We Are Nothing But a Pale Blue Dot!
Whenever I feel like am in deep crap I climb up the terrace of my house and gaze at the stars, transcending those boundaries fabricated by men into the vast and ever mysterious space, devoid of dust, differences and hatred. The infinite ever present tranquil space which keeps on insisting us every day, that there is a lot more in this universe to be explored, to be understood and there are even more that rather can’t be understood with just the limited years of experience in Earth where the Universe itself is 13.82 billion years old. At times, I feel like the whole outer space is bursting out in laughter at us, the poor us, at our insatiable hunger for exploring the space outside the Earth, where we are still laying down in Ground Zero in understanding the very neighbors, the family with so much hullabaloo among us, the tantrum between each nations, where no single step is taken to establish concordance among us but we spend crores and crores of money to win the Space Race in venturing into the deep fathoms of tranquil outer space and never learning from the Universe how it remains placid with a population number so humongous that can’t even be compared with the human population back at home.
Over the past few months, a lot is happening in the space exploration. The mysterious sighting of The Martian Woman, Kepler mission’s single largest finding of planets (has verified 1,284 new planets) to date, Possibility of planetary migration by Kepler – 223, ISRO’s Desi GPS etc.., Out of all, the one thing which awestruck me was one remarkable finding of the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope had done the impossible. It had surprised every scientist by looking back in time. It calculated the distance to the most far away galaxy from the earth named GN-Z11, which is 13.4 billion years ago. To put it in a simple way for a layman to understand, the image produced by the Hubble Space Telescope is actually showing how this galaxy looked 13.4 billion years ago.
Now comes the complicated part, how are these distances between 2 cosmic objects measured. Due to expanding nature of universe, the distance between 2 cosmic objects is measured by determining the degree to which the light from galaxy has been shifted by the expanding universe. This is called Redshift. Higher the value of Redshift, more distant is the object. The previous largest Redshift value measured was 8.68 for EGSY8p7 and the GN-Z11 galaxy’s Redshift value is measured around 11.1.
According to me, (There is always a Not My Opinion option) if the images what we are seeing are 13.4 billion years old, then we are viewing how Universe is emerging few million years after Big Bang. This galaxy (13.4 billion years ago) is 25 times smaller than the Milky Way Galaxy(present) for a person sitting inside the 2016 calendar, now if we go back 13.4 billion years in time (which is not possible, yet) where universe was just emerging this GN-Z11 would pose as the Supergiant galaxy in the Universe. If we presume some forms of life exist in GN-Z11, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is actually viewing the past of those life forms in real time.
Mind blowing isn’t it?
Keep tracking my column in The Opinion to know more about Space.(There is always a no comments option)
A sneak peek in to the next article on space:
We all know the Saturn’s moon is Titan. European Space Agency (ESA) in October 15, 1997 launched Cassini-Huygens an unmanned spacecraft into space, which entered into Saturn’s orbit on July 1, 2004. Huygens probe from the Cassini-Huygens mission got separated on December 25, 2004 and landed safely on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005. This was the first time we ventured into the outer Solar system. Now NASA is planning on to steer the spacecraft into the Saturn’s atmosphere after the end of the mission to prevent the contamination of Titan’s surface by terrestrial microbes.
To be continued..