Saturday, October 03, 2009

at any rate, it's all on wikipedia...

So what is maybe most useful about all of this 2012 stuff is how it causes one to learn more about the celestial neighborhood.

When I was a kid there was 9 planets, now there are 8 and three dwarf planets, Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Oh wait, there is also Eris, four dwarf planets.

Space was "a vacuum". There were mysterious "cosmic rays".

But now. the space that the Solar System is in isa Bubble that is still pretty vacuum-ish, but has some hydrogen atoms floating around in it, even less hydrogen atoms than the surrounding Cloud. So we are in a bubble in a cloud. Surprisingly, the cloud has a lot of energy in it, but we are protected from contact with the cloud by the Solar Wind and we are protected from the Solar Wind by our Magnetosphere.

So we are in a 'bubble' that is sparsely filled with interstellar gas as opposed to the surrounding 'cloud' (which is a good thing, because that gas gives off energy) and further protected from any impinging gas by the solar wind which in turn we are protected from by the magnetosphere. The Local Bubble is courtesy of a star that went nova, leaving a kind of 3D 'crater' in the surrounding cloud of interstellar matter.

Now, something interesting about the Local Bubble is that it is thought to be narrower along the galactic plane. The reason this is interesting is because we are so far from the center of the galaxy that effect of the supermassive black hole at it's center is regarded as nearly negligible. Yet, it seems to mold the shape of the vast superbubble that surrounds the solar system.

So, as we approach the galactic plane, our surrounding celestial neighborhood will be subjected to different forces than elsewhere above or below that plane.

Something I am curious about in this context is the thing that hit Jupiter a little while back. Now, to be sure, scientists know there is a Kuiper Belt, full of Kuiper Belt Objects, and the Kuiper Belt is a 'stablized' collection of the kind of objects that are found in the Scattered Disc where most periodic comets are thought to come from at this point. Whereas scientists theorize that there is an Oort Cloud that other comets might come from, or not, and there is an "inner Oort Cloud" or Hills Cloud.

But my point (if I have one, which clearly I may not) is that there is a whole crapload of stuff floating around in the space around our Solar System, some of it definitely real, some of it theoretically real, which will come under the influence of a different kind of force along the galactic plane. The 'crapload' will come under such influence, because of what seems to be generally accepted thought that the Local Bubble is influenced by whatever force along the galactic plane.

The more firmly established celestial bodies will not be as influenced by this force because of all the protective energies surrounding them. But if there is a floating field of less stable trans-Neptunian and further detritus, it seems like it may be more influenced. Now, it doesn't mean that it will be influenced to Hollywood epic proportions, but it seems like it would be influenced to some extent.

Now, the interesting thing, the 'funny' thing, is that if that scattered collection was influenced to Hollywood epic proportions, where little misshapen iceballs started to squeeze into line along the galactic equator in such a way that some significant portion thereof bumped into each other causing their headlong descent into the Sun-- and Earth's orbit around it-- that knowledge along with a little less than $US 2.00 would get you a large boutique-ish coffee of any number of various brands to sip as the resulting cataclysm tore the world as we know it asunder.

What you might have an idea of, then, is when to purchase that coffee.

Could the Maya, knowing that their distant descendants would be in a rich coffee growing region, have established their calendar and impressively aligned architectural legacy which would cast various shadows during this alignment, and have been leaving such a message?

We can only wonder.


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