The observable universe

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The observable universe

Tiangong 1 is headed our way.
This news and references to white rabbits
scurrying down rabbit holes
with us in pursuit
begin the day.

When and where?
Why and why not?

But first:

“China’s Tiangong-1 Space Lab Expected to Fall to Earth in 2 to 3 Weeks.” 03-19-18, Leonard David, Space.com.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Debris Office in Darmstadt, Germany, has issued a new update on the expected re-entry of China’s Tiangong-1 space lab.

The new forecast, which was issued March 15, predicts that the 8.5-ton Tiangong-1 will fall back to Earth between March 30 and April 6, though it stresses that this is a rough estimate.

Re-entry of the Chinese hardware will take place anywhere between 43 degrees north latitude and 43 degrees south latitude — a huge swath that most of the world’s population calls home.

And then, this:

We will likely never know for sure how everything began, or even if there was a beginning. Perhaps the timeless quest to uncover our ultimate origins is pointless, a selfish side effect of our innate human need for a coherent narrative of existence. Indeed, the very concept of a beginning may be flawed, based on our comparatively paltry experience in this mystical reality. The Universe, and indeed all of Reality, is by no means required to conform to our concept of a “beginning.”


And of course, no matter how far down the rabbit hole we travel, there could always be a question of “what came before?” The search for a beginning will likely never end.

Ross Pomeroy, “We’ll Never Know How Everything Began.”
Real Clear Science, March 19, 2018.

But how can we even be so certain of that? We cannot even say when or where the Chinese satellite will fall to earth.

Here in the Pyrenées-Orientales, however, certainty has been narrowed to ten-thousand-to-one that we will get at least a metal fragment or two somewhere up and down the Côte Vermeille, or even here in the mountains.

Which brings us around to Bugarach, our nearby mountain revered by the ancients as the home of alien visitors which is still a Mecca for alternate-reality gurus and scofflaw resort developers. Is it time to gin up some excitement about Tiangong-1 falling exactly hereabouts? Could the heady days of the 2012 Bugarach Apocalypse be revived?

And how does this connect with the anniversary of “Study on an End of the World, Part 2,” performed by Jean Tinguely and Nikki de Saint Phalle on March 21, 1962, somewhere in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada?

Or do any of these things connect at all in the observable universe, or are they like us, lone specks?

Stay tuned.

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