Beware what follows! I have no more right to be thinking, much less writing, these words than the last drunk picked up in Times Square last night. But, I am, possibly, different from that guy because I read the Science Times in the New York Times on June 9th. I doubt they supply the TIMES daily in jail?
For those of you who missed it and have any fascination with the universe, I have a message writers rarely convey: put down this article, find it online here and read it.
The core of that piece is about the creation of a global telescope with several "listening" arrays in the North, South, East and West hemispheres integrated in California to home in on a 'black hole' theorized to exist at the center of our galaxy.
They are making real progress towards either buttressing Einstein's theory of black holes--an undesired but unavoidable outcome of general relativity--or disproving it. In either event, they apparently are already convinced that black holes suck large amounts of surrounding objects from "nearby" space--in this case some 20,000 light years away from Earth--into a whirlpool that appears to make all such stars and planets disappear into something perhaps the size of an apple that compressed a great number of stars the size of our sun plus all their satellites. Think of a middle seat on a packed airplane and multiply it by a million or more.
It is very hard to grasp, but it triggers a thought. We also are on the constant lookout for what preceded the "Big Bang" beginning of our universe.
One of the most challenging thoughts I have ever grappled with is how to think about what came before the beginning.
How does something like a Big Bang spring out of nothing? There has to have been something, because otherwise it takes pure magic in our world to make something out of nothing.
Here is where I am really straying off my reservation. Perhaps infinity is simply an accordion-like recycling process. The universe grows and expands, and nature-as nature tends to do for almost everything--provides the garbage disposer, the recycler, in the form of black holes that at some point explode into another Big Bang which gives birth to yet another universe: hence the multiverse?
Abstractly this makes pretty good sense to me, though I obviously cannot write an equation to explain it.
If there is any merit in this whiz bang idea, it may lie in an answer to the source of the Big Bang as well as why black holes seem to exist at the center of every galaxy.
It also gives us (infinitely) more chances to find another planet like Earth someday, perhaps 4 billion years from now.
I hope that thought gives you some hope for me in my later years!