Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Cosmic New Year

Happy Cosmic New Year 

 Actually, no one has identified the day the Cosmic New Year starts, so why not tomorrow? Let the Old Man get credit for something.

Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies collide

Image Credit: NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger.

Another year has passed. If One was counting since the beginning of the universe, then this would be the 13,750,000,000th year, give or take 11,000,000 years, since creation. Then again, for the first 9 billion years or so the earth didn't exist, so a celestial year is not a good measure to count on a grand scale.

The One counting would be God. This is because man didn't appear on the scene until roughly 200,000 years ago. Don't ask me how anyone knows this, it all seems a bit conjectural. But conjecture is all we have. And, it is in the nature of humankind to wonder who we are, where we came from, and where we are going to. Counting is a way we measure the passage of time.

A year is quite simply the time it takes the earth to travel fully around the sun. And since the earth is returning to its natural starting point, this is a good way for earthlings to keep track of time. Keep in mind that even though the earth remains in orbit around the sun, the sun itself is slowly spiraling around the Milky Way Galaxy in a trip that will take 220 million years, something the astronomers call a cosmic year. Given the age of the solar system as 4 to 5 billion years old, that makes for about 20 trips for our own solar system around the Milky Way Galaxy. As for the galaxy itself, NASA predicts it is headed for a collision with the Andromeda Galaxy in about 4 billion years, a little less than another 20 cosmic new years.

Watch: NASA, when galaxies  collide. Read the story.

Have a Happy Cosmic New Year!

NASA Earth, Stressless recliner
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