Kategoriarkiv: Universet

Gaia

Jeg blev født i en tid, hvor din tidsregning virker utilstrækkelig. Selvom du har en kvantitativ betegnelse for det, så er det nok for svært at forholde sig til flere milliarder af år. Prøv. Hvor meget er 1000 år? Og gentag så dette tidsrum en million gange. Så har du lidt under en fjerdedel af min alder.

I den første spæde tid af mit liv levede jeg nærmest i en krigszone, hvor jeg blev bombarderet fra alle sider mens jeg selv snurrede hastigt rundt. En gang blev jeg ramt så voldsomt, at jeg følte det som om jeg røg helt ved siden af mig selv. Det viste sig at være sandt. Jeg var blevet splittet i to, og vi snurrede rundt om hinanden, mig og den anden mig. Vi var som tvillinger, men desværre som tvillinger med TTTS, hvor al næringen går til den ene og intet til den anden. Min døde tvilling forblev i sin bane omkring mig. Jeg satte ikke spørgsmålstegn ved det – alle familier har deres særheder. Derudover viste det sig at min døde tvilling stabiliserede mig en smule og jeg sagtnede farten rundt om mig selv efterhånden.   

Denne første fjerdedel af min levetid undergik jeg en masse forandringer og efter den første vilde tid, kunne jeg bruge oceaner af tid på bare mig selv. Jeg elskede det, men det blev også lidt ensomt. Så i disse oceaner skabte jeg en cellekammerat til at holde mig med selskab. Og det var godt i meget lang tid.

Men så skete det. Jeg vidste godt at alting forandrer sig, og at intet forbliver som det er, for evigt. Men havde egentlig ikke forudset at den ene celle, som var så enestående i sig selv, pludselig efter et par milliarder år, besluttede sig at blive til flere. Jeg havde muligvis skabt liv, men nu skabte livet sig og slog sig sammen. Som en teenager udviklede det sig til et nyt og mere komplekst individ, og kunne ikke undgå at efterlade aftryk på omgivelserne omkring sig. På mig.

Det var forstadiet til dig. Og jeg kan huske da du første gang kom til. Du var et resultat af endnu omkring en milliard års kontinuerlig udvikling.  Det tog dig derefter omkring hundrede tusinde år at udvikle et rigtigt sprog og du lærte hurtigt at samarbejde. Dit intellekt voksede sammen med dine evner – og dine sociale evner virkede som en katalysator, det speedede processen op. Og du fik øjnene op for hvordan du egentlig kunne bruge mig. Udnytte mig til dække eget behov.

Jeg underkaster mig dig – eller det er, hvad du bilder dig ind, i hvert fald. Jeg lægger mig fladt ned foran dine fødder og står til din rådighed, men en gang imellem koger mit indre over og jeg slår igen. Jeg ryster din verden og spyr ild i din retning. Jeg lader dig drukne i mine dybder og smadrer din skrøbelige skal. Men du glemmer hurtigt.

I dit verdensbillede, er du toppen af evolutionstræet. Min ukronede konge. Du bruger mig til eget behov, selvom du dog også nogle gange forsøger at passe på mig. Det går bare ikke altid så godt, for den egoistiske side af dig er for overbevisende. Og jeg forstår dig godt. Du er et lille samfund i dig selv, skabt til at overleve, opflasket til at nyde, opvokset med dig selv i centrum af dit verdensbillede. Du er som et lille barn endnu og fuldstændig afhængig af mine oprindelige cellekammerater, som er med til at definere dig og holde dig oppe, mens du indbildsk insisterer på et “Ka’ selv!”.

Jeg ved at du elsker mig, selvom du ikke altid er god til at vise det. Nogle gange bliver jeg alligevel i tvivl om du sætter nok pris på mig. Jeg har set dig sende stjålne blikke i retning af min rødlige søster. Hun er kold og tør og viser ingen tegn på interesse, men alligevel er det som om hun har en magisk tiltrækning på dig. Er det ikke bare typisk? Her giver jeg dig alt hvad jeg har, og du tager mig for givet, mens en der er gold og fjern, fanger din interesse. Du må bare have, hvad du ikke umiddelbart kan få. Og hvis det lykkes, vil du ikke bare lade hende være sig selv og holde af hende som hun er – næh, nej, du ønsker at forandre hende, indtil hun også passer til dine behov. Indtil hun bliver en slags ny udgave af mig – for nyt er jo altid mere spændende, ikke sandt?

Du har forandret mig i den korte tid du har været her, men alligevel har du ikke så stor en indflydelse på mig, som du giver dig selv æren for. Jag har fint lært at leve med dig. Jeg tilpasser og udvikler mig uanfægtet. Mit indre er en massiv jernkerne af ro. Du er ofte bekymret for min fremtid, men det er der ingen grund til. Jeg overlever dig. Mine enlige cellekammerater, som har været med mig i milliarder af år, og også hjulpet dig mere end du selv tror, overlever dig også. Jeg drejer rundt og sørger for god vind til dig.

The man and his umbrella – the stories that we tell ourself

So I met this guy yesterday and he lives in a place that is full of umbrellas. Because every time he goes out, he forgets his umbrella, and he has to buy a new one, if it starts to rain, which of course it always does. And sometime he doesn’t even gets to use it, like yesterday when the rain had already stopped, shortly after he bought it. Anyway, he does that every time, so he’s place is all filled up with umbrellas now. There are umbrellas everywhere – literally everywhere! Actually it’s so full of umbrellas that he cannot even get in anymore. When he opens the door, umbrellas just fall out and he has to push them back in leaving no room for him. So now he lives in different airbnb apartments, pretending that he just moved here from, and he hasn’t found a place to live yet, while in reality, his place is just full of umbrellas. He has to make this cover up story, because no one would believe him, if he told them the truth about the umbrellas. He didn’t even tell me, I just figured!

… and the rest is history. Or actually it’s herstory, which is mystory. So maybe it’s … a mystery?

Of course none of this is really true, except that I did meet this guy yesterday, and he forgot his umbrella, so he bought a new one and he does that “every time”. And the story reminds me a bit of the way our physical reality sometimes can be so weird under unusual circumstances, that we have to fill in the blanks and try to make it fit into our expectations of reality. We make up these stories that apparently make sense to our limited brain and the universe is laughing, because they are so cute. Ahh, those humans.

… So the rest is a mystery of future, which someday will be the history of the future.

OK then – seeya!

The story of a supermassive black hole who didn’t own a bathroom scale

In the very most distant corner of the universe, there once was this little black hole, as black as any of the darkest souls. Actually it was a pretty huge black hole. Massive. SUPERmassive as the matter of fact, almost like superman, except it was much cooler. First of all, it wasn’t wearing it’s underwear outside its pants, and second it was much bigger and much heavier than superman, with it’s mass of a billion solar masses. Well approximately a billion solar masses.

The SMBH did not own any bathroom scale, and hence it had no idea how much it actually did weight. Maybe some thousand solar masses if it was a small SMBH or maybe hundreds of thousands billions of solar masses if it was a larger one [1]. It had no idea, and neither did it like to be compared to the little bright star, that some living creatures called the sun. The sun was such a tiny, young thing, it was picture perfect and really had a body of a model, while the SMBH just felt huge and heavy in comparison. “Nobody ever uses ME as a model”, it muttered to itself. “Also, it’s probably because I’m black”.

Since the SMBH did not know it mass and actually didn’t even know it’s size either, it even had no idea whether it actually had a healthy BMI. It did try to get its daily exercise though, by actively swirling huge masses of gas surrounding it (even though “daily” didn’t really make any sense to it, but sometimes you just gotta do, what you gotta do, right?)

It would try compare itself to a neighbouring SMBH inside the quasar J0159+0105 [2] with a mass of 1.3*10^8 solar masses and a size of approximately 50 daylights for the broad line region, which gave a BMI of approximately 1.5*10^8 kg/m^2 – but was that a healthy number? Should it not be below 25? It did seem a little bit high …

“I wish someone could tell me how large my mass actually was”, the SMBH pondered to itself. “And maybe whether I look fat in this suit”, it said looking at the torus gas cloud surrounding it.

The SMBH was living closely surrounded by it’s very bright friend, the quasar. The quasar was just as bright as the SMBH was dark. Together they were the center of their very own universe, or rather, their very own galaxy, floating and spiraling on a journey through the universe.

While the SMBH preferred to lurk in it’s own shadows, almost swallowing itself in the attempt to avoid the party, the bright quasar was quite opposite. It shined with a luminosity about 4 trillion times the above mentioned sun [3], and enjoyed being the center of any attention that anyone would like to give it.

And while the SMBH had low self esteem because of its heavy mass and its almost non-existent chances of ever becoming a model like the sun, the quasar on the other hand was shining through and feeling exceptional energetic and unstoppable. “I am Quasar, hear me roar!”. It did not actually roar, like you would expect it to – but you could almost hear it across the universe, in it’s own radio emitting language. If you could only translate it into lion language, I am sure it would pretty much sound like a roar.

Meanwhile the SMBH sulked in inside the quasar, like a devouring hole, trying to eat it’s quasar friend from the inside.

One day the Quasar has had it. “Enough!” it proclaimed, while blowing a magnificent fume of high speed particles through a blazar jet. (“Nevermore”, a raven echoed somewhere on a planet named earth, and some dude named Edgar wrote it down, but that’s a whole different story [4]). “Enough with the sulking already. We are going to get your mass and all of the other masses of our dear SMBH friends in the universe measured, and you’ll see – your BMI is perfectly fine I’m sure”.

The SMBH almost lightened up a bit, but it did not really, it was just some gas orbiting around its  event horizon, which made it seem so. Nevertheless, it did continue as if nothing had been said, pretending it didn’t care and that it didn’t matter, but the quasar knew that its friends inner darkness did not always reflect its actual mood and that something actually did matter quite much, even though the matter was hiding in the darkness. And so the quasar started sending out signals to whoever might want to measure or calculate the masses of several black holes.

Time passed. Several billion years passed actually, but the quasar was really patient. Time did not really exist in its mind, since it was so heavy and even heavier considering the black kernel inside it, that time bend around it, making the time seem to pass rather fast. In the blink of its imaginary eye, it seemed like a billion years, maybe more [5],  have passed in the outer world before somewhere else in the universe, some human beings had read the signals and decided – like out of the blue – to measure the masses of some SMBHs.

“Why are we doing this again?”, one student asked, while trying to understand the calculations.
“Because we want to know!”

But the real answer was of course, because they were manipulated by the signals of the distant quasar signals from the even more distant past of more than a billion years. “Measure me!” The signals insisted subconsciously. “Measure the mass of my SMBH friend. And all of our friends”. And so the students did. They worked day and night, until their hard work payed of. Maybe even two days and two nights – nobody really cares about that kind of time frame in the scale of the universe.

<insert what the students actually did and what they’ve found out here, and the BMI of the SMBH – did it actually look good in it’s bathing suit for bathing in the light of its Quasar with the Torus of dusty gas around it?>

And they all lived happily ever after, until the end of the illusion of time. Well, almost. The quasars of the universe were happy for a while, but in the end, the black holes inside them sucked all the energy out of every single one of them, leaving the space surrounding them dark, empty and apparently completely soulless. Yes, so it seemed. What was really going on inside of the black holes, was a whole different story, and their well kept secret, not to be discovered until a few billion years from now, on the human time scale.

To be continued in a few billion years (or like now, if you are a photon).

When I wish upon a star

Jeg så et stjerneskud.

Sådan næsten lige uden for syns rækkevidde gennem mit beskidte køkkenvindue ud mod øst.  Helt ved den øvre vindueskant, så jeg nåede ikke at se den ordentligt. Der skulle komme meteorregn i nat. Jeg lagde mig ud med at tæppe, ude på græsset, hvor jeg havde god udsigt mod nordøst, hvor det skulle komme fra. Jorden og græsset duftede sødt. Efter en 10 minutters tålmodigt venten så jeg et til! Jeg tror at det er første gang jeg rigtig har set en … men det går så hurtigt. Alt for hurtigt.

Jeg ventede i 10-15 minutter mere for bare at kunne se een mere, men det lykkedes ikke. Til sidst blev duften af græs og jord lidt for meget som sød og tung perfume, sindet for rastløst og måske ville Oscar finde på at vågne, mens jeg legede udendørs eventyr?

Well, I’ve made my wish. 

Hvad skyldes disse stjerneskud? Fra videnskab.dk:

Hvert år omkring 12. august kan man opleve en sværm af meteorer på nattehimlen. Det skyldes, at Jorden krydser ind i kometen 109P/Swift-Tuttles bane. Når det sker, vil støv fra kometen brænde op i Jordens atmosfære og ses som stjerneskud.

Den tilbagevendende meteorregn betegnes også som Laurentii-tårer, og hvis man er heldig, kan man nogle gange se op til 90 meteorer i timen.

Sidste sommer var meteorregnen svær at se, fordi Månen lyste alt for meget. I år vurderer Space.com, at Månen ikke vil give problemer, fordi den først står op lige før solopgang, og derfor efterlader den nattehimlen helt mørk.