Shakespeare on Astrology


Edmund ‘This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune,—often the surfeit of our own behaviour,—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon’s tail, and my nativity was under ursa major; so that it follows I am rough and lecherous.—Tut!’

– Reed International Books Ltd. 1992. The Illustrated Stratford Shakespeare London, Great Britain: Chancellor Press (1996) p. 836

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On Stars in Space


“Put three grains of sand inside a vast cathedral, and it will be more closely packed with sand than space is with stars.”

– James Jeans

Conversations: Civilization of Ignorance


Sappho
All complex life on earth has developed from simpler life forms over billions of years. This is a fact that no longer admits of intelligent dispute. If you doubt that human beings evolved from prior species, you may as well doubt that the sun is a star.

Galene
Well, not to be facetious, but the sun doesn’t look like any other star.

Sappho
Granted, the sun doesn’t seem like an ordinary star, but we know that it is a star that just happens to be relatively close to the earth.

Helena
The point is this: imagine your potential for embarrassment if your religious faith rested on the presumption that the sun was not a star at all. Imagine millions of Christians in the United States spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year to battle the godless astronomers and astrophysicists on this point. Imagine them working passionately to get their unfounded notions about the sun taught in our nation’s schools. This is exactly the situation Christians are now in with respect to evolution. Continue reading

Spaghettification


Spaghettification is the process by which any object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole. Essentially, when a particle draws too close to the source of the powerful gravitational field, it is stretched into long thin shapes, like pasta.

The term was coined by Stephen Hawking in his book, A Brief History of Time, where he likened this process to spaghetti. Much like other aspects of the black hole theory and model, this effect of drawing too close to a black hole remains untested, unobserved and unproven, and relates to areas of physics that remain largely unexplored, namely the concept of a force so powerful that no matter what components make up a piece of matter, it will be stretched further than is deemed by many to be within the realms of physical plausibility.

“Sure, black holes can kill us, and in a variety of interesting and gruesome ways. But, all in all, we may owe our very existence to them.” ― Phil Plait

Planetesimal [Noun.]


Baby planet; that is to say, a solid object (larger than approximately 1 km in the solar nebula – the birthplace of a star) arising during the accumulation of planets whose internal strength is dominated by self-gravity and whose orbital dynamics is not significantly affected by gas drag.

One Hundred Quintillion Years


Not taking into account the first 10,000,000,000 years, the following events make up a very brief overview of the next 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 years:

  • [+14,400,000,000] Sun = Black Dwarf: Its temperature and luminosity will plummet, making it invisible to human eyes (not that they exist any more).
  • [+20,000,000,000] The Big Rip: One potential end of the universe. All matter will be torn apart by the expansion of the universe. All distances will become infinite – not good.
  • [+100,000,000,000] Local Group Merge: All local galaxies will start to merge. This process will take nearly one trillion years.
  • [+150,000,000,000] Cosmic Microwave Background: The afterglow of radiation from the Big Bang will cool from -27OC to near absolute zero, making it undetectable to current technology.
  • [+1,000,000,000,000] Earliest End Of Star Formation: Galaxies will have lost the gas clouds needed for star-formation. – Earliest estimate.
  • [+100,000,000,000,000] Latest End Of Star Formation: Lowest estimate for the end of stellar birth. The beginning of the ‘Degenerate Era’ of universe-wide star death.
  • [+110,000,000,000,000] Star’s Fuel Exhausted: All stars will have died. The only objects left are remnants: white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes.
  • [+100,000,000,000,000,000,000] Earth Dies: If not consumed by a swollen Sun at 5.4 billion years, the Earth’s orbit will have finally decayed and it will plunge into the Sun.

See other: Events of the Far Future

One Hundred Thousand Years


Not taking into account the first 10,000 years, the following events make up a very brief overview of the next 100,000 years:

  • [+13,000] Earth’s Axial Tilt Reversed: The Earth will tilt away from the Sun in June – the Northern hemisphere will experience more extreme weather due to the higher percentage of land.
  • [+18,860] Calendars Concur: the Islamic and Georgian calendars will share the same year: 20,860.
  • [+20,000] Chernobyl: the damaging radioactivity at Chernobyl, Ukraine will be gone.
  • [+25,000] Arecibo Message: Sent on 16 November 1974, radio data from the Earth will be received by globular cluster Messier 13 at the far side of the galaxy.
  • [+50,000] Greenland Ice Melted: The ice at Greenland will be completely melted with moderate global warming (+2C).
  • [+50,000] KEO Time Capsule: Launched in 2014, the time capsule will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. It has enough capacity to carry a four-page message from everyone on Earth.
  • [+50,000] Niagra Falls Disappears: The remaining 32 kilometres to Lake Erie will erode away and the waterfall will cease to exist.
  • [+100,000] Nearby Supernova: the red giant VY Canis Majoris will likely explode into a Hypernova.
  • [+100,000] Laptop Disappearing: The titanium in laptops will start to corrode.
  • [+100,000] Constellations: The stars in the heavens will look completely different due to Earth’s movement through the galaxy.
  • [+100,000] Global disaster: Either a supervolcano or a large climate-altering asteroid will probably have affected the Earth by then.

See other: Events of the Far Future