– En el principio no había nada
El universo entero concentrado
en el espacio del núcleo de un átomo,
y antes aun menos, mucho menor que un protón,
y aun menos todavía, un infinitamente denso punto matemático
Y fue el Big Bang. – de Cántico Cósmico, por Ernesto Cardenal, 1989
“In the beginning, there was nothing
The entire universe concentrated
in the space of the nucleus of a single atom,
and before even less, much less than a proton,
and before still less, an infinitely dense mathematical point
And there was the Big Bang.”
(translation by half-fast cycling club)
The red spots in the images above are described as newly forming galaxies, one formed 350 million years and the other 450 million years after the big bang. They are about 13.8 billion light years away. The resolution is not as clear as the star above, so the images may not be as awe-inspiring at first glance, but this is incomprehensible…The light we are seeing left those galaxies more than 13 billion years ago.
As Sen Everett Dirksen once said about money, “a billion here, a billion there – and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” If you counted out a billion dollar bills at the rate of one per second, it would take you about 32 years to count them – multiply that by 13.8 and you have about 457.5 years. 13.8 billion is a lot.
Since light travels at about 670 billion mph, it would travel almost 6 trillion miles in a year. This makes thinking about 13.8 billion light years in terms of miles or kilometers pretty much impossible.
This is made all the more incomprehensible when you recall that the universe is only 5783 years old. ; ) Cardenal (a Roman Catholic priest) lets us know that believing in a god and acknowledging science are not mutually exclusive.
Let it snow, let it snow
It was time to remind myself that I’m somebody who rides a bike in all weather. I was afraid I was getting soft in retirement so I headed out today. It was snowing lightly, temperature 25º (-4 C), and windy (windchill 13 F). It was a great day for a ride. Since I no longer commute, getting out involves a conscious decision.
Here in Wisconsin we are strong supporters of the Right to Bare Arms. Despite that, I was pretty well covered up for my ride. Remember that when you ride into the wind, the apparent wind (and therefore the windchill) requires adding the wind velocity to your speed.