At the South Pole, astronomers try to unravel a force greater than gravity that will determine the fate of the cosmos!
Twice a day, seven days a week, from February to November for the past four years, two researchers have layered themselves with thermal underwear and outerwear, with fleece, flannel, double gloves, double socks, padded overalls and puffy red parkas, mummifying themselves until they look like twin Michelin Men. Then they step outside, trading the warmth and modern conveniences of a science station for a minus-100-degree Fahrenheit featureless landscape, flatter than Kansas and one of the coldest places on the planet. They trudge in darkness nearly a mile, across a plateau of snow and ice, until they discern, against the backdrop of more stars than any hands-in-pocket backyard observer has ever seen, the silhouette of the giant disk of the South Pole Telescope, where they join a global effort to solve possibly the greatest riddle in the universe: what most of it is made of?
For thousands of years our species has studied the night sky and wondered if anything else is out there. Last year we celebrated the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s answer: Yes. Galileo trained a new instrument, the telescope, on the heavens and saw objects that no other person had ever seen: hundreds of stars, mountains on the Moon, satellites of Jupiter. Since then we have found more than 400 planets around other stars, 100 billion stars in our galaxy, hundreds of billions of galaxies and never ending numbers beyond our own, even the faint radiation that is the echo of the Big Bang.
One thing was fairly certain about the expansion of the universe. It might have enough energy density to stop its expansion and re-collapse, it might have so little energy density that it would never stop expanding, but gravity was certain to slow the expansion as time went on. Granted, the slowing had not been observed, but, theoretically, the universe had to slow. The universe is full of matter and the attractive force of gravity pulls all matter together. Then came the Hubble Space Telescope’s observations of very distant supernovae that showed that, a long time ago, the universe was actually expanding more slowly than it is today. So the expansion of the universe has not been slowing due to gravity, as everyone thought, it has been accelerating. No one expected this, no one knew how to explain it. But something was causing it.
Astronomers have compiled evidence that what we’ve always thought of as the actual universe—me, you, this article, planets, stars, galaxies, all the matter in space—represents a mere 5% of what’s actually out there. The rest they call, for want of a better word, DARK: 27% is something they call dark matter, and 68% is something even more mysterious, which they call dark energy goes further and ranks dark energy as “the most profound mystery in all of science.” I think I would die of inquisitiveness.
Scientists have some ideas about what dark matter might be—exotic and still hypothetical particles—but they have hardly a clue about dark energy. “What Is the Nature of Dark Energy?” as one of the most pressing scientific problems of the coming decades. The effort to solve it has mobilized a generation of astronomers in a rethinking of physics and cosmology to rival and perhaps surpass the revolution of Galileo. They are coming to terms with a deep irony: it is sight itself that has blinded us to nearly the entire universe. And the recognition of this blindness, in turn, has inspired us to ask, as if for the first time: What is this cosmos we call home? Scientists reached a consensus that there was more to the universe than meets the eye. In computer simulations of our galaxy, the Milky Way, theorists found that the centre would not hold—based on what we can see of it, our galaxy doesn’t have enough mass to keep everything in place. As it rotates, it should disintegrate, shedding stars and gas in every direction. Either a spiral galaxy such as the Milky Way violates the laws of gravity, or the light emanating from it—from the vast glowing clouds of gas and the myriad stars—is an inaccurate indication of the galaxy’s mass.
But what if some portion of a galaxy’s mass didn’t radiate light? If spiral galaxies contained enough of such mystery mass, then they might well be obeying the laws of gravity. Astronomers dubbed the invisible mass “dark matter.” Nobody ever told us that all matter radiated,” The effort to understand dark matter defined much of astronomy for the next two decades. Astronomers may not know what dark matter is, but inferring its presence allowed them to pursue in a new way an eternal question: What is the fate of the universe?
They already knew that the universe is expanding. It was discovered that distant galaxies were moving away from us and that the farther away they got, the faster they seemed to be receding. And that might be the reason why we are still wandering among heavenly bodies of Milky way, although yeah! I agree Milky way is colossal, vast and bulky but what humanity is awaiting for greater accomplishment of being able to seek out of Milky way just the way aliens did from their galaxies, didn’t they?
This was a radical idea. Instead of the stately, eternally unchanging still life that the universe once appeared to be, it was actually alive in time, like a movie. Rewind the film of the expansion and the universe would eventually reach a state of infinite density and energy—what astronomers call the Big Bang. But what if you hit fast-forward? How would the story end?
The universe is full of matter, and matter attracts other matter through gravity. Astronomers reasoned that the mutual attraction among all that matter must be slowing down the expansion of the universe. But they didn’t know what the ultimate outcome would be. Would the gravitational effect be so forceful that the universe would ultimately stretch a certain distance, stop and reverse itself, like a ball tossed into the air? Or would it be so slight that the universe would escape its grasp and never stop expanding, like a rocket leaving Earth’s atmosphere? Or did we live in an exquisitely balanced universe, in which gravity ensures a Goldilocks rate of expansion neither too fast nor too slow—so the universe would eventually come to a virtual standstill?
This article would definitely put you off leaving your brain befuddled.
Dyson Sphere and Solar Power: The Future of Human Civilization
In future, when human civilization will colonize other planets in the solar system we will require ungodly amount of energy and we can it get it through our Star ‘Sun’. Yes, Sun is the ultimate source of energy. It is 100 quintillion times more powerful than our nuclear reactor. It shines with the energy of a trillion nuclear bombs per second.
So, do you know how can we get its whole energy? Not some of it, as we get through solar panels! For getting its whole energy we’ll have to build a mega structure called as ‘Dyson Sphere’.
Currently, we are slowly moving towards renewable energy and if human civilization doesn’t get destroyed due to our own petty politics or due to nature, we’ll be able to create a ‘Dyson sphere’.
It is a cosmic and hypothetical mega structure known as ‘Dyson sphere’. This Dyson Sphere has power to consume the total energy of Sun.
So,what woud it look like?
A solid shell enveloping the Sun is probably not the way to go. A large rigid body like that would be vulnerable to impact. Possibly it would be liable to drift and could also crash straight into the Sun. A practicable design for this mega structure can be a ‘Dyson Swarm’.
Dyson swarm is an enormous set of many orbiting panels that collects the Sun’s power and beam it to any other place.
Such thing will give humanity unlimited source of energy. But have you ever thought why we still didn’t make it? Sun holds 99.8% of the solar system’s mass and if we compare Earth to Sun, Sun is 109 times the diameter of Earth. So we would need many satellites for it. Suppose size of each satellite is 1 sq.km we’d need around 30 quadrillion for surrounding the mighty Sun!
Also we need the energy to actually put the parts together and also to deliver them to their specific positions around the Sun. So, currently its impossible for humans to make ‘Dyson sphere’.
This mega structure has its mini version.
Yes this structure is mini version of Dyson Sphere. (This structure also isn’t made by humans still but after 200 or 300 years we can make this structure) As satellite orbits the Earth, this structure will also orbit the Earth and they will absorb Sun’s energy. As satellite sends us signal in the way it will send us solar energy and looking at the speed of human’s advancement in technology approximately after 100 or 200 years such satellite will be orbiting our Earth and this will be our need in future because at that time we’ll lose most of the energy sources like Petrol, Diesel, Coal, etc. present here on Earth and also it will help us to get energy on other planet too!
This mini version of Dyson Sphere has its mini version too! and the good thing is it is made by humans!!!
This is it ‘Solar Panels’ a device which can transform some of the sun’s heat energy into our electricity and this Solar Panels which you seeing now aren’t just Solar Panels they will be our necessity in our future.
In the end I would like to say that human civilization will be totally depended for energy sources on these structures.
Hope you have found this interesting!
The Creation Story
The Creation Story
As Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is to never stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.” This curiosity leads us to many great ideas, innovations, and discoveries, basically everything we see around us. It raises many unanswered questions too. As our universe is very vast and old and keeps expanding further and faster. But we don’t know the exact reason behind the expansion. Astronomers suggest many possibilities but none could stand strong expect a few.
In ancient time astronomers thought the earth was the center of the universe but as they keep observing the things, they encounter many fascinating facts like earth and other planets revolve around the sun, our solar system is a part of the galaxy, and our galaxy is not the only galaxy that exists in the whole universe. So they end up on one question, HOW? How it all started? Many astronomers try to prove their theories about the origin but 4 theories make more sense than others.
1.Steady State Universe!
This theory was popular and nearly accepted back in the ’20s. According to this theory, the universe has no beginning and no end, it’s just there from always and remains forever. But as its constantly expanding; however the density (weight) of the universe remains constant.
This theory was proposed by James Jeans in 1920 but it got real fame in 1948 when Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold, and Hermann Bondi reformulated it. But as new observation and pieces of evidence were taking place, astronomers slowly started to oppose the theory. Like certain features or behavior of the distant galaxies weren’t seen in the nearer galaxies, and this makes sense about the birth of the universe.
This theory is a modern theory and quite an interesting one. Have you watch one of those movies which stories are related to a simulated world like Metrics, Inception, Ready Player One, etc. What if I tell you our whole universe might be a simulation game? Well, this theory is getting a hike due to a recent statement by our beloved Elon Musk the visionary guy. He said in his one interview that we might are be living in a simulation game controlled by higher dimensions. We just don’t feel it because we are programmed to do whatever we are doing right now. As we see the progress graph of video games, we are come from windows XP to virtual reality and augmented reality, these technologies are near to reality. Soon we’ll unable to spot the difference between reality and simulation. So maybe that’s the case with us too. Let us know what you think about it.
3.Big Bang Theory!!
When it comes to the creation of the universe the strongest theory that comes in our mind is The Big Bang Theory because it is widely popular and nearly accepted by everyone as it makes more sense about the origin. Well, this theory was suggested by a Belgian priest named Georges Lemaître in the 1920s. He said the universe began from a single atom which is existed from the very beginning. He called that atom cosmic egg. And from that cosmic egg universe expands to get as huge as it is now. Later in the 1930s, Edvin Hubble observed that other galaxies are moving away from each other which suggests back in time they all were very close to each other. Fun fact, Einstein opposed this theory because he believed that the universe was static, and due to that he introduced the term in his General Relativity Field equation called cosmological constant. This term was trying to prove that the cosmological constant holding a universe in a static state. But as Hubble and Lemaître jointly publish their observations and pieces of evidence regarding the Big Bang, Einstein kinda convinced and removed the cosmological constant from his equation. It was Einstein’s biggest blunder in physics. But as more observations have taken place and found pieces of evidence, this theory got special attention and started to opposing Steady-state theory.
Anyway, the theory suggests that at the very beginning there was nothing but a tiny atom with infinite temperature and density called Singularity, and suddenly it exploded and created the universe we know today. Scientists found out the evidence of the explosion as they detect CMB i.e. Cosmic Microwave Background. CMB is the electromagnetic radiations left from the early stage of the universe, also known as the image of a baby universe. It represents the heat leftover from Big Bang. Even if this theory makes complete sense about the creation but still there are a lot of flaws in this theory. Like it violets the 1st law of thermodynamics which says that matter and energy neither be created nor be destroyed. This law is opposing the big explosion that happened during the Big Bang. This is why this is not widely accepted.
4.Vedic Rashmi Theory
When I first hear about the theory, it got my attention and I became more curious about this theory because it has a background of Vedas. It is a recently introduced theory by Acharya Agnivrat Naishthik. Rashmi means the very first ray of light. This theory gives three causes to the formation of the universe.
- Efficient cause = Anything cannot be created without a creator. The creator is always needed.
- Material cause = Any created thing can never take form without basic materials.
- Normal cause = Any created thing always needs a purpose. Creation cannot occur without purpose.
It is explaining three Gunas (qualities) as a form of creation is mass, force, and motion. But higher science spoken by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Geeta says,
इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्य: परं मन: |
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धे: परतस्तु स: ||
Meaning = ‘Subtle, they say, are the senses; subtler than the senses is the mind; subtler than the mind is the reason; but subtler even the reason is He (Atman—Supreme force)’
This means the highest thing is beyond all these things and in that state, one can know all the mysteries of the universe.
All the theories we discuss the creation of the universe are just THEORIES! when we practically prove any one of them it’ll become a law of the universe. As Carl Sagan said’ “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”. Let us know your thoughts on creation.