Cosmic Crash

13 01 2008

Massive Gas Cloud Speeding Toward Collision With Milky Way: “A giant cloud of hydrogen gas is speeding toward a collision with our Milky Way Galaxy, and when it hits — in less than 40 million years — it may set off a spectacular burst of stellar fireworks.”

SC2_small.jpgLooks like we’re safe, as “the cloud will likely strike a region somewhat farther from the Galactic center than our Solar System and about 90 degrees ahead of us in the Milky Way disk.” And we’d have at least 20 million years before starting to worry.

Even if this is the case, though, it’s impossible not to feel awe at the way the cosmos, far from being an orderly, peaceful, and predictable place, is full of chaos and violence on a scale that cannot even be fully understood. Witness the recent discovery of a gigantic beam of matter ejected from a massive black hole and smashing into a nearby galaxy, literally tearing it to pieces like the jet from a garden hose tears apart an ants’ nest.

You might think that those planets that are being hit by such phenomena are not hosting any kind of civilization, or that their inhabitants are not protected by a loving god, or that it’s all part of god’s plan, which we cannot know.

Or you might think that we’re the lucky ones who get an opportunity to live for a brief (on the time scale of the Universe) instant of time, thanks to random chance or contingency, and nothing is pre-ordained or in any way predetermined.

Guess which one I think is the sensible opinion to hold.

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One response

11 02 2010
Zachary Raposo

Howdy, data bad, specially from the major news corperations with the big slants to the left or right. Did you see last nights Late Show? haha, that was hilarious! Sorry, I’m rambling on once again. Have a Good day!

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