Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that stretch 4 billion light-years from end to end. The structure is a light quasar group (LQG), a collection of extremely luminous Galactic Nulcei powered by supermassive central black holes.
So that’s cool and everything, but maybe some of you would be interested to know why this is a significant find? Beyond just its record-setting bigness.
Since Einstein, physicists have accepted something called the Cosmological Principle, which states that the universe looks the same everywhere if you view it on a large enough scale. You might find some weird shit over here, and some other freaky shit over there, but if you pull back the camera far enough, you’ll find that same weird and/or freaky shit cropping up over and over again in a fairly regular distribution. This is because the universe is (probably) infinite in size and (we are pretty darn sure) has, and has always had, the same forces acting on it everywhere.
So why is this new LQG so radical? (It stands for ‘Large Quasar Group,’ btw, not ‘Light Quasar Group.’)
Well, let’s try to comprehend the scale we’re dealing with. A ‘megaparsec,’ written Mpc, is about 3.2 million light years long. The Milky Way is about 0.03 Mpc across (or 100,000 light years). The distance between our galaxy and Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbor, is 0.75 Mpc, or 2.5 million light years. LQGs are usually about 200 Mpc across. Assuming a logarithmic distribution of weird shit outliers (if you don’t know how logarithmic distribution curves work, don’t worry about it), cosmologists predicted that nothing in the universe should be more than 370 Mpc across.
This new LQG is 1200 Mpc long. That’s four billion light years. Four BILLION LIGHT YEARS. Just to travel from one side to the other of this one thing. I mean for fuck’s sake, the universe is only about 14 billion years old! How many of these things could there be?
Right now it looks like the Cosmological Principle might be out the window, unless physicists can find some way to make the existence of this new LQG work with the math (and boy, are they trying). And that’s totally baffling. It would mean—well, we don’t have any idea what it would mean. That the universe isn’t essentially uniform? That some ‘special’ physics apply/applied in some places but not in others? That Something Happened that is totally outside our current ability to understand or quantify stuff happening?
By the way, no one lives there. The radiation from so many quasars would sterilize rock.
are you telling us astronomers have discovered something which is literally fucktuple the size of anything else previously estimated to exist
Anything that fucking rewrites all of what we know about the universe needs to get its ass on my blog. It’s giant, glowy, black hole filled ass.
Reblogging for the totally legit usage of the mathematical term “fucktuple.”
This gives me just about all of the science horn. I love space.
You beautiful human being my god
so on the bus this morning
we stop at a red light and this lady gets off
she goes about half a block down, and then we saw her freeze and run after the bus
SHE FORGOT HER ENTIRE BABY ON THE BUS
I love the use of the word entire as in she could have just left the leg of the baby but no she left the whole baby
do you ever have those moments where you’re catching your friend up on a series and they make a random guess on something that’s going to happen and it’s actually 100% right and you just sit there like
"MUST NOT LET THEM KNOW"
LEVERAGE. ONE SCENE PER EPISODE.
ELIOT: All right. [to Parker] Square off. You know what I showed you?
HARDISON: Are you-? [he chuckles]
ELIOT: There’s three phases to an MMA fight, okay? One, striking [Parker punches Hardison] Nice. Next is grappling, the takedown.
HARDISON: Oh, mm-hmm. [Parker tackles Hardison]
ELIOT: Exactly. All right. The third one is jiu-jitsu.
HARDISON: Get off me!
ELIOT: Try to isolate a joint. That’s good. That’s a textbook arm bar, Parker. Put some pressure on it.
PARKER: Like this?
ELIOT: There you go. Or you can go for a choke hold.
HARDISON: You gotta be jokin’ me-
ELIOT: Remember that thing I showed ya?
PARKER: Oh yeah, the chock.
ELIOT: There you go, lock that in. You don’t have to hold the arms, that’s a triangle chock. That’s nasty. Just press on his carotid artery, then the guy will submit by tap out.
HARDISON: [out of breath] Eliot, I’m tapping. I’m tapping!
ELIOT: [to Sophie] These fights are won by inches.
HARDISON: I can’t breathe.
ELIOT: All about leverage.
HARDISON: I don’t see it. Nobody sees it.
SOPHIE: Yeah. Uhm… it looks- it looks really painful.
HARDISON: It is painful.
NATE: No TV deal you said, huh?
[Hardison makes a noise]
NATE: Yeah, Hardison, what are this guy’s other interests, this Rucker guy?
HARDISON: Seriously, you askin’ a question right now?
SOPHIE: Uhm- I’ll take that. Um, yeah, Rotary Club, golf membership.
NATE: Golf, uh?
HARDISON: Help. me.
SOPHIE: Yeah. I mean, this guy’s like a 1950’s sitcom character. He plays a weekly game with the local businessmen. In fact, last year he won the club championship.
HARDISON: Let me go!
NATE: Did he? Hmm.
HARDISON: [coughing] Let me go!
NATE: Well, I guess it’s, uh… it’s time to hit the links.
HARDISON: … she’s killing me.
2.02; The Tap Out Job
doctor who meme: two quotes (1/2)
When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.
Jennifer Jareau & Aaron Hotchner
+ Sheriff Sanders // 5.17 Solitary Man