The topic associated with astronomy that intrigues me the most, at least with regards to the list provided, is definitely the vastness of the Universe. As a nerdy fan of late night, I can’t help but find Neil deGrasse Tyson’s appearances extremely entertaining. While I find that his talks often lack substance or depth, his enthusiasm for science is infectious. In the video below, he mentions dark energy and the expansion of the universe, and the acceleration of said expansion.
Tyson then expounded upon his previous conversation point, saying that over time, this unknown pressure that is accelerating the universe’s expansion will eventually expand to the point where other galaxies would be lost to us. However, could our technology not improve over that time frame to the point where there would be no difference in what we could observe?
He also brings up the point that if in the future, galaxies we know of now will no longer be observable, that means that there might be something in our Universe’s history that we no longer see. Essentially, that we’re staring at an incomplete picture while trying to explore the unknown. It sort of reminds me of the black box approach in science (see this link for more information). We try to operate and control all variables without necessarily understanding what actually happens. How can we study the future if we have an incomplete understanding of the past?
5 thoughts on “HW Blog1 – The Universe and its expansion”
Michael, love the video that you posted. Could you give some examples of some instances where Tyson is lacking depth. I do agree with you on this point, as I find him to be more of a celebrity seeking attention through social media and late-night talk shows rather than a gritty, down-to-Earth nerdy researcher who spends most of his/her time in a lab.
Yeah, he tends to go on tangents a lot to explain a fact in a way that seems like flexing lol. For example. in one of John Oliver’s videos he mentions A Star is Born, and it cuts to Tyson playing his role as the all-knowing smart guy. I do have to say that I think that is an important role to play, though. I’m sure his understanding of the subject is far greater, but it’s also important to market “science” to the average consumer. Most people aren’t interested, or don’t have the time to read a scientific journal. Plus, the diction used is oftentimes waaaay too specific, to the point where it’s incomprehensible unless you’re in that field as well. It’s sort of a closed community, and I think Tyson does an amazing job bridging that gap.
Awesome find with this video! Tyson’s point that there will be a point in the future where currently observable galaxies will become un-observable automatically reminded me of a different model of the universe – steinhardt and turok’s cyclic model. If some galaxies currently observable… will they ever be observable again?
Great post! Have you heard of the big shift occurring in astronomy now? The field is moving towards using Bayesian Inference to understand results (especially in the case of big data). Bayesian inference not only asks about the data we have, but also trying to account for the data we don’t have in forming our final picture.
I haven’t, actually, thank you for bringing it up. Are there any particular sources you’d recommend for further exploration/explanation of the topic?