Saturday, February 16, 2019

It´s over, guys

“How the Universe Works: The Interstellar Mysteries” is a fast-paced documentary about interstellar space. On the face of it, the concept looks absurd, I mean, isn´t the space between the stars supposed to be, ahem, empty?

That´s where you´re wrong, kiddo.

It turns out that empty space is literally *teeming* with more or less bizarre astronomical objects: rogue stars, rogue planets, exotic comets, vast expanses of gas, and what have you. It seems the cosmos really is following the old metaphysical principle of plenitude! Unfortunately for Homo sapiens, it also follows the more modern scientific principle of “couldn´t care less about the human race, matie”. In the vast expanses of outer space, a rogue star known as Gliese 710 (a so-called orange dwarf) will reach the Oort cloud in 1.3 million years, triggering a deadly cascade of comets heading right in our direction. At that point, it will essentially all be over – all or most life on Earth will be vaporized, incinerated, suffocated, or whatever. That´s in 1.3 million years, guys. Get ready with the preppin´!

The least convincing part of this production concernes ´Oumuamua, which the producers dismiss as a comet, rather than as an alien probe, something seriously proposed by some scientists. The argument of skeptico-dom? Well, there weren´t any alien radio transmissions from the object, so therefore ´Oumuamua can´t be a space probe. Subtext: of course, the advanced civilization beyond Gliese that built the probe wanted to communicate with Homo sapiens, rather than, say, study all the interesting shit in interspellar space, take samples from our orange dwarf, or something like that which just may interest Andorian scientists more than the philosophical shenanigans of a naked ape-man (or some PBS documentary).

That being said, I nevertheless recommend “How the Universe Works”. Yes, commander, the universe really is “alive” (as in active) and it´s actually quite astounding that we even are around on this rock of ours…


  1. Jag tror att det ät matematiskt oerhört vanskligt, eller snarare omöjligt, att beräkna framtida banor för stjärnor som sträcker sig så långt som 1,3 miljarder år.

  2. Hoppsan, 1,3 MILJONER år var det visst...

  3. Var det jag som säg fel eller du som skrev fel? 1,3 miljoner är ju LITE rimligare men även där är det väldigt vanskligt. Det går att förutse hur ett fåtal objekt påverkar varandra under en längre tid men en stjärna är ju utsatt för påverkan från så oerhört många andra stjärnor på 1,3 miljner år.

  4. Det kan ha överdrivit i dokumentären av så att säga dramaturgiska orsaker. Så här skriver Wiki:

    >>>Gliese 710 or HIP 89825 is an orange 0.6 M☉ star in the constellation Serpens Cauda. It is projected with a reasonable probability to have a close encounter with the Sun within the next 15 million years. The predicted minimum distance is 1.281 million years from now, possibly approaching as close as 0.0676 parsecs, 0.221 light years or about 13,300 AU>>>

    Lite fler "om" och "men", alltså.

    Det var förresten jag som skrev fel.