Time, the Universe and the Whole Darn Thing!
Part One: The Future of the Earth
By Allan Eastman
Keep Watching the Skies!
Most of us human beings live our lives without being very aware of what’s going on out there in the Universe around us. One of the very negative effects of worldwide electrification – amid all its genuine positives - is that it has deprived most of us of a view of the night sky with the incredible light show that goes on up there every time the Sun goes down. No longer do we sit on a hillside and try to discern patterns in the random scattering of stars. No longer do we stare into the immense beauty of the Cosmos and ponder what could be out there or what our role in it should be.
Sciences, of course, have taught us more about Space in the last 100 years or so than all the rest of our history ever thought possible. The Universe is exceedingly more vast and infinitely more strange than we ever imagined it to be. And you know what? Humans should pay more attention to it than they do – not only do we literally come from celestial star dust but our future and our fate is irrevocably tied up with the evolution of those bodies out in Space beyond us.
I suppose it is in the nature of Humans to look inward in an effort to understand themselves and to pay the greatest attention to local concerns and problems. But you know, there have been numerous mass extinctions on our planet during its long time of being and most of them have been caused by phenomena emanating from out there in Space arriving here on Earth – the dinosaur killer asteroid strike, various Gamma Ray Burst sterilizations and even the effects of the oscillation of our planet in its various eccentric orbits moving around the Galactic core.
But OK, this is not meant to get fixated on the possibilities of destruction from beyond but rather to do a quick survey through the history and the future of our Solar System, our Galaxy and our Universe; and to see what effect it has had on us and will have upon our home planet and on our species as we move forward in Time.
In a previous edition of All The Time In The World - Making it in the Big Time - we went through how humans came to discover the timeline of the Universe as it related to their own existence up until the present. In this chapter, we’ll look deeper and farther into Space to try to trace the timeline of the Universe itself and to speculate on how it is going to affect us. We’ll try to keep it on a Universal scale, so to speak, and I’d like to focus on several of the very bizarre and amazing things going on out there. For the fun of it.
Like that previous installment, there has to be some VERY BIG numbers here to give some scale to the enterprise. But we won’t use scientific notation like 1045 (very hard to picture what that might mean, huh?). Instead, we’ll use descriptive numbers - Million, Billion, Trillion – with a Billion being 1,000 Million and a Trillion a 1,000 Billion. A Trillion would be 1,000,000,000,000 but who needs that when you’re sitting there reading a newsletter on your computer?