UNCLASSIFIED, NON-POLITICAL, and NON-SENSITIVE POSTS ONLY
IUSSCAA Posting Guidelines
IUSSCAA Photo Library
Does the fact that we are here to consider why we are here - or anything is here - indicate the universe is cyclical?
As previously discussed - see below - the universe is 13.77 billion years old, an extreme length of time but only three times older
than the earth, and comprehensible in that frame of reference.
As also previously discussed, things that begin must also end, and since they existed, must also exist again in the same form,
i.e, te universe is NOT a one-time creation but an endless cycle of creation and destruction; arising anew from the "ashes"
of a previous cycle.
Nothing else makes any sense based on the determination that the universe has a finite age. Don't agree? Tell me why.
Saving You - and others to whom this item went - the trouble of looking up this previous posting from 18 Sep 21.
Subj: Rationalizing Very Large Numbers Including Time
If asked how long 1440 minutes is, most of us would reach for a calculator and divide 1440 by 60 to "rationalize" a number many would not immediately recognize. The answer, of course, is 24, the length of a day in hours.
When dealing with very large numbers, rationalizing them - making them easier to "understand" - is not so easy. The largest number most of us encounter is the annual US budget, currently 3.5 trillion dollars.
Most of us know our annual income and what we would do with additional funds were we to receive them.
So, if we divide the 3.5 trillion dollar US annual budget by the US population - which was 331 million in 2020 - we have a value of $10,574 per citizen, Thus we rationalize a very large number into a number that has relevance for us as individuals.
Another very large number with which most of us may be less familiar is the age of the universe: time that has elapsed since the "Big Bang," - currently assessed to have occurred 13.772±0.040 billion years ago - when all that we can observe though our largest telescopes was contained in an infinitely small "singularity" of infinite density. (Wikipedia).
Most of us acknowledge that the earth is "very old." The early earth condensed from the pre-solar nebula about 4.54 billion years plus/minus one percent. (Wikipedia)
So, we have a "rationalizing" value for the age of the universe:which is very close to exactly three times the age of the earth: 3.03 to be exact. We stand upon the earth; it is something with which we are very familiar. At least for the writer, the age of the universe compared with the age of the earth makes the age of the universe a comprehensible number.
An associated issue is the age of life on earth generally agreed to have been cyanobacteria at about 3.5 billion year ago at a time when the earth was still the target for very large incoming objects (planetesmals) from space that must have sterilized large areas of the planet if not its entire surface.
Radiogenical and crater-count datings of large lunar impact craters has identified periods during which many large objects impacted the lunar surface: 3.25 and 3.85 billion years ago. It is logical to assume similar impacts occurred on earth, probably more because of the relative strength of earth's gravity field compared to the moon's.
These circumstances argue that life could have originated and been extinguished numerous times before achieving survival because of its increasing distribution on the earth's surface and a decreasing number of large incoming objects.
This logic is consistent with the conclusion that life exists everywhere in the universe because planets with conditions favorable for its survival must be commonplace since recent radial velocity and occultation measurements confirm essentially all stars have planets, their formation being a normal consequence of star formation - and there are trillions of galaxies (Hubble Deep field Study) each containing millions to billions of stars almost all of which have planets. Indeed, any object with a significant gravitational field should host orbiting objects as do Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune with their systems of large and small moons.
What "saves" the earth from visits by technologically advanced alien civilizations that almost certainly exist is the enormous distances between stars. The nearest star known to have planets is Alpha Centauri at 4.35 light years or roughly 26 trillion miles. Don't wait around for visitors.
What triggered these rather abstract musing? It is book entitled "The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)" by Katie Mack written in terms comprehensible to all. No advanced math or I would not be reading it, much less recommending it to those who monitor this site.
A final note: telescopes are basically time-machines because light has a finite speed: about 186,000 miles per second. So, the sunlight you see reflected from the moon left the moon a little more than one second earlier. Direct sunlight takes about eight minutes to reach the earth; hence, what you actually see is the sun as it was eight minutes ago - in the past. The more distant an object is, the further you are looking into the past. The most distant object to be optically detected - by the Hubble Space Telescope - is a galaxy about 13.2 million light years distant - getting close to the age of the universe at 13.77 billion years..
That raises the question: is it possible to actually "see" the Big Bang, the creation of the universe? The astounding answer is "Yes." It has been detected as the Cosmic Microwave Background, an omnidirectional radio source the discoverers of which were awarded the Nobel Prize.
And they deserved such recognition since confirmation that the universe had a beginning may be the most important determination ever made by human intellect because things that have beginnings must also have endings, and the author of the book describes four possible endings of the universe.
Although the writer is only several chapters into "The End of Everything," the book already has had an unexpected almost soporific (calming) effect preparing the writer to more peacefully accept his own terminal event because everything has to - and will - end.