://www.space.com/19189-hubble-space...-2018.html
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