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Archive for the ‘Cosmology’ Category


In Cosmology, Earth, Universe on September 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm

We have successfully boarded in ourselves and laid claim to an insignificant planet in an insignificant outer region of an unremarkable spiral galaxy, Milky Way, with long arms winding towards the bright central bulge. Instead of searching for absolute truth or any nonsense of that sort we have resorted to a plastic rationalization for the reason of our existence.

Milky Way Galaxy with Sun

The Sun’s location is indicated, along with various arms of Milky Way galaxy.

For the voracious reader, here’s a link to the original paper on today’s topic – MASS EXTINCTION AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE MILKY WAY

The study points out that six major extinction events have occurred on planet Earth till now, or to put in humbly, been discernible as of yet.

These are:

  • Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) at 66 million years ago
  • Triassic-Jurassic (T-J) at 200 million years ago
  • Permian-Triassic (P-T) at 250 million years ago
  • Late Devonian (LD) at 375 million years ago
  • Late Ordovician (LO) at 445 million years ago
  • Late Cambrian (LC) at 488 million years ago

Our present global civilization is driven by the 7-day work week, and millions in currency denomination bears more relevance compared to a time-scale of million years. The fickle human brain has not been programmed to comprehend cosmic time-scales. But what needs to be understood is that the present civilization came to be because at particular points in history there have been periods where flora and fauna have flourished. We, the present human race is a result of mammals taking over a planet without an apex species. A vastly overlooked fact is that our Universe is pretty much indifferent to everything – both inanimate and animate life – the tables can be turned on an apex species in the blink of an eye.

Coming back to the published article, speculations have been abound ever since these extinction events have been detected on what caused it. Even more mystifying was the fact pertaining to how life flourished abundantly for long periods following these extinctions only to be massacred later on in the orbit around Milky Way. This new study states that the Sun revolves around the Milky Way at 26.3 km s-1 kpc-1 which happens to be at a differential increment of 11 km s-1 kpc-1 when compared to arms of our galaxy. Our solar system moves faster than Milky Way’s lethargic arms, cutting its way across life sustaining as well as hazardous regions of the galaxy.

Sun's orbit around Mikly Way galaxy

Sun’s orbit cutting across Milky Way’s arms. The Sun moves faster than the arms of our galaxy. The circled points are extinction events.

Just as the scriptures and religious diktats proclaim rebirth an essential ingredient for human spiritual development, our cosmic home is no stranger to this concept. We are but mere vessels, rolling and clanking about, crashing into each other, awaiting to be emptied and refilled, just like our planet.



In Cosmology, Culture, Life, Philosophy, Universe on April 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

An automaton is a self-operating robot, or it is at times referred to as an android. It might appear to have thoughts of its own but in reality all of its cognition is pre-programmed and it follows rigid rules preventing itself from questioning these pre-programmed rules.

On Earth, raw material for creating such a machine is available in innumerable quantity, in the form of newly born human-beings. In fact, the whole economic system adopted globally is very much driven by and dependent on this quantity of raw material. Unbridled self-replication followed by mindless consumption props up the predominantly capitalistic economic practices, which under scrutiny turns out to be just a giant global Ponzi scheme, to demarcate the rich & privileged, from the poor & downtrodden.

Some automatons do turn out to be exceptional critical-thinkers and trounce this man-made facade of economic fallacy, thus enriching themselves, for e.g the entrepreneurs who create truly beneficial tools for daily use by the automatons, or the occasional winner of Who wants to be a millionaire? But what is lost in this noise, is the fact that plutocrats remain at the top of our economic ladder, owning  a vastly disproportional amount of the world’s wealth.

“The richest 300 have the same wealth as the poorest 3 billion!”

The automatons are falsely taught to toil, or work, or sell their time to an employer, in order to earn a living. This is nothing new. In pre-industrial societies, slaves and their labour were economically extremely important. Following reforms brought about by a renaissance concerning basic human rights, automatons have been inculcated to sell themselves, as slaves to modern slave-masters in the garb of corporations. The usual objective of such an automaton is to imbibe a need for consumption in fellow automatons. Thus the vicious cycle is maintained ad infinitum.

It has been almost 3 and a half years since James Cameron’s Avatar was released worldwide. Cinema is a medium that has the widest reach in our modern world, and this particular movie had a strong environmental message proclaiming that we only have one planet to sustain ourselves. Cinema is also tragically the medium through which automatons worldwide are lulled into passivity when they should be clamouring for realization of human rights &  cosmic research and exploration. After Avatar, and countless initiatives by environmental organisations worldwide, the automatons continue to buy more than 2 cars per house, continue to consume obliviously.

When you consider the fact that there have been numerous calls for a revolution, or a paradigm shift, and yet no change seems to be in sight for the near future, to save our only habitable environment, the Wachowskis got it right about the automatons in their 1999 masterpiece, The Matrix.

“Many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

The enemy is among us.


In Cosmology, Earth, Life, Universe on January 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm

WMAP is an explorer launched by NASA in June 2001 which successfully produced a new Standard Model of Cosmology. It was tasked with measuring the faint cosmic background radiation left over from an early developmental stage of our universe. In the beginning, before God, the universe was filled with a uniform glow from its white-hot fog of hydrogen plasma. The expansion of the universe continued with the plasma and radiation filling it becoming cooler. This led to protons and electrons forming neutral atoms. Atoms thus formed stopped absorbing the thermal radiation resulting in a transparent universe instead of an opaque one.

Data stream for WMAP has ended and according to a publication released on 12/20/2012:

The WMAP science team has determined, to a high degree of accuracy and precision, not only the age of the universe, but also the density of atoms; the density of all other non-atomic matter; the epoch when the first stars started to shine.

The present age of the universe that our solar system is a part of is said to stand at 13.77 billion years and counting, while the Cosmic Microwave Background is the afterglow of a young universe at only 375,000 years old.

The WMAP observation lends credibility to the theory of an ‘inflation’ period for our universe where it expanded dramatically, growing more than a trillion trillion-fold in less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Tiny fluctuations were generated during this expansion that eventually grew to form galaxies.

The exploration probe was able to determine the varying amount of components that constitute our universe. Atoms that make up human beings, animals, plants, planets, stars and galaxies account for a meager 4.6% of the total. A different kind of matter that has gravity, but does not emit any light, called dark matter constitutes 24%, while the majority of our universe is composed of dark energy, which acts as a source of anti-gravity and is accelerating the expansion of the universe.


Why are they given names like dark matter or dark energy? Well, for one noone knows what it is and of course they aren’t emitting any form of light either. We are ordinary(?) matter and we don’t emit light either but atoms in stars are capable of it. Is dark energy an area of the universe where the stars have failed to form?  All the while we bicker and fight over local economy and destruction of our natural habitat, dark energy menacingly pushes away all our neighbouring clusters of galaxies, gradually isolating atoms to a cold and dark end.

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