WHERE ARE WE GOING?

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“They are all in the same plane. They are all going around in the same direction…It’s perfect, you know. It’s gorgeous. It’s almost uncanny”

-Astronomer Geoffrey Marcy describing the solar system.

We can use a lot of words to describe the universe: alluring, exquisite, charming, mysterious… But most of all… dangerous.

No matter from which point of view we look at it, we are just an insignificant grain of dust comparing to the vastness of the cosmos. But despite that, man consider himself all powerful, he reigns as master above earth. Nevertheless, the universe does not need more then some fractions of seconds to exterminate the earth in its entirety. So in what is coming next we are going to discover the most threatening objects and phenomenons in space, from massive objects to cannibal galaxies, you will not feel so secure after reading this, so let’s start:

Part One

Orphan Planets:

Also named “free-floating planet”, it’s a heavenly body possessing the mass of a planet but it has the particularity that it’s always roaming in space far away from the gravity of stars which means without a precise orbit. And this is what makes it represents a real danger for our planet, in case one of those approaches its orbit, or even worse: collide with it. In addition these kind of planet are hardly observable, since they do not emit light nor they emit heat, and their orbits is influenced by every massive object they pass by, thus one of these can change direction at any moment towards our earth.

Runaway stars:

Now, we have the same principle as the orphan planets but on a higher level, it is a colossal star. Although this time we can calculate its trajectory, we have another problem we need to calculate its velocity, which can cause troubles because it has a velocity 5 to 6 times bigger than usual stars, and thus this stars are able to escape the gravity of the centre of their galaxies, in simpler words, it will be able to move around the galaxy without restrictions and maybe enter our solar system and cause huge disorders such as disturbance of orbits in the minimum rank or collide with our sun in the worst cases.

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Gamma-ray bursts:

Beautiful, is not it? This phenomenon is extremely brief and devastating; these are powerful luminous rays with high energy liberation. They are generally due to Gravitational collapses –Process of Stars death- of super massive stars under their own gravity, after that they become neutrino stars (A neutron star is the collapsed core of a large star which before collapse had a total of between 10 and 29 solar masses. Neutron stars are the smallest and densest stars known to exist.) Or black holes. The transition between the two phases of life of the star liberates Gama ray burst, the most terrifying fact about them is that the earth doesn’t even need to be near them or on their line of sight, one gamma-ray burst closer than 6.500 light years will occasion heavy damages the Ozone even if the ray is no directly oriented towards the earth. From their consequences: acid rains, temperature dropping, and even the extinction of our specie.

In conclusion, they are violent and brief phenomenon we can do nothing about.

Magnetars:

The Magnetars are neutrino stars disposed with a magnetic field of a colossal strength, like every neutrino star, the magnetar is the result of the gravitational collapse of a massive star, but add to that it has the particularity of high rotation speed around its axe, you can guess that with a similar curriculum vitae, it is a highly threatening; and for good reason, It is a an immense generator of Gamma-ray bursts, with the slightly difference that here the Gamm-ray bursts are regular and depart in every direction. And what is more alarming is that the nearer Magnetars to earth is at a distance of 9.000 light years.

Part Two

Even if none of these menaces attain us, have you ever asked: “Where are we going? How is it all going to end? What does the light at end of the tunnel represent? Or is it even light?”

Every story has an ending, yet the last act of the universe has yet to be revealed. It last time on stage depends on the two big actors: expansion which pushes matter outward, gravity which pulls it back in. And maybe we can expect the apparition of some unknowns. Choose your story:

God’s Particle:

God’s particle, The Higgs Boson, is an elementary particle which due to its field “the Higgs field” is responsible of the fact that every particle, every object, every star, every cell has mass, without it particles cannot interacts, and matter wouldn’t exist.

According to the physicist Stephen Hawking, the Higgs boson can disintegrate the universe by erasing literally the space-time continuum. In theory, there is two types of Vacuum; True vacuum and false one, the difference between them is that the false one is just apparently stable “metastable” but any significant perturbation can make him drift into the real one. And our universe is from this category (false). So, our universe is at the border of a cliff and one instable particle may make him vanish.

The Big Crunch:

In this one, expansion proceeds until dark energy (the responsible of the expansion) reverse itself and works together with gravity to pull everything back into a single, tiny point, a singularity, the reverse of the Big Bang.

The Big Rip:

Dark energy will increase over time, eventually become strong enough to tear the universe apart.

Knife-edge: “the big freeze”

The maintained balance between the gravity and the expansion will remain, thus the universe will continue expanding more and more becoming colder and emptier. The future of the universe will be holding between the big crunch and the big rip, eternally.

Last thoughts

       Despite all the menaces, dangers, and mysteries hide in the universe that may cause our demise in a glimpse of an eye; I will always look open the sky and get amazed by the beauty of stars, and seek the truth beneath them…

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