Category Archives: Just for Fun

The unexplained, interesting Apps, aliens and more

Just for fun How big is the Universe?

137 Just for fun How big is the Universe?

I am amazed at scientists that speculate on items like the chance of intelligent life in the universe. We are not able to conceive of how we would ever be able to travel to our closest solar neighbor, much less between galaxies. Just how big is the universe. The answer keeps changing as we come up with more powerful telescopes and as usual is just an estimate that is based on the “observable” universe. The fact is that we are not able to see all the way to the edge of the universe. Just ten years ago scientists estimated that there were at least 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Today that number has grown to a range of 500 billion to a trillion galaxies. These are numbers that are far beyond my grasp.

The Milky Way galaxy is not extremely large and yet is contains approximately 200 billion solar system. Our closest solar neighbor is Alpha Centauri. This isn’t a single star, it’s actually a triple-star system — three stars bound together by gravity. Alpha Centauri A and B are two bright, closely orbiting stars with a distant, dim companion named Proxima Centauri. The inner binary appears to the unaided eye as a single star, the third brightest in the night sky, but it lies 4.37 light years from the Sun. Faint Proxima Centauri is the one that claims the honor of being our true nearest stellar neighbor at only 4.24 light years away. If we were able to achieve a velocity of 10% of the speed of light (not a clue as to how we would achieve and maintain this) the round trip would take 85 years.

The estimated size of our galaxy is 100,000 light years in diameter. Do you think that is large, it’s not? The Andromeda galaxy, at a distance of about 2.5 million light years, also known as NGC 224 and M31 – is the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way apart from smaller companion galaxies such as the Magellanic Clouds. Andromeda is also a ‘spiral’ galaxy, like the Milky Way. From locations far away from the city lights, it can be spotted with the naked eye. The space between the two galaxies is 25 times the size of our galaxy! That would be quite a long trip.

Just how large is the universe? The proper distance —the distance as would be measured at a specific time, including the present—between Milky Way and the edge of the observable universe is 46 billion light-years (14 billion parsecs), making the diameter of the observable universe about 93 billion light-years (28 billion parsecs) assuming we are near the center.

I’ll leave you with the following to ponder: Since the best estimate is that the Universe started from a singularity 13.7 billion years ago how could it possibly be larger than 13.7 billion light-years in diameter?

This link will take you to a video I think you will enjoy:

Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars

I recently had the opportunity to view a documentary on National Geographic that chronicled the origins and progress of the SpaceX Company. I had heard a few reports on this company but not realize that they had been working on their mission for almost 20 years!

Just a bit of background on Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX) from Wikipedia: “Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk moved to Canada when he was 17 to attend Queen’s University. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received an economics degree from the Wharton School and a degree in physics from the College of Arts and Sciences. He began a Ph.D. in applied physics and material sciences at Stanford University in 1995 but dropped out after two days to pursue an entrepreneurial career. He subsequently co-founded Zip2, a web software company, which was acquired by Compaq for $340 million in 1999. Musk then founded, an online bank. It merged with Confinity in 2000 and later that year became PayPal, which was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.[13][14][15][16]

In May 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, of which he is CEO and lead designer. He helped fund Tesla, Inc., an electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer, in 2003, and became its CEO and product architect. In 2006, he inspired the creation of SolarCity, a solar energy services company that is now a subsidiary of Tesla, and operates as its chairman.

The ultimate goal of SpaceX is to colonize Mars. Their approach is to make the process more economical by reusing the some (or eventually all) of the orbital components.

I highly recommend that the reader check out the SpaceX documentary on the National Geographic Chanel.

In the meantime, check out a couple of brief videos, the 2nd one demonstrates a successful test of reusable components from a recent orbital mission: i(t=

Psychopathic Traits

Psychopathic Traits

Most of us will display one or more psychopathic traits. This does not mean that we are psychopaths. However, when a person displays half or more then there is a decent chance that the individual is extremely dangerous.

The twenty traits on the Hare Psychopathy checklist are:

  1. pathological lying     *                                        11. glib and superficial charm *
  2. grandiose sense of self    *                               12. need for stimulation *
  3. cunning and manipulative                                13. lack of remorse or guilt *
  4. shallow emotional response    *                   14. callousness and lack of empathy *
  5. parasitic lifestyle                                                  15.  poor behavioral controls *
  6. sexual promiscuity *                                      16. early behavior problems *
  7. lack of realistic long-term goals  *                 17. impulsivity *
  8. irresponsibility                                                     18. failure to accept responsibility *
  9. many short-term marital relationships      19. juvenile delinquency
  10. revocation of conditional release        20. criminal versatility

I have tagged (*) 13 of these traits. I have emphasized a few (7) of these traits in bold type. Does this remind you of anyone? There have been numerous cult leaders that possess a majority of these traits. Their followers were not bad people, just programmed to believe that their leader could do no wrong despite considerable evidence to the contrary. If you are aware of any leader that displays a majority of these traits I would encourage you not to drink the Kool Aid at the end.