Tuesday, March 13, 2012

National Astronomy Week 2012: "Dark Matter, Dark Energy and the Fate of the Universe"

As what I have posted here, I was slated to make a talk during the last leg of the National Astronomy Week 2012 held at the Astronomy and Applied Physics Department of the Rizal Technological Institute.

While NAW 2012 marks a very felicitous event for the astronomers and astrophysicist alike where this year's theme posits on the very cogent and conspicuous questions about 2012 being the last hurrah of the human race, for me it was simply a reconnection to my roots. Academic in particular.

My professor in Quantum Mechanics, Prof. Christopher Go, also came to make a talk about Deep Space and Planetary Imaging. Go has been acclaimed as a Michael Jackson of astronomy because of his contribution in astronomy including discovery of the Jupiter's souther hemisphere spot called Oval BA turning into red, thus coining it with Red Spot Jr. He is also an integral part of the Hubble Heritage Team to image the Quad Transit in Saturn by using Hubble Space Telescope. With all his numerous contribution in the science of astronomy, he was a recipient of the Presidential Order for Lakandula.

In the picture were: Christopher Louie Lu, NAW Chairperson, Dr. Jett Aguilar, Vice President of ALP, a representative of Cutting Edge, Philippine official distributor of Celestron astronomical scopes and accessories, Christopher Go, and James Kevin Ty, President of ALP.

My talk is entitled "Dark Matter, Dark Energy and the Fate of the Universe." And here is a short summary of it:

The matter composition of our universe is not just us, it's not just an ordinary matter we all see around. It's the Dark Matter that acts like ghost particle because it hardly interacts with ordinary matter except gravity. It's relevance to our existence is being the scaffolding in space where stars and galaxies clumps together in its virtual filaments like spiderwebs. Had it not been because of Dark Matter, we would have had flung apart into the vastness of space due to our Solar System's extremely speedy orbital motion around our galaxy.

And that there's 23% of Dark Matter, we(baryonic matters made of atoms) are only about 4.6%. The rest is already Dark Energy, the repulsive force that stretches the fabric of space exponentially apart for every unit of time. Eons of time, far greater than the geological time scale, astrophysicist already calculated the abysmal fate of the universe. And there are cosmological models and mathematical postulations to support that, apart from the direct evidence gathered by probes, telescopes and detectors.

Before there were theories suggesting that the metric expansion of the universe will suddenly reverse and recollapse into what is known as a Black Hole singularity. Others say that the finite scale factor of time will become infinite that even strands of our atomic structures will be ripped apart because of this speeding expansion. But the most commonly accepted theory is that the universe will just die in ice because of the exponential expansion in the fabric of space and time, tearing our affinity with the thermal energy that gives us life.

Of course, our event ended up with free stargazing activities for the public to have a first hand experience in seeing these wonders of the cosmos. I wasn't able to join the gang because I have a dinner reservation at a hotel.

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