wow... Mark... -------> this is me after your reply...:banghead: lol... that response blew my mind... i had to read it several times to get it to stick but know that i could never carry on a conversation about this as I cannot fathom the breadth of the conversation. I admire you for your knowledge and understanding, and for the passion you have towards it. It is amazing that you comprehend this stuff. I do find if fascinating..the sheer size of space, man's ability and knowledge to be able to measure, search and discover, postulate theories and then be able to articulate that information for those that cannot do that. Real admiration for you.
i will have to do more reading up on this as it is fascinating.... one last question.... apologize for the bluntness and ridiculously entry level of it.... but why? What do we hope to derive from such an experiment? if this is not the place for it.. thats ok... just thought i would question.....
Thank you kindly, Earl. First, I must say that I appreciate your own articulation and curious nature. I’m abundantly certain that I could never fully answer your question: “Why?” I’m also abundantly certain that I cannot give a short answer, in trying. LOL. So here it goes, my humble attempt, in abundance: History clearly tells us that humankind has long held a fascination over the universe that surrounds our tiny oasis in space, and it is easy to understand that. All one has to do is look up at the night sky to come face to face with the mystery – what is all that which we see, and what is our place in it? In other words, why are we here? Religion is one method humans use to try to solve this mystery. Another is science. Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences. It is known that some of the earliest written records were astronomical observations (Sumerians ~3000 BC, Babylonians ~1200 BC). The Egyptians aligned the pyramids and other structures according to the stars and the sun ~2500 BC, the Chinese kept astronomical records since ~500 BC, and the ancient Greeks formalized astronomy around 400 BC. But it was all based on just that – simply looking up to the heavens with human eyes. It took another two millennia before a profound change in how humanity viewed the stars came about – in 1609, Galileo demonstrated the first practical, optical telescope for stargazing. Over the years, the advent of ever more powerful telescopes allowed us to better understand the universe and our own ‘neighborhood’, the solar system. Fast-forward another 300 years to the early 1900’s, and Albert Einstein formulated his General Theory of Relativity which kicked off the modern era in the sciences of astrophysics (why the objects in the heavens behave the way they do) and cosmology (the origin, evolution, and large scale structure of the universe). Fast forward again to the 1960’s and consider the birth of the space-age as we know it. Since then, we have been able to launch increasingly advanced instruments into space, and coupled with increasingly advanced ground-based instruments, we are able to explore and understand the universe in finer detail and across broader portions of the electromagnetic spectrum (think gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, microwaves, radio waves) than our ancestors could have ever even imagined. And the resulting amount of knowledge gained is staggering. I could go on and on to name and describe these amazing instruments created by humankind, but I think the one example that I can give that best describes this process is the Hubble Space Telescope: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150316-50-great-images-from-the-hubble-space-telescope/
Beyond that ‘one-of-many’ shining achievements of humanity, for example, are the recent explorations of Mars, the recent exploration of Pluto with the New Horizons spacecraft, and now Advanced LIGO and the detection of gravitational waves predicted by Einstein a century ago, but never directly detected until now. I couldn’t put it into words any better than found in this article titled “Gravitational Waves: What Their Discovery Means for Science and Humanity”, by By Calla Cofield, Space.com Staff Writer. Excerpted from that article:
“…But what is truly monumental about this detection is that it gives humanity the ability to see the universe in a totally new way, scientists said. The ability to directly detect gravitational waves — which are generated by the acceleration or deceleration of massive objects in space — has been compared to a deaf person suddenly gaining the ability to hear sound. An entirely new realm of information is now available. "It's like Galileo pointing the telescope for the first time at the sky," LIGO team member Vassiliki (Vicky) Kalogera, a professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern University in Illinois, told Space.com. "You're opening your eyes — in this case, our ears — to a new set of signals from the universe that our previous technologies did not allow us to receive, study and learn from." "Up until now, we've been deaf to gravitational waves," LIGO Executive Director David Reitze, of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), said during an announcement ceremony in Washington, D.C. "What's going to come now is we're going to hear more things, and no doubt we'll hear things that we expected to hear … but we will also hear things that we never expected." http://www.space.com/31922-gravitational-waves-detection-what-it-means.html
So, in conclusion, let me leave you with this thought… I believe that it is humanity’s seemingly unique ability to ponder the very question, “Why?”, that leads to an insatiable and unrelenting thirst for knowledge and understanding of the mystery pondered by countless humans, myself included: “What is all that which we see, and what is our place in it? In other words, why are we here?” And now, we’ve come full-circle.
But, the reason I’m HERE is to talk about motorcycles, so I’ll stand-down on the scientific blathering and simply say… “Well, *you* started it!” :icon_chee LOL… peace, brother…