"Jessi: this is from July."
Yes, it is.
"But what about all of these inexplicable mysteries??"
Sure. Let’s give them a whirl.
1) Just how big is the universe?
Fair query. Depends on how you choose to define and/or measure it. This Oxford study tried to count galaxies. Fine. Also, DOYIOST—“depends on your interpretation of string theory”. The question of “how big” the universe is may not be nearly as important as whether the universe is “open or closed”, or whether some “dimensions” are closed while others are open.
This question gets a pass, if only because it’s like asking “how many molecules of water are on Terra?” The exact count is not nearly as important as the questions “How do certain biomes use water?”, or “What is the net gain/loss of water from Biome A to Biome B?”
2) Where is everybody?
Lost in space, pun intended. This is the deep structure for which we try to reach when asking something like Question 1: “If only I knew how big the universe is, I could logically determine where the other intelligent species are!” I am definitely in the top 10% of people yearning for First Contact—contact, finally, with another sentient civilization. Of non-humans. Who don’t look like us, whose DNA is not like ours, whose world is not like ours.
If that’s what you’re hoping for, I have discouraging news for you: IF we ever achieve first contact, it’s going to be with sapients who look almost exactly like we do. It is logical to assume that a species capable of making first contact:
* must have prehensile limbs
* must have at least one limb not required for locomotion
* must have multiple sensory organs
* must have fairly limited temperature and shelter requirements
* has evolved past many biological mechanisms for survival; e.g. no need for: very long or full-body hair; claws or talons; aggressive mouth or muscle structures; exceptional locomotive limbs
Whether a species communicates within our particular bands of sound or not (e.g. the whale probe in Star Trek VI: “The Voyage Home”), or via sight (e.g. some species of octopus and cuttlefish), or molecular pheromone, another sentient species must have a way to communicate internal thoughts through one or more sensory media. Since vision is superior to other senses in nearly every way, it’s not unrealistic that they, too, will internalize most of their environments through eye-like structures. A species capable of first contact would also have accomplished:
* our levels of scientific understanding
* technologies that make communication, work and memory, and travel far superior to their basic sensory capabilities
* complex linguistic analysis and presentation
* the ability, with technology, to interface with all macroscopic interpretations of the universe
…And, sadly, they experience the same frustrating limitations that we face:
* inability to travel faster than the speed of light (DOYIOST)
* lack of sufficient power to convey light-based communication very far outside of the solar system
* biological mortality (on a time span of one or more orders of magnitude above their natural lifespan)
* no fossil evidence that there exists more than one mildly-advanced civilization somewhere out in space
No matter how big your Big Numbers are, there’s no confirmed version of the Law of Big Numbers that can spell, with certainty, a guarantee of first contact. But to be fair, we just haven’t been trying for long enough. We’ve only had the capability to create radio waves for a little over a century! Give us time. Have patience…for which, I admit, we just don’t have the lifespan.
3) Planet 9?
There are thousands of objects in the near-Kuiper Belt. Pluto isn’t that big—it’s “moon”, Charon, is almost as big, such that their center of gravity lies in the empty space between them. They’re an adorable binary system: two small hunks of rock and ice. ‘Oumuamua itself was fairly large. Reality: our telescopes just aren’t terribly great for finding small, dark things amid a haystack of small, dark things. This isn’t necessarily something at which we can become better without getting closer.
4) What are black holes?
We do know how they’re formed, they do what everything else in space does, and they collect garbage. Settle in for Jessi’s DOYIOST re: black holes:
Shortly after Einstein’s General Relativity was published, a soldier named Schwartzchild posited in 1921 the existence of a stellar body so massive that even light could not escape its gravity—“black”—which, in the parlance of relativity, resembled a “hole” in the fabric of 4-space. Imagine all massive objects as spheres atop a trampoline: the divots in the surface of the trampoline is the warp of the trampoline’s canvas (“4-space”), and gravity is, in actuality, changes to the paths of other objects one tries to roll along the canvas—just as if you tried to roll a small ball bearing along a trampoline at the center of which a heavy bowling ball sits. So what is a black hole? A bowling ball about which lie a bunch of ball bearings and a shoe and a lazy cat and some dead leaves. And all of your cousins keep rolling crap onto the trampoline because they imagine something different might happen…?
Roughly eighty years later, my work realized that black holes must emit something. I’ve called it White’s Radiation. You may know it by a different name, after the man who beat me to publication by virtue of being born 30 [??] years before me.
The obvious query, then: what constitutes this radiation, and by what mechanism is it emitted from this hole from which not even light can escape? Math is a language [earlier anct reference??], and physicists its native speakers. But each subfield of physics has its own dialect, and translation errors abound, especially from math to English:
From General Relativity: Take your pick: (i) Matter is funneled through the hole to another point in spacetime, a la wormholes. (ii) There exists a yet-unknown particle whose gravitational “charge” is opposite that of normal gravity; they are, therefore, repulsed from black holes.
From Quantum Mechanics: The universe is quantized, so there must exist no sufficient squares to house a particle around the edges of the Schwartzchild radius [??]. Particles with the velocity vector to carry them to the edge must, instead, be deposited outside of the black hole, and are thereby free of its gravitational trap. Blink and you’d miss it.
From Yours Truly: Black holes are massive, fiery hot objects. Just like the non-zero chance that all of the oxygen molecules in a room will temporarily isolate themselves into a corner for the hottest of femtoseconds, the energy of the particles within a black hole will inevitably gather at a single point or area upon its surface; this temporary imbalance will force some matter and/or energy to “boil” away from the black hole. This may happen at super-light velocity. This may be enabled by the formation of very heavy particles within the black hole which decay into smaller, more stable particles during the boiling process. The flow of energy within a black hole may resemble a predictable—if unstable—plasma-fluid system; one of Jessi’s postulates regarding plasma dynamics is that there exists a natural properties of plasma particulate which encourages eddy forces that spontaneously keep the plasma “churning”. Just as stars experience solar flares which drive matter and energy from the star, White’s Radiation permits matter and energy to escape the inescapable black hole. From statistical thermodynamics, the rate at which a black hole boils is inversely proportional to its radius; very large black holes persist for a very long “time”, which smaller black holes have shorter lives. Microholes, created in, say, particle accelerators, are very tiny, and therefore, decay almost immediately upon formation.
Remember Jessi’s Principle: “The universe is dumb and lazy.” If there exists no macroscale mechanic of teleportation, then there is no microscale “quantum” mechanic which allows particles to spontaneously teleport from inside a black hole to outside of its critical influence.
5) Black hole or galaxy came first?
Neither: the sparks came first. Then as the expansion of the universe began to slow, pockets of materia began to coalesce. Where coalescence happened quickly, you got black holes. Then their gravity began pulling in less-dense pockets of coalescence. These became stars. Those pulled in even less-dense groups of particles; those became planets. Etc. ad nauseum.
6) Dark Matter is…?
Everyone else’s argument against it:
Electrodynamics: photons have no mass. Then why is it affected by gravity?
GR: light follows the path of the trampoline of spacetime. Wouldn’t that require light to interact with the ether of spacetime?
SR: there is no ether. Yet, E = mc^2 = hv, where h = Planck’s Constant = 6.626E-36 Js. This equation defines a linear relationship between the frequency/energy of a photon and its “rest” mass.
QM: Heisenberg says that the position and momentum of a particle can’t both be known below some minimal product value. And if a photon has no mass, x*p = x*m*v = 0 which is not >= h-bar/2.
If light possesses the properties of both particles and waves;
And matter also possesses those properties;
Then why would light not possess mass?
[My official estimation of mass of light in universe, compared to estimate of DM??]
7) Temp of DM?
This depends on your definition of “temperature”. In physical chemistry, temperature is the amount of vibrational KE of a particle; particles of higher mass require more KE to vibrate than lighter particles. Yet by most definitions, light has no mass. Does that mean light is infinitely hot?
Without delving too far into it—for no other reason than I haven’t finished this proof yet—if DM is light (see (6), above), then the temperature of DM is the temperature of light…whatever that may be.
8) Dark E is ?
I’m still working on it; ask me again in a few years.
9) Where’s our second star?
This has a lot to do with “why are we here” horse manure. Life is not special. Life forms in places where it can. It’s easier for life to form on places like Terra, with single stars, lots of water, nearer the fringe of a galaxy. We have to stop asking “Why is Earth so special?”, and start realizing: “the mold grew on Terra because that was the box in the back of the fridge we forgot to clear out last week.”
We have no second star because it is much harder for life to evolve in binary star systems.
10) Where did Luna come from?
As (9): if we didn’t have Luna, we probably wouldn’t have the life we have now. Don’t ask “why do we have this moon?”; ask “how can we find other dense, rocky planets with moons?”
Luna permits the tides which, combined with Terra’s axial tilt, promote weather, oceanic currents--movement. Much like in a plasma, there exist spontaneous properties which churn the constituents of Terra, critical for the formation of life. Jessi’s Principle: plasmas create cool things because of this churning; so too is life created upon lifeless planets by the constant churn of energy/warmth and biochemicals.
Incidentally: humans still churn together to produce little whiny humans.
11) Why is Mercury?
The question’s description actually answered itself: all four of the inner planets have large, liquid-metal cores. Mercury is so close to Sol that most of its atmosphere and crust were boiled away. Done.
12) Arecibo Message
Probably no one. Ever. We just don’t have enough power to get any light-based message anywhere in one piece. Probes, ironically, are a better bet for now.
13) Quantum Entanglement
Why is this in the space Qs? Jessi’s lesson on “Quantum Entanglement”: I have two cards, the red joker, and the black joker. Without looking, I give you one of these cards, and I keep the other one. Then I go to Japan, for reasons. Then, at a completely unpredictable time, you look at the card I gave you: it’s the black joker! Now, you immediately know that my card must be the red joker—“instantaneously”, you didn’t even have to text me!
This is, loosely, aka “quantum teleportation”. Both are stupid misnomers.
This is…super well-known. I think the question is actually asking: why did the universe form with 99.9+% “normal” matter, and so little antimatter? This violates a symmetry that mathematicians like. Loring’s Postulate actually proposes an answer to this Q:
It’s not. There is no way to determine the “materia” of a particle by observing photons radiated from it. It is possible that the Alpha Centauri star system is actually comprised of amtimatter; it is possible that our materia probes will try to pass through the bow shock of Alpha Centauri and literally disintegrate by anti/matter eliminations. Low-levels of these constant elimination interactions may explain the CMB….
15) The “space roar”
Go sit next to a waterfall. Tell me what it sounds like. Then I’m going to freak out about it—the completely inexplicable and shocking “water roar”!
16) How do stars explode?
Actually, this is a really cool Q. Refer to (6) re White’s Radiation and the spontaneous churn of gigantic plasma bodies.
As the energy/matter imbalance of a star or black hole reaches a critical limit (for which, at the moment, I have no definitive value), the statistical likelihood that a stellar body will emit becomes the likelihood that it will fracture along a significant “fault line”. The energy released between these two clumps suffices to force them apart from one another. This enables a chain reaction, exothermic, which causes the entire body to dissociate, creating supernovae. Their disc-like nature is an artefact of that fault line, which may seem “2D” to our 3D eyes, but may actually represent a critical value in the other 7 dimensions.
17) Are cosmic rays getting worse?????
I actually don’t know a lot about this phenomenon, but it’s akin to feeling a giant gust of wind and wondering: “Is a tornado coming??” Or maybe it’s just a gust of wind. So, we’ll die or we won’t. I guarantee that cosmic rays will not worsen over the course of a human life, unless the increase is the wavefront of a tidal tornado wave that will annihilate us all.
18) Is there a multiverse?
DOYIOST. Also, buy my next sci-fi book, PR02!
19) Are they daughter universes??
If you buy two copies of PR02, you can give one to your daughter. Or you can set them side-by-side, and imagine they are the daughter cells of mitosis.
20) …or parallel universes???!?
This is when you stand two copies of PR02 adjacent each other on your bookshelf. If one is upside down, then it’s “anti-parallel”.
18, 19, 20) For realsies: DOYIOST. And no. Our interpretation of “dimension” needs to be updated. Just…just buy my damn book when it comes out.
21) Big Crunch or Freeze?
We’re still crunching the numbers on this one. More likely: we’ll have localized crunches as local black holes gather enough stuff before they supernova, serving as isolated islands amid the big freeze. But…then we’ll have lots of little big bangs, and they’ll reach out across the freeze to “speak” to each other again. Maybe that’s why the “roar” of gamma rays.
(Epilogue) Parting Thoughts: Panic less. Yes, there are lots of things we still don’t know about space and the universe. But we’ll set about finding those answers in the ways we always have: we’ll see it through a telescope, then say “ooh, I wonder what that is!”, then we’ll go—two or three missions will fail and die—and five centuries later we’ll learn that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and gave a bunch of diseases to the locals that caused genocide.
And as the distant descendant of someone on the victorious “Manifest Destiny” side of that practice, I am appalled. Is it so important that I exist now? Would I give up my possessions, my health, my life, to give those deceived, deceased locals a “fighting” chance five centuries ago? Yes, yes I would. But that’s easy for me to say, since I barely have my health anyway.