We Are Part Of Something Bigger

I don’t mean that in some ass backwards magical woo woo way of thinking. I mean that in a grand cosmic sense. If that makes sense… We are the atoms that make up the matter that makes us. We interact with and manipulate all kinds of other objects and conglomerations of other bits of matter every day. We are material things in a material world (damn I said that?) Our world as we know it is a huge complex and diverse system, where all of the parts make the whole. All that we know is contained on a tiny little planet, in a tiny little solar system, in a tiny little galaxy, in a tiny little galactic cluster, that… whew! Is part of an enormous super cluster.

If you have been around the web in the last couple of days, you have probably seen this video.

That is an amazing video, with some incredible science.

What gets me is, for a long time we suspected a huge gravity well at the core of our galaxy, now we know it is there, (black holes) and we strongly suspect they are at the core of every galaxy, as well as spread out here and there throughout the universe. Now what this finding shows, and it concerns my little mind a little bit, is there is some kind of enormous gravity well that is attracting most of the galaxies in our super cluster. Now what in the heck could be the source of that gravitational attraction? One so large it is pulling much of an entire super cluster of galaxies to its center?

…and the grander question, is this entire scenario a small part of something much much bigger? Where does the infitismal accumulate to the exponential conclusion, that point to where there is no going beyond? Where does it end exactly? What is the end of the line of that always growing place in our understanding, of that which we are such a small part of,  which could be infinite?

I guess if it is infinite, we will never know. But dammit I want to know where it goes from here. 🙂

 

 

Our Galaxy’s Black Hole Has A Jet

Image

 

http://www.chandra.si.edu/press/13_releases/press_112013.html

For a long time astronomers have been looking for signs of a jet eminating from the black hole (Sgr A*) known to reside at the core of our galaxy. There have been clues, and hints, but nothing definitive, till now. We have seen jets from other galaxies, and some from stars, so we knew we could have one ourselves, but lacked good solid evidence. The evidence is in.

At first I was a little skeptical (let it be known I am not a professional), after all there are a lot of things in that photo that could resemble a jetlike stream. But, the spectral information is in line with similar jets in other galaxies, and there is “straight line of X-ray emitting gas that points toward Sgr A* and a shock front” present, where they believe the the jet has interacted with gas and dust in the region. With multiple lines of evidence converging, I have to think they may have something here. Plus, the direction of the jet lines up in parallel with the rotation of our galaxy, which is not exactly a dead certainty for the jets existence, there are other explanations why that might not be the case, but it makes for a more orderly expectation for what I would like to see in a rotating system. (Of course what I’d like to see and reality need not always jive)

As an amateur with amateur equipment, I have gazed many times in the direction of our galactic core. There are a lot of really interesting objects to observe in that area of the sky. There is no way my meager equipment can see this deep or bring out this kind of detail, but it sure is cool that we have instruments that can, and I am positive many more exciting discoveries await in our near future. It is a great time for discovery, and a great time to be here to see it unfold.