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Poetry, Memembering, “The Blob” & the Uni-Verse’s Baby Pictures

April 27, 2009

090422-space-blob-01

Friday August 25, 2007
3:15am Ventura CA

Memembering

Memember he says
I memember it
Did you memember?
That’s a lot to memember!

I never correct him.
I hope no one tells

him he’s wrong

memember is a much
better word

than remember

Poem from the 3:15 Experiment. For more poetry, ride the train.

“Giant Mystery Blob Discovered Near Dawn of Time,” screams the yahoo headline, reminding me of the movie The Blob which I watched too much of when I was 5.

I memember that blob all too well; I was sure I too would be consumed. Just revisiting the trailer makes my heart pound:

This blob consumes my imagination. For me, the idea that this light traveled for 12.9 billion years and thus allows us to look back that far in time excites me–like looking at baby pictures of the universe. The picture shown even looks like an ultrasound. Baby Himiko. One day I’ll write a poem about you.

According to a recent article by Jeremy Hsu Staff Writer for SPACE.com :

A newly found primordial blob may represent the most massive object ever discovered in the early universe, researchers announced today.

The gas cloud, spotted from 12.9 billion light-years away, could signal the earliest stages of galaxy formation back when the universe was just 800 million years old.

“I have never heard about any [similar] objects that could be resolved at this distance,” said Masami Ouchi, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s kind of record-breaking.”

A light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). An object 12.9 billion light-years away is seen as it existed 12.9 billion years ago, and the light is just now arriving.

The cloud predates similar blobs, known as Lyman-Alpha blobs, which existed when the universe was 2 billion to 3 billion years old. Researchers named their new find Himiko, after an ancient Japanese queen with an equally murky past.

Himiko holds more than 10 times as much mass as the next largest object found in the early universe, or roughly the equivalent mass of 40 billion suns. At 55,000 light years across, it spans about half the diameter of our Milky Way Galaxy.

Lyman-Alpha blobs remain a mystery because existing telescopes have a hard time peering so far back to nearly the dawn of the universe.

Himiko sits right on the doorstep of an era called the reionization epoch, which lasted between 200 million and 1 billion years after the Big Bang. That’s when the universe had just emerged from its cosmic dark ages and had begun brightening through the formation of stars and galaxies. Hot, energized hydrogen gas from that time period has allowed astronomers to begin seeing some objects — as much good as it does to squint at such fuzzy blobs.

“Even for astronomers, we don’t understand,” Ouchi told SPACE.com. “We are keen to try to understand what those systems are in the reionization epoch.”

Himiko may represent an ionized gas halo surrounding a super-massive black hole, or a cooling gas cloud that indicates a primordial galaxy, Ouchi noted. But it might also be the result of a collision between two young galaxies, or the outgoing wind of a highly active star nursery, or a single giant galaxy.

Pinning down this riddle will require further telescope time.

Read more/Original Story: Giant Mystery Blob Discovered Near Dawn of Time

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2009 9:18 pm

    Reminds me of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe

  2. April 28, 2009 8:10 am

    I agree with you, memember is really cool!

    Love the bit about The Blob! and the Steve McQueen trailer.

    Spooky, ‘cos August 25th is my birthday.
    -Andy

  3. April 28, 2009 8:13 am

    I like that word. It reminds me to remember to do the memes and prompts :-)

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