I know I sound stupid talking about this but the new debates breaking out over the astonishing data our various space and earth observatories are pouring in is causing astronomers to grasp at various straws, first 'dark matter' which is mysterious and invisible but keeps the present cosmological system intact and now this: resurrecting the idea of an 'ether'. This ether/or system is a sign the present cosmos is about to break down yet again. Heh.
for National Geographic News
September 8, 2006
Late last month scientists working at NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory announced that they had found proof of dark matter, the theoretical substance believed to make up more than a quarter of the universe.
But Glenn Starkman, a cosmologist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is hitting back with a blast from the past.
He argues that dark matter might not exist and that the long-discredited substance known as ether is actually what influences gravity in the cosmos.
Over the years, I have joked about how astronomers and physics mavens would bring back all the discredited systems in order to save the Einsteinian Universe. The Big Bang=all matter shooting away from each other forever and forever is dead. But thanks to the rigorous training of many years of schooling as well as common beliefs drummed into everyone's heads, we all have to pretend the universe is easily explained and yes, it is flying apart faster and faster.
Alas, all the data points to a Universe full of great galaxies crashing into each other. All the little eddies of matter which are much smaller than the galactic giants are also being pulled into galaxies. They don't seem to be flying away! Huh? What gives?
Why are distant galaxies assumed to be flying away while all the galaxies 'near' us are falling into each other? This is the riddle of the sphinx and astronomers can't answer her questions without first repositioning themselves. Just as Corpernicus repositioned the earth by viewing it from the sun and Einstein changed ideas about energy and light by pretending to be a light photon, so must we step outside our galaxy and time frame and look at the universe from the outside.
APOD: (please click on this page to see the picture)
Explanation: This very sharp telescopic vista features the last object in the modern version of Charles Messier's catalog of bright clusters and nebulae - Messier 110. A dwarf elliptical galaxy, M110 (aka NGC 205) is actually a bright satellite of the large spiral galaxy Andromeda, making M110 a fellow member of the local group of galaxies. Seen through a foreground of nearby stars, M110 is about 15,000 light-years across. That makes it comparable in size to satellite galaxies of our own Milky Way, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Though elliptical galaxies are normally thought to be lacking in gas and dust to form new stars, M110 is known to contain young stars, and faint dust clouds can easily be seen in this detailed image at about the 7 and 11 o'clock positions relative to the galaxy center.
Sooo...this dwarf elliptical galaxy is being pulled into Andromeda. The stars in it are 'old' stars and it probably has a black hole in the middle just like all galaxies of whatever size have black holes. It also has dust clouds which is interesting for such a small galaxy. This means to me that as it journeyed through space before sliding backwards, so to speak, into Andromeda's gravitational pool, it had vacuumed up a fair amount of dirt (what else to call this stuff that is so dense, it makes huge, dark clouds and can serve as star nurseries?). In a few billion years or less, as the dirt clouds in this dwarf galaxy gets compressed by the battle between Andromeda's great black hole complex and the much smaller black hole of the dwarf, eventually, it will light up before merging with the greater galaxy.
Meanwhile, our own galaxy will light up more and more as it gets pulled into Andromeda, too! Our galaxy's dirt is so dense and so thick, we can't even see our own center except the barest glimpses of glow! Eventually, our old star will be eclipsed by a huge number of new, much hotter stars as the fatal tidal pulls energizes the galaxy's dirty sheets of loose matter.
So why make up missing elements to fix a broken cosmic system? Why not accept the idea that all galaxies are falling INTO and not AWAY FROM each other? And that distant star systems we can see that are billions of years old are now somewhere else, namely, their own gravitational pools probably have pulled them towards whatever dense mega-systems there are and they are consolidating, not flying into the wild blue yonder.
This means, the universe isn't really 'expanding' but is 'consolidating' only we can't see this...EXCEPT NEARBY! Ahem. Laugh about this if you want, but so it is.
Explanation: The small, northern constellation Triangulum harbors this magnificent face-on spiral galaxy, M33. Its popular names include the Pinwheel Galaxy or just the Triangulum Galaxy. M33 is over 50,000 light-years in diameter, third largest in the Local Group of galaxies after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and our own Milky Way. About 3 million light-years from the Milky Way, M33 is itself thought to be a satellite of the Andromeda Galaxy and astronomers in these two galaxies would likely have spectacular views of each other's grand spiral star systems. As for the view from planet Earth, this detailed, wide field image nicely shows off M33's blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions which trace the galaxy's loosely wound spiral arms. In fact, the cavernous NGC 604 is the brightest star forming region, seen here at about the 1 o'clock position from the galaxy center. Like M31, M33's population of well-measured variable stars have helped make this nearby spiral a cosmic yardstick for establishing the distance scale of the Universe.
HAHAHA. These galaxies were once far away from each other. And we were far from them. And no one molested us as we sucked up all the smaller galaxies that couldn't escape our gravity pool and now we are pretty much done, sucking down all local matter and now will be sucked down, too. So, it is obvious: All dwarf galaxies are being consolidated into larger galaxies and they in turn are consoldidating each other into mega galaxies and these are sliding into Super Mega Galaxies which are in the process of forming extremely deep, tremendously powerful gravity pools which are warping time and space, bending it backwards.
WASHINGTON - The largest planet ever found orbiting another star is so puffy it would float on water, astronomers said Thursday.
The newly discovered planet, dubbed HAT-P-1, is both the largest and least dense of the nearly 200 worlds astronomers have found outside our own solar system. HAT-P-1 orbits one of a pair of stars in the constellation Lacerta, about 450 light-years from Earth.
"This new planet, if you could imagine putting it in a cosmic water glass, it would float," said Robert Noyes, a research astrophysicist with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
HAT-P-1 is an oddball planet, since it orbits its parent star at just one-twentieth of the distance that separates Earth from our own sun. While Earth takes a year to orbit the sun, the newly found planet whips around its star once every 4.5 days.
Isn't it interesting, how little we know. One thing is certain: there are many star-like-thingies out there that are spinning very fast or have thingies spinning tremendously fast around them. Our own solar system looks like a doddering, quiet, plodding star system in comparison. Is this because our star doesn't have a very nasty proto-black hole in its core? We don't know! All we know is our star is blessedly quiet in comparison to most stars and doesn't have things whipping around it which is nice since I don't want our year to last 5 days! You would have to sleep and then wake up every couple of minutes!
Not to mention the whiplash neck problems trying to get in and out of bed.