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Our place in the universe!

So far we know that we exist on a planet we call Earth which is spinning on itself around a star we call Sun which is spinning on itself around the center of our galaxy we call the Milky Way which is spinning on itself around... this is where I lost track, everything is moving, the universe is expanding. I'm wondering since so much movement is cyclic, is the universe spinning too, and if so, around what? ;-) I should ask Neil deGrasse Tyson when he's open to questions and not pestering people for celebrating Christmas. lol


  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    There is no evidence that the universe is spinning. The reason why everything appears to be cyclic is because it is a relatively stable condition. Unstable conditions result in the destruction or expulsion of astronomical objects. Nothing is stable forever at long enough time scales. The moon's orbit is decaying (moving away a few cm a year) and whatever rotational energy it had has been lost to tide forces with Earth. Outside factors also disrupt things. Andromeda and the Milky Way will collide in a few billion years resulting in the complete destabilization of all the stars orbits. Some will fall into a new cycle, those that don't will probably be expelled from the galaxies.
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    Do we even have the means to detect any spinning motion of the visible universe while we are inside it? As they say, and I misquote, absence of evidence does not equal to evidence of absence. The awesomeness of our universe never ceases to amaze me.
  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    There is a problem with this. Spinning requires a center and every point in the universe is the center of the universe. No matter where you go everything is moving away from you (with localized exceptions).


    There is also a difference between evidence of absence and absence of evidence. A lot of armchair debaters try and leverage their viewpoint when there is no empirical or theoretical basis for it by calling on the latter. Science models the universe based on observable evidence, be it deduced or induced, mathematical modeling, and logic. To support an idea there needs to be evidence. That is science.

  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    edited July 2015
    Interesting, I'll have to think about this.

    I work among scientists and engineers and to put it mildly, not all know what they are doing. ;-) Also, there is no harm in admitting that one does not know instead of making stuff up. Been there, done that.
  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    Every group of people have a spectrum of abilities and talents. Also there is knowledge domains too. A scientist who earns a ph.d gained it by becoming an expert in a very specific topic. Look at the abstracts of phd dissertations to see how specific they are. A scientist might be an expert in the structure of the protein shell of viruses, but her understanding of macroinvertebrates as water quality indicate species will be that of a high schooler's. Both are "biology" but still very different and specialized domains. I trust as astrophysics on being an expert on the nuances of evaluating climate change just as much as I trust an electrician to do brain surgery.

    I suggest checking this page out:
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    Roflmao!! Nice way to put it!!
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