Saturday, March 27, 2010

Star Trek tells stories at the intersection of science and imagination. Imagination inspires new science, and new scientific discoveries inspire new and more wondrous imaginings. Here's one new intersection, ripe for new stories--though in some respects, this new bit of science supports Star Trek stories already told, especially in Trek novels that refer to the "multiverse..."

The photos above are two views of the Coma Galaxy Cluster, close to the edge of the known universe, which is apparently participating in the newly confirmed phenomenon called Dark Flow.

Entire galaxies are speeding to the edge of the known universe at the incredible speed of 2.2 million miles an hour. New studies confirm this, and confirm that the movement is in the same direction. The theory is that these galaxies are being pulled by "an unknown structure" of matter beyond the known universe. Dark flow supports the idea of a multiverse--that is, of more than one universe.

There is always something new to spark the imagination, or even give new dimensions to prior imaginings. There are some wonderful science fiction stories about races of humans that existed long ago, even coexisted with our direct ancestors, but which we know nothing about. This week, DNA analyzed from a fossil humanoid was unlike any found before, suggesting the possibility of a kind of human we didn't know existed. More analysis will be needed, and absent another fossil of the same kind, it's likely to be a long time before we know much more.

But of course, we can send out the exploratory mission...of imagination.


liminalD said...

That's what I love about sci fi, and Star Trek in particular, the way it looks for what's possible, always exploring new ways of being, new understandings of the world around us. And with each new scientific discovery t's as if the world around us gets bigger and more beautiful, and we can imagine so much more :)

Pala said...

"But of course, we can send out the exploratory mission...of imagination."

You must be a little bit embarressed by that line, aren't you.

That aside, I'm enjoying reading this blog, look forward to future posts.