Galaxy Modelling And God Bothering

Galaxy Modelling

Two astronomers have performed one of the world’s largest astrophysics simulations to date in order to model the growth of galaxies. Using the “Earth Simulator” supercomputer in Japan, which is also used for climate modelling and simulating seismic activity, Masao Mori of the University of California at Los Angeles and Masayuki Umemura at the University of Tsukuba have calculated how galaxies evolved from just 300 million years after the Big bang to the present day. The results show that galaxies may have evolved much faster than currently believed (Nature 440 644).
(Source: Physics Web)

This is why I love astrophysics: the concepts it develops and discusses are hugely brain-stretching. If this model is accurate, it changes how we think galaxies develop over time and a lot of astrophysics textbooks will be outdated:

Until now, galaxies were thought to have evolved gradually and become enriched in heavier elements beyond hydrogen and helium over a period of 10 billion years by repeated star formation and supernova explosions.

“Our finding shows that galaxy formation proceeded much faster and that a large amount of heavy elements were produced in galaxies in just 1 billion years,” says Mori.
(Source: Physics Web)

As an aside, isn’t this bit lovely?:

These observations, first made in 2003, show that we are living in a flat universe comprising just 4% ordinary matter, 22% dark matter and 74% dark energy — in agreement with the standard model of cosmology.
(Source: Physics Web)

So, to the best of our current knowledge, everything you see around you, the Earth and all the matter it comprises, all the matter in the solar system and all the matter we can directly interact with in the universe is only 4% of the universe.

Let me put that into diagrammatic terms for you:

Galaxy Chart

See that little red bit? That’s you, everything you know and have interacted with and all the rest of the ordinary matter in the universe. The blue bit, the 96%, is the crazy-ass shit we don’t properly understand yet. (And we’re not completely knowledgable about that 4% either.)

If there is a God, I’m pretty sure shehe has got a world of dark matter beings somewhere that shehe cares for and watches over. We’re obviously just some scrap at the side, the sawdust left over after making some fine table.

Either that or shehe is absolutely rubbish at woodwork.


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