How’s that for a sensationalist headline? The Sun’s staff can’t even begin to claim something as majestically terrifying as that has ever come out of their sordid printing press machines. The actual news story? Yesterday there was a Super Moon of sorts; for whatever scientific reason the Moon (our docile neighbour in the sky) appeared a bit more massive and imposing than it normally does. Normally The Moon is a sort of grey thing that is largely bleak and insipid. Occasionally it looks quite pretty, but most of the time we just ignore its existence and focus on other planets. Like Mars. And there’s nothing on Mars, either, except rocks of a slightly different hue. No aliens, no secret hidden empire, possibly water a few billion years ago, but right now there’s nothing but rocks and dust. The red planet? Pfft. The Naff Planet, more like (it took us a while to come up with that)!!!! So here are some reasons to get excited about our local vicinity in space.
1. Jupiter – It’s not all doom and gloom. Our solar system’s reasonably interesting. Just look at Jupiter! If there’s one planet that looks genuinely psychotic (forget the daft myths surrounding Mars and its rocks and dust) it’s Jupiter – just look at it! Collosal and imposing, this is one maniacal ball of gas. Its mass is two and a half times greater than all of the other planets in the solar system combined (barring the Sun). That’s one huge planet! And we thought the local trip to Tesco on a Sunday morning was too much of a distance. Jupiter is so hardcore that when meteorites struck it in 1994 creating catastrophic explosions as big as Australia, they only appeared as a minor blip on the planet’s surface. Rock on, dude, as Jupiter helps swing these wayward asteroids away from the Earth due to its morbid obesity. So, let’s hear it for Jupiter!
2. The Sun – No, not the reprehensible newspaper. The Sun is so vast in its size it has been worshipped as a deity many thousands of years ago. We now know that it’s not some magical beast up in the sky keeping an eye on us, it is actually just an incomprehensibly enormous ball of fire. We don’t really tend to think about it that much, but the only reason we’re alive is due to it being there. And it’s out there right now doing its thing, right at this moment making a sort of cacophony of endless noise and flames. Most fascinating to think of, non? Its diameter is 109 times that of the Earth, and its mass is roughly 330,000 times that of our planet. We’re talking one huge ball of plasma here. Next time you see one of those smiley face, cartoon drawings of the sun, go up to wherever it is and tear it down. If it’s on your computer screen then punch the computer until you no longer see the image. This is our Sun – repent and yee shall receive a great sun tan!
3. The Milky Way – What can you say about the Milky Way that hasn’t already been written? Well, quite a lot. For those wondering about the slightly stupid name for such a vast and stunning thing, it’s actually a rough take on classic latin – “via lactea”. So there, mofo! We’re in there anyway, Earth, amongst all the familiar faces, and roughly 200-400 billion other stars. By ‘eck. That’s a proper ‘ecky thump number that is. 400 billion stars? And that’s just one galaxy. Our best Mad Scientists believe there are also around 400 billion galaxies out there. Roughly translated into layman speak a word sums it up; massive. And not “massive” in the “it’s gonna be a massive party!” sort of way, we’re on about one brain shatteringly enormous distance and amount of stars. This had lead us to the conclusion below.
4. Space – “Space” kind of suggests there’s nothing in it and there’s not much there. There is some truth in this, but when we’re on about a few trillion stars in a handful of galaxies alone then perhaps a new name should be in order. We’ve come up with a few ideas:
Really Bloody Enormous Thing – Sums it up well.
A Perpetual Vacuum (but not like a vacuum cleaner) – It’s important to clear up any vacuum cleaner confusion.
Terrifying Realm of Vastness – Again, kind of gets the idea across.
Super Enormous Sky x2 – The x2 kind of gets the idea across from our Earthling perspective, I believe.
Massive Bloody Great Big Thing– Not the most scientific term, but like point 1 it sums the whole thing up well.
5. To infinity, and beyond! – What’s at the end of the Universe then, right at the edge? A McDonalds? Perhaps Ronald McDonald is waiting there with his big enforced grin, ready and willing to force anyone and everyone to eat their liver rotting, vein clogging, obesity promoting food. It’s possible. Here at Professional Moron we believe a tomato is at the end of the universe. Why a tomato? They pose the biggest consternation when it comes to debates about food; are they are a fruit or a vegetable or what? Also, from working at JD Wetherspoon Ltd., we got sick of those fussy little wimps who claimed they were “allergic” to tomatoes so couldn’t eat them with their full English breakfast. Allergic, eh? But you can eat the baked beans in their tomato based sauce? Morons. So we believe the tomato is at the end/edge of the Universe, surrounded by people arguing about its health benefits etc. What joy!