Monday, October 13, 2008

A Hidden Threat

I don't want to alarm you, but the known universe might be getting sucked into some bizarro rip in the space-time continuum that makes a black hole look like a clogged drain. Scientists have discovered entire galaxies that are "being pulled at 2 million mph toward a particular patch of sky." Put at slightly greater length, but just as terrifyingly (italics mine):
Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can't be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon "dark flow."
You can download the technical NASA paper by going here, but be prepared for a lot of oversimplified stuff like this:
This quantity, the dipole of the cumulative CMB temperature field evaluated at cluster positions, is used in this investigation on the 3-year WMAP data in conjunction with a large sample of X-ray clusters of galaxies to set the strongest to-date limits on bulk flows out to scales ∼ 300h−1 Mpc.
Well, duh.

I'd like this to be addressed at the last presidential debate this week:

Moderator: Senators, I'd like to know what each of you plans to do about the giant vacuum perched outside of our observable universe that's about to suck up our planet and everything around it like a potato chip crumb on the living room floor.

Obama: I think Dr. Kissinger would agree with me that we can't treat this like business as usual. We have to...we've gotta talk to this vacuum. We can't think of sitting down to talk with this vacuum as a sign of weakness.

McCain: Senator Obama doesn't understand that talking to enormous unobservable vacuums is dangerous. My friends, I know the horrors of war. I'm not going to send America's most precious treasure into war with a giant vacuum. But I'm not going to sit down with it and legitimate it, either.

(Via VSL)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for "the universe is expanding"...

Well, makes a change, eh?

6:08 PM  
Anonymous jpw said...

Heeeeeee.

5:26 PM  

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