Welcome to the Story of our Universe!
This site discusses the Universe…from life on this planet, to potential life on other planets and moons, to Dark Matter, and everything in between. It is hoped that this site will help to explain the universe in terms you can understand so that you may appreciate the wonder of this place where we live…. from our local neighborhood of planets to the far reaches of the universe. It would be a shame to go through this life without an appreciation of this vast universe we live in. Of course, we won’t soon be going to these far-away stars, nor will we view in person the spectacle of colliding galaxies or black holes devouring stars, but we can learn of these events and wonder at their actual existence.
Yes, it is an awesome place!. The scale is really beyond our imagination, and its beauty begs us to wander the imaginary trails between and among the galaxies. One of the more peaceful and pleasant pastimes for me is to simply watch the night sky and imagine the events occurring out there. My thoughts range from thinking of the near-by planets and their moons to what processes might be happening on a far-away star. Or from thinking of which point of light has life, and what that possible life might be doing at that very instant. Or to the catastrophic event of a whole planet being sucked into a black hole in the twinkling of an eye! Some events are huge, beyond the most enormous events which could occur here on Earth…. but they are, nevertheless, real, and occurring in real time! And, yes …. sometimes I just daydream of things that are happening right here on earth….the things that affect me directly….. those worries, concerns, joys, that accompany each of us through life…significant on the personal level but insignificant on the grand scale of the cosmos. The point is… the night time sky can allow our imaginations to soar, and open our minds to a variety of possibilities!
Check out the Menu Tabs in the Header above. Each Tab stands by itself so you may feel free to browse the subjects as you wish, however following them in order, left to right, will present the material from an overview look to more detail.
The Universe An introduction to the age and scope of the Universe.
Time A first-hand trip into the past to explore the scope of the age of the Universe.
Structure An overview of the major structures of the cosmos….from our Solar System to Galaxies and Galaxy Clusters, as well as Dark Matter.
Cosmic Events Brief description of some extraordinary events occurring in the cosmos – Life and death of stars, Black Holes, Quasars, and, of course, the Big Bang.
The Solar System How the Solar system formed and some interesting facts regarding the planets and other objects in our Solar system. A look at Life.
AstronomersA look at some of the important astronomers of the day.
This site is based on fact and a lot of theoretical ideas, many of which have been supported – but not proven – by observation. In some cases there is more than one theory to explain a particular cosmic event… such is the ever evolving nature of modern astronomy. Nevertheless, a best attempt is made to present the current popular theory. So keep an open mind as you may come across competing theories.
The discussions herein are presented in a simplified manner, but as accurate as possible, so that everyone may get a realistic grasp of this place we call the Universe. I purposefully avoid getting into the weeds…it is more the purpose of seeing the landscape of this universe. You do not need a scientific background, however, for those wishing more information on any of the subjects here, check out the web sites listed in Other Web Sites. There are some really great sites out there with much more scientific detail than provided here.
Hopefully you will begin to see the beauty and awesome scale of this great place we live in and be able to better enjoy a peaceful night in the backyard looking at the night sky. With your unaided eye, most of what you see are stars in this galaxy. In fact, all but three of those spots of light are in this galaxy, our Milky Way. Of course the first thing you’ll see in the night sky, and one which we all know about, is the moon….our ever faithful companion. If you don’t know already, you will soon come to know the planets, most of which we can see with our unaided eye. Careful, these seem to appear and disappear in the night sky depending on the time of year and planet orbits. But the remainder, the stars, are pretty much constant from year-to-year, always there, always reliable….they sometimes hide from us during the year, but only because in our journey around the sun we get to see all sides of our galaxy.
The next time you look up at the night sky and see the thousands of stars, each representing thousands of potential solar systems in our very own Milky Way galaxy, think for a minute about the vast unseen universe that lies just beyond the limits of our unaided eye….. a universe filled with many, many galaxies…… and black holes, and dying stars. Scientists now know that these places surely exist. Just as surely as our own star, the Sun, exists … setting in the western sky at the end of each day.
The purpose of this site is to interest the reader to a better understanding of the universe and to gain some appreciation for the vastness of this place where we live. Take a look at the subjects listed above. We’ll briefly look at the work of some astronomers, past and present, regarding where we came from and where we are going. We’ll concentrate on those theories which are currently supported by the observations. To the extent possible, a picture of the universe will be presented which is consistent with the most reasonably certain scientific ideas of today.
Continue on to a journey to the beginning of Time.