Friday, May 28, 2004

Universal Truths....

Astronomy is a topic I have always been deeply interested in.. I often ponder over the intricacies of the universe.. And discuss it will anyone who is interested.. Two things that hav always fascinated me are, time and space..

The hugeness of space and time scales of the universe is mind boggling in itself.. The universe has been around for more than 10 billion years.. Most of us cannot even comprehend the enormity of this figure.. To think that the entire human civilization has only been around for 5000 years..
Many stars visible from earth are thousands of light years away.. It means what they appear to us today, is what they where thousands of years back.. So, in fact, we are actually able to look back in time.. Who says that time machine is yet to be invented..

Consider the opposite scenario.. Suppose a guy is sitting with a very powerful telescope in a planet 2 million light years away.. He would be able to see the light reflected from the earth 2 million years back.. i.e. he would see dinosaurs roaming about all over the place..

A topic as fascinating as astronomy, is relativity.. The wrapping of time and space.. Although I could understand the logic behind the mathematical derivations which indicate the shrinking of time and length as speed of a body approaches the speed of light (studied in college), I have never quite been able to grasp how and why does it actually happen.. How can scientists like Stephen Hawking and co. think and derive theories in areas which most others can't even comprehend properly.. The more I delve into it, the more intrigued I get..

When I think about all these things, I realize how insignificant we are in the larger scheme of things.. The minutest malfunction in the inter-galactic machinery can completely obliterate our very existence.. And there is no way we can do anything about it... We are all puppets in the hands of greater forces.. Maybe, it is from here that the concepts of God and Destiny hav emerged...

Any discussion on such a topic cannot conclude without a mention of extra-terrestrial beings.. I'll just quote a dialogue from the novel Contact, by Carl Sagan.. A child asked the leading lady about what she thought of extra-terrestrials.. She replied, "There are more stars in this galaxy than there is sand on all beaches of earth.. And there are more galaxies in the universe than there is sand on this earth.. So, if it's only us, then it seems like an awful waste of space".....

2 comments:

Nikhil Kulkarni said...

hmmm... so 'ur mind space' is filled with a lot of thoughts on space :D (i seem 2 b learning some 'pun'ing from u)
In Einstien's biography his views on god are stated as "God is not a judge who sits and evaluates our sins, he is equivalent to a force which controls the planets and governs the macro rules of the relativistic world. What happens threafter because of the rules is purely coincidental". In seeking theories of nature and the physical worls Einstien in his own opinion was trying to seek out this eteral God.....

the_new_cloud said...

Well this thing has always made me wonder too..How unimportant we ppl are here and still have egoes. Hoe insignificant we are and fight on petty matters..
Better enjoy what little time we have.......