Minggu, 04 Januari 2015

Article#376 - Crescents

Let's just say that our eyes are used to see crescents. Either the one hovering near the dangling sunlight, or the one looming near the glowing horizon.
Now, let's just say that we already had enough of seeing a crescent at a time. In that case, our Hungarian fella Pál Váradi Nagy is more than ready to present you an image of one. Um, no, two crescents in one image. (It's a montage — click this link for more explanation)

In the image, the big crescent is evidently our good ol' Moon in its waxing crescent stage. How about that small crescent on the lower right corner? It's the dear "morning star" Venus – magnified good enough to present its appearance of a crescent, instead of a bright star as we used to see (in case you ever saw it, of course).
If you look back to the study of planets somewhere in the ol' school times, you might recall that this Venus is the very one called "Earth's twin" in several occasions within your textbooks. While that term is relatively true if you compare the two planets' mass and size, the resemblance stops there, as we got to know more about the presumably "loving" planet, as the name portrays. (Ever since, the term "Earth's twin" is preferably used in articles referring to potentially habitable "exoplanets" — namely, planets orbiting a star aside of our own Sun.)

Recall once more, that the dear Venus is similar in size and mass to our mighty Earth. That translates to about four times as big as the good ol' Moon.
Yet, in the photograph, the dear Venus is strikingly smaller than the Moon.
It means, we're seeing a crescent Moon, and a crescent of a planet, much farther out than the Moon; that should suffice of an explanation.

Yeah, it's good to know some clump of rocks here and there. But why so far out? What will we discover as we go straight out to those clumps?
Well, let me tell you. It's... virtually nothing. Like, just "empty".
You might have guessed if that is the reason we call it "outer space" — it is mostly just space.
But... so does the atoms composing everything we see. Mostly empty space.
or, is it?
Well, that is technically correct from a perspective of the ol' school physicist. This perspective provided by From Quarks and Quasars may beg to differ.
Okay, enough with the quantum physics stuff. Most of us will probably not going to find "gluon" useful in any extent whatsoever. What the heck is "gluon" anyway, a brand new glue?

From our simple perspective, it should suffice to say that, conceptually, we're just empty spaces. Living among the empties, trying to establish our own way to connect the voids.

We, conveyed by the emptiness, may just be a never-ending fluctuations cancelling out of each other.
And we, condescend to the emptiness, may just burst the interactions we supposedly maintain.

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