Left side of the Universe

sketch-1575306063238

This was a phrase I thought of this afternoon, then realised it was impossible.

The Universe is apparently infinite, so you can’t have a centre, you can’t have a top, bottom, side, front or back?

Obviously we know that stars are a certain distance away, and if you look at star maps you can identify individual stars. But did you know they move? Stars move around the centre of the galaxy. Some faster than others. The distance to a star is measured by parallax. Hold your hand out at arms length, look at the tip of your thumb with one eye, then the other. Notice how the background seems to move. That’s because each eye is at the base of a very long thin triangle and your thumb is at the tip. Now think of the stars. How do you measure their parallax.? The answer is take the measurements at opposite sides of the Earth’s orbit, six months apart.

What was found was the stars are not fixed. They are moving due to the matter around them and their relative speeds. So stars in one position a thousand years ago might have moved quite a distance.

That’s not all, the Galaxies that contain the stars are moving too. Some, like our galaxy, the Milky Way, and the Andromeda galaxy are due to collide in the next few billion years. We won’t be around to see it, but it has been modeled.

Then looking further out Galaxies seem to be flying away from each other at a rapid rate. You would think gravity would hold them together, but something in the Universe, (dark matter, dark energy) is pushing it apart.

This was measured by noticing the galaxies light from further away appears redder ( red shifted). In other words travelling away from us.

To explain, if you hear a fire engine siren it sounds different moving towards you than moving away. That is because the sound waves get squashed up as they move towards you, and stretch as they move away. Light does the same thing, as an object moves towards you it squashes up and changes to a bluer colour. As it moves away it stretches and we see a redder colour.

I’m not a scientist, so I can only hope what I’ve written makes sense. All I know is that something might be in an exact place now but because everything is in constant motion you just can’t say where the ‘left side of the universe’ actually is!

Shouting in the dark

Untitled55_002

I’m too small

The world’s too big

Shouting in the dark,

 

The world’s too small

Solar system so big,

Shouting in the dark,

 

Sun’s system is small

The galaxy is big

Shouting in the dark –

 

The galaxy is small

The universe is big

I’m shouting in the dark.

 

Shouting into infinity.

Is anyone out there –

To hear?

Whirlpool galaxy drawing

IMG_20190421_110745_226

This took a few hours to draw on the old sketchfu website. I do love astronomy. This is not accurate, it couldn’t be with the limited tools that were on the website but it was fun to try and get a reasonable representation of it. Space is so infinitely beautiful. It makes me realise how tiny I am, how small our planet and solar system are in relationship to the mass of stars in a galaxy and the smallness of galaxies in relation to the infinity of the universe.

How important we think we are, we have so much on this world that we are using up. We are big in comparisonĀ  with insects and smaller still bacteria. Then even smaller viruses. The smallest things, molecules, AtomsĀ  and sub atomic particles.

Apparently we are halfway on the scale of size in the universe. Halfway between the infinitely massive and the incredibly tiny. Perhaps in realising this we can see we are not very important after all. I think we should take more care to preserve our tiny/huge planet so that humankind can continue to survive and flourish.

X