Milky Way to Be Devoured by Another Galaxy….Someday

Numerous websites are now reporting that the Andomeda cluster, a galactic neighbor of ours, is on a collision course with our own Milky Way galaxy and that the Earth will probably be devoured….in just 3.5 billion years.

That’s how long it will take before the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way galaxy cross paths…but, by then, the Earth probably won’t even be part of the solar system any more.

In 3.5 billion years, it is a statistical certainty that the Earth will have already been shattered in a collision with a massive asteroid. The Earth could also have been burnt to a crisp by then, if our own sun goes nova, as it is expected to do sometime over the next. 3.5 billion years.

So, exactly how is this news? When did astronomers get into the click bait business by releasing “enhanced images” of event that haven’t even happened yet…and may never happen at all.

This new revelation follows one made yesterday about a mysterious black spot that has been discovered on the surface of Jupiter, which turned out to be nothing more than the shadow of one of Jupiter’s moons that was passing between Jupiter and the sun on its regularly irregular orbit.

That story followed another one about speculations that a never-seen but much speculated upon Ninth Planet is actually a basketball sized black hole somewhere out beyond the border of Pluto that might be in the process of devouring our whole solar system, one planet at a time.

Has anyone heard from Pluto lately, or has the distant former planet gone off in a huff to sulk after being demoted to “dwarf planet status?

(That was a bogus piece of pseudo-science, by the way. The only reason that Pluto was demoted is that it hasn’t been able to clear out all of the debris in its orbital path by either capturing that debris as captive moons or by building its own set of rings.)

Well, hold your horses, because we might just be able to take a quick trip out there to see what’s going on because Joseph Agnew, an  UNDERGRADUATE engineering student and a research assistant at the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Propulsion Research Center has published a paper that utilizes simplified versions of Einstein’s general relatively equations to demonstrate that we might be able to build a faster-than-light speed propulsion system that “warps” space to shorten the distance between two points.

Don’t try to reserve a seat on the first interstellar package tour until you read the fine print.  In the real world, we have no idea how to compress or expand space and since this involves compressing something that does not exist (space is the absence of substance) through mechanisms we don’t understand this is in in the realm of realistic probability

And that’s a good thing because the attempt to “simplify” Einstein’s equations is really an attempt to circumvent Einstein’s speed limit. According to Einstein’s theory, if a material object exceeds the speed of light, it’s mass becomes infinite.

That’s how we know that no space faring civilization has ever exceeded the speed of light because, if it had, if a grain of sand were to exceed the speed of light, it’s mass would become infinite, which means that the grain of sand in question would expand to fill the entire universe, wiping out all of the galaxies in said universe. Since we still exist, we know that has never happened.

We do know that gravity is a function of mass and that the larger an object is, the higher it’s gravitational field is going to be. We also know that gravity may be a function of the deformation of space around a large mass.

Okay, then, all we need in order to collapse space is to create an object that is so heavy that it will compress the non-existent space (upon which it has no effect because gravity doesn’t affect empty space with nothing in it) enough so that we can compress light years of space into, oh, a city block. In order to do that, we would need a mass around a million times larger than Jupiter, which would be very difficult to move around, wouldn’t it?

Even if we could figure out how to do that, the basketball sized black hole might not be there when we arrive because another article, also featured recently on Google News, tells us that black holes might not exit at all.

On the other hand, we have all seen the first ever photograph of a black hole, right?

Wrong. You cannot photograph a black hole because black holes do not emit light. The famous black hole picture actually shows the light coming off stars that are being devoured by the black hole in question but we still haven’t actually seen a black hole….yet.

Why are all these black hole stories appearing?

Well, how many stories about the climate crisis and the constitutional crisis do you think the internet can absorb. More importantly, from the publisher’s perspective,  how can you attract more clicks if you keep running the same stories everyone else is running?

One other thing comes to mind. A hole can be one of two things, a sphere which is a geometric shape that looks like a flat, round plate from whichever angle or a tube, which is the shape you get when, for example, you stick a nail through a piece of cheese.

Globes don’t go anywhere. If the black theory is correct, their fantastic gravitational fields simply pull matter toward the center of the hole from all directions which is how sphere (and planets for that matter) get created.

If, however, a black hole is actually a tube, a tunnel running through the space-time continuum, then each “black hole” must have two ends, one of which is obviously in this space-time continuum, while the other is somewhere else.

That somewhere else might just be more normal space, but somewhere far distant from the front end of the tube (from our perspective.)  Since we have never seen a tubular black hole – all black holes appear to present themselves as flat round circles indicating a spherical structure – there probably aren’t any black hole tubes out there.

If there are, don’t sign up to explore one.  That would undoubtedly be a one way trip.

 

 

 

 

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