Ligo, Kepler, Solar Eclipse 2017
2017 was a special memorable year in terms of scientific discovery. Nobel prize went to the scientist at MIT and Caltech for the discovery of the gravitational wave using Ligo at Washington and Louisiana. What they found is the massive merger of the two black holes in the recent past, several hundred million years ago. Not just one, but two so far, meaning there are a lot of black holes in the universe. It took more than 10 years to build a Ligo and hard working of many scientists and engineers. Now we can hear the whisper of stellar death when stars start to disappear into the ashes in the universe. And we are linked by the universal gravitational force.
Second example is Kepler mission. Recently NASA found another exoplanet, earth-like solar system in 1000 light years away. When you think about it like a scientist, it is nearly impossible to detect such possibility, life somewhere in the universe. Since we can barely see the light from the distent stars, finding an exoplanet is to find a lost coin in the dark under the faint moon. NASA scientist found a way to use the artificial intelligence to detect a dimming of the star light as an exoplanet orbits around the stars. Now let's think about how large is the universe. When we talk about the size and volume of the universe, we should rather talk about the time the light traveled. Imagine we are baking a bread in an oven. It expands in every direction. Hubble found the expanding rate of the universe, called Hubble constant. The farther away the star is, it moves away faster. Interestingly it is a dimension of the inverse time. If you flip it over into time scale, that's exactly the age of the universe, 137 billion years. If you know how to use a calculator, try it yourself. It is a good exercise and easy and one of most important one.
Third episode is about the great solar eclipse in 2017. Moon blocked the sun for a couple minutes during the solar eclipse on Aug 23, which was visible in most part of USA. Very interestingly moon is apparently same size of the sun here at earth. In fact moon is slightly smaller than the sun. If you calculate the trigonometry of the angular distance and the size, it is miraculous that they match in size so that moon can block the sun nearly completely during the solar eclipse. Now computer can predict when it will happen and where it happens exactly. It is called a Nasa's eye simulation. Here at Phoenix AZ, 60% of the sun was predicted to be blocked on Aug 23, 2017. I built a solar panel cart and experiment the solar eclipse shadowing and confirmed the solar eclipse. Fascinating experience that we are under the moon and sun in a straight line.
My message today is about science that I believe keeps resonating with our belief that the origin of the universe and life is not just like rolling a dice. There must be a creator, and his purpose, thereby meaning of life, and why we are here. Only when we can hear the whisper of the gravity and embrace the grace coming down from our Lord.