Each night, when I can, I wander out into the open space of Earth place Bakersfield/Oildale, a base somewhere between the long airstrips of coastal California, such as Edwards Air Force Base, where the civilian Space Shuttles (Endeavor, Columbia, etc.) once landed, and the central state spaceports, such as Shreiver Airbase in Colorado, and Sir Richard Branson's spaceport in New Mexico.
The Solar System, well... our planet system, was created six billion years ago and slowly evolved into its present configuration of a central star and revolving planets, rocks, comets and gases.
For the Western United States, some residents are wondering if we are entering a new age.
If you haven't heard the news regarding the asteroids coming "close" to Earth this past week, then you must have been hanging out in a cave in the great outdoors somewhere.
Planet X, life on other planets, cryogenic sleep until we return to Earth... but overrun by apes. It all sounds so exciting, and terrifying at the same time. However, is it even realistic? Or is it all just nonsense from Science Fiction? Before I go on a rant on all the cool things that are and could possibly be out there... let's start by trying to answer this one question: Will we ever reach another constellation?
Fifty years ago today, two humans piloted a rickety rocketship, with walls as thin as toilet paper, and a computer dumber than a calculator, to the surface of another world.
The greatest scientific mind of all time, Albert Einstein, made a prediction that large events in space, like the collision of black holes, produced ripples, like a large American flag being shaken up and down on a football field. Fellow Nobel laureates sought ways for Mr. Einstein’s prophetic ideations to be observed in reality. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory or LIGO is a bastion of hope for the growing mind. Exploration of space and worlds beyond the fold of the Earth is a supremely virtuous endeavor.
There's an X-Files poster on my bedroom door. You know the one: a grainy photo of a UFO blown up against a canopy of pine trees with "I WANT TO BELIEVE" written in block letters across the bottom. TheX-Files poster. And while I deign to admit it, I'm a poser. I've seen maybe 10 full episodes of the show (and read the two fun YA prequels about teenage Scully and Mulder solving crimes in the 70s) and have no intention of continuing. Serialized media and my commitment issues aren't the best combination. But still, that poster has been on my door for two years and will continue to remain there in the future.
Reading Stephen Hawking it is obvious that he and his colleagues are very intelligent people. In the science and math aspects. But in the end, a theory is a theory. It takes a very intelligent person to know when they know nothing at all. Reading up on black holes is fun because of the simple fact that scientists are trying to prove something they cannot see. Even in the field of physics, of physical science, we still have no idea how things work or why. We just know they do. In the case of a black hole, it is a force you can't see but that has a gravitational pull strong enough to suck the light from neighboring stars. It is essentially a black spot in the universe where light cannot escape. Sounds terrifying, right? Hawking says that if an astronaut were to venture inside of one, there would be a great chance that he be stretched out from the tips of his toes to the top of his head in a long, excruciating disappearance. Or perhaps if he could maneuver his way through this dark wormhole, he'd possibly be able to travel distances and time across the universe that we have so far only seen in Sci Fi movies.
New analyses of the different observations made show that his behavior is closer to that of a comet.