Friday, August 24, 2007

Hole in the Universe


Astronomers have just discovered a gaping hole in the universe. Apparently, there's nothing inside of it, no galaxies, stars, or dark matter. And it's nearly a billion light years across.

Now, I've never studied astronomy - I couldn't explain to you what exactly is meant by dark matter or string theory (though I do have vague impressions I've gotten from books and tv). But if I'm not mistaken, then this hole is basically outer space without all the detritus of planets, stars and galaxies.

Now, I'm curious what causes a big empty space like this. Did one of the marble-toting aliens (think Men in Black) take a vacuum to our universe? In any event, can you imagine how absolutely boring it would be to travel through that hole, even at warp speed? (Totally disregarding the fact that there would be no fuel, food, or sunlight to be had for a billion years, but hey that's just practicalities, right?)

3 comments:

Gopi Rajaseharan said...

Well, Raina, I didn't know you were drawn to aspects of astrophysics :) With plasma engine technology becoming a reality, we might soon be able to send spacecraft far out to investigate stuff like this.

The Lethological Reader said...

The idea of a hole in the universe is intriguing, definitely. What's a plasma engine? Anything like Star Trek? ;)

Gopi Rajaseharan said...

Try this for some fascinating reading:

http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/news/2003/news-VASIMR.asp

And, yeah, like Star Trek, the engine puts out a cool blue exhaust instead of a firestorm like today.