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Master Orthodox Occultist Oregon Chang, The 17th generation Disciple of Seven Stars Sword Master Hebei China

Friday, September 10, 2010

Top 10 Mysteries of the Universe

by Joan Seth

I suppose one of the biggest questions of all time has to be: Could we ever fully comprehend the Universe? Actually, for all our scientific progress, our understanding of the Universe is still quite primitive indeed. Unfortunately, we may never be able to fully understand the entire Universe (perhaps not achievable in my lifetime), but we can sure appreciate the fact that it’s so complex that it eludes us.

This list takes a look at some of the more mysterious aspects of the Universe.

1. Counter-Earth

Sometime in the 500th BC, Philolaus, a Greek philosopher, thought of the Earth as revolving around a fixed point in the Universe (The Central Fire). However, he soon realized that if so, everything on Earth will spill out into space (The Theory of Gravity would not be formulated for at least another 2000 years).

Thus, he thought of a Counter Earth, essentially, a twin Earth planet orbiting the other side of the Central Fire. The Counter Earth would orbit exactly at the same rate around the Central Fire as the real Earth, making it essentially invisible to us. This Counter Earth acts as a counter balance of mass, preventing things on Earth from spilling out to space.

However, his theory will be superseded later by Newton's Law of Gravitation. Scientific evidence has shown no such a planet orbiting the other side of the Sun (Gravitational influences by such planet would be detectable on Earth). This idea is still prevalent in modern times though, mainly in science fiction and fantasy stories, movies and games.

Diagram of the Counter Earth theory

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2.The Moon

Since ancient times, people had believed and thought of the Moon as inhabited by aliens, monsters, deities and demons. In 1968, Man landed on the Moon for the first time ever. It was a monumental acheivement and victory for all mankind. However, there were some disappointment as the Apollo astronauts described the Moon as a lifeless rock.

But were they telling the truth? Many people who analysed footage shot from the Apollo Moon Landings described seeing various structures and artifacts which did not seem natural. Furthermore, some people have accused NASA of covering up these discoveries and censoring them on the actual footage shot. Others have even accused NASA of hoaxing the Apollo Moon Landings - that the whole thing was shot in a movie studio.

Does the evidence point to the fact that extraterrestrials inhabited the Moon? Or did ancient Humans once lived there?

A pillar-like structure on the Moon

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3. Sounds from Outer Space

Sound waves are mechanical pressure waves carried though a medium, be it a solid, liquid or gas. However, outer space is a vaccum, devoid of air. So that explains why we cannot pick up sound waves from outer space. We do however, pick up other waves from the Electromagnetic spectrum, like Radio Waves, Infrared Rays, Gamma Rays or Ultraviolet Rays.

The Cassini space probe recorded radio waves on Dec. 8, 2000, at a distance of about 23 million kilometers (14 million miles) from Jupiter. They are likely to have derived from an interaction of the magnetic field that surrounds Jupiter and the solar wind of particles speeding away from the Sun.

[Alien Speech? Found In NASA's Saturn Radio Signal]

[Sounds Of Jupiter]

4. Planet X

During ancient times, Man thought there were only five planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, as they were the only ones able to be seen with the naked eye. With the invention of the telescope, Uranus was discovered by William Herschel in 1781 and Neptune by Urbain Le Verrier and John Adams in 1846.

Conventional astronomical studies have shown that apparent discrepancies in the orbits of the gas giants, particularly Uranus and Neptune can be explained by gravity from a large unseen planet beyond Neptune. What could have accounted for these discrepancies then?

But still, there have been some theories about more planets lying beyond Neptune - Planet X. Examples of Planet X can be seen extensively only in science fiction. A few fringe groups still believe in the existence of planets beyond Neptune.

Diagram of the orbit of a hypothetical Planet X

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5. The Eye of God and the Pillars of Creation

The Helix Nebula was discovered in 1824 by Karl Ludwig Harding. It is one of the nearest Nebulae at about 700 light years. Just take a look at this picture taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It is really breathtaking.

The Helix Nebula

However, in around 2003, rumours starting appearing on the Internet about the 'Eye of God'. It was claimed that the Helix Nebula was in fact, the eye of God, and that looking at the photo grants miracles.

The Eagle Nebula

A region of the Eagle Nebula, was dubbed the Pillars of Creation. When this picture was released, many people claimed they could see faces in the clouds. Others claim to see angelic faces in the SSC2005-23A Nebula.

The SSC2005-23A Nebula

We all know nebulae are just clouds of gas and dust which can form planets and other planetary objects. Or is there something else there?

[Debunking the myths]

[More Info]

6. Extraterrestrial Life

Are we alone in the Universe? This has been a question asked since ancient times. Philosophy, Religion and Science has always struggled to answer this question. A simple argument supporting the existence of extraterrestrial life would be the vast infinite size of the Universe. It would seem rather improbable that the only intelligent life developed on Earth. Many scientists do think that life, either exists or has existed somewhere else in the Universe.

Other theories include Panspermia, where life spreads all over the Universe through meteors, comets or asteroids; Exogenesis states that life on Earth began from somewhere else in the Universe. Can these be true? Astronomers did find some sort of evidence that liquid water may exist elsewhere in the Universe. Water is one of the main ingredients for life to develop.

Elsewhere, many people also claim to have been visited and abducted by Extraterrestrials. Although the large number of reports and physical evidence is staggering, one would like to believe in the non plausibility of these claims. Why would developed intelligent life travel enormous distances (millions of light years) to abduct humans?

Electron micrograph of martian meteorite ALH84001 showing structures that could be fossilized bacteria-like lifeforms.

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7. Dark Matter and Dark Energy

The Universe is vast indeed - Go right down into its elemental components, the Observable Universe mostly contains heavy elements (in planets, comets, asteroids, etc) and gases (in nebulae, galaxies, etc). However, the mass contained in the Observable Universe is pretty insignificant compared to the the rest - 95% of the mass in the Universe is actually composed of Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Dark Matter is a theoretical form of matter that is undetectable by its emitted radiation, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. It is undetectable by emitted or scattered electromagnetic radiation. Dark Matter was hypothesized to account for discrepancies between measurements of the mass of galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the entire Universe.

Dark Energy is actually a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the Universe. According to the Law of Gravitation, objects should attract each other and pull in other objects due to Gravity. However, this is not the case. Galaxy clusters are moving further apart. Dark Energy is a theory to explain why the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The exact nature of this dark energy is a matter of speculation. It is known to be very homogeneous, not very dense and is not known to interact through any of the fundamental forces other than gravity.

A diagram showing the elemental composition of the Universe

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8. Multiverse and Portals

The Multiverse is a hypothetical set of possible Universes (including our Universe) that together consists of everything that exists physically: All of space, time, matter, energy, momentum and physical laws and constants that govern them.

Each of these different Universes are called parallel Universes. Some scientists speculate that each parallel Universe are indirect copies of each other - That in another parallel Universe, there could be another version of you existing.

Others believe that black holes could be portals that connect parallel Universes. On the other side of the black hole (assuming your spaceship is tough enough to survive the gravitational forces) could be a white hole, which extends out to another Universe.

The concept of a Multiverse has been commonly depicted in science fiction movies, shows, games and stories. However, as far as we know, there is absolutely no technology in which to contact or travel to a parallel Universe, assuming they exist.

A rendering of the Multiverse theory

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9. Beginning of the Universe

How did it all begin? The Big Bang Theory was accepted as the best theory of the origin and evolution of the cosmos after the discovery and confirmation of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1964.

So what happened in the beginning? At a certain point in time and space (roughly 13-14 billion years ago), the Big Bang occurred. After a period of time (the Planck epoch), the Inflationary epoch occurred. (roughly 10-36 seconds and 10-32 seconds after the Big Bang). The Universe expanded by a factor of at least 1078 in volume. For thousands of years next, matter began to form. After millions of years, heavier elements began formation (stars, galaxies and planets formed).

So is this all confirmed? To the best of our scientific knowledge and experiments, we can safely say that the Big Bang Theory is the most plausible theory of all. (compared to other theories, e.g. Steady State Theory) However, to actually be able to observe this theory would be impossible.

Furthermore, some people question: What about before? What happened before the Big Bang. Scientifically, this question makes no sense. Space and Time began with the Big Bang; there is no 'before'. Other questions include: What/How/Who/Why started the Big Bang? Where did all the energy and matter come from? Unfortunately, we might not be able to answer these questions ever.

A diagram of the Big Bang Theory

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10. Fate of the Universe

Everything that has a beginning has an end. Unfortunately, our Universe will come to an ending sometime in the future. How does it end, however, is still speculation. There have been various theories hypothesized to explain the fate of the Universe.

One scenario would be that the Universe will end up in Heat Death. The Universe will continue expanding, until it reaches maximum entropy. The mechanical movement of the Universe will run down in time according to the second law of Thermodynamics. Basically speaking, the Universe will run out of energy to support life. Everything will be dead.

A model of the Big Crunch Theory

Another possibility is the Big Crunch. It comes about from a symmetrical view of the Universe - since the Universe started in a fiery Big Bang, it will end in a fiery Big Crunch. The expansion of the Universe will eventually reverse itself, and all matter will be destroyed. The Universe will end as a black hole singularity. Some theorize that the universe could collapse to the state where it began and then initiate another Big Bang, so in this way the universe would last forever, but would pass through phases of expansion (Big Bang) and contraction (Big Crunch).

Earlier on, we talked about the concept of the Multiverse. One multiverse hypothesis states that our uni-"verse" is merely one Big Bang among an infinite number of simultaneously expanding Big Bangs that are spread out over endless distances (open space). Thus, as one Universe ends, another Universe will be fueled by energy from the dying Universe, creating it. The multiverse as a whole may never end completely.

So as far as it goes, the most popular theory currently is that the Universe will go and expanding and may result in Heat Death. The Universe is likely to go on for trillions and trillions of years at least. However, at the end of the Universe,

The Universe will not be a very hospitable place to live in. Most of the stars will have died out. Very few planets will be able to support life. Humanity, if we still exist, might die out eventually together with the Universe.

[More Info]

Bonus: The Universe is a simulated reality

In the movie, the Matrix, people lived in a world where everything was simulated and part of a virtual reality created by robots. Long before The Matrix, folks like Jacques Vallee, John Keel, Rudy Rucker, and Hans Moravec played with this idea before.

So can this be true? Are we all living in perhaps, maybe a supercomputer, residing in someone's home?

If you've ever thought life was actually a dream, take comfort. Philosophers have long questioned whether there is in fact a real world out there, or whether "reality" is just a figment of our imagination. Quantum Mechanics unveiled an Alice-in-Wonderland realm of atomic uncertainty, where particles can be waves and solid objects dissolve away into ghostly patterns of quantum energy.

Now cosmologists have got in on the act, suggesting that what we perceive as the universe might in fact be nothing more than a gigantic simulation.

Pro arguments for this theory state that all the physical constants and laws are too 'perfect'. For example, if the gravitational force was weaker, no planets or stars could have been formed. The Multiverse theory could explain this though, where parallel Universes hold slightly different physical laws and constants.

The vast majority of these other Universes would not be able to support life, thus supporting the idea that our Universe was the one which was 'just right' for us. Although this is a neat explanation, it would assume that there are some Universes where an advanced civilization has enough computer power to create artificial consciousness.

So if there exist civilisations with cosmic simulating ability, then the fake universes they create would outnumber the real ones. After all, virtual reality is a lot easier to create than the real thing.

But how do we reconcile this idea? If we are all just part of a huge computer simulation, then do we have any free will? Are we ever conscious? What are thoughts, emotions, sensations; if everything is simulated? And why, was our Universe created?

And what if one day, the 'person' running the simulation know we are on to them, and the game is up, they may lose interest and decide to hit the delete button.

Game over.

[More Info]

Some pictures and text in this article are granted permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; and as such are reproduced in this article.


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