On this day in 1924, the universe got a whole lot bigger. Until Edwin Hubble published his findings, it was believed that the Milky Way galaxy was the entire universe. Andromeda had been known of for thousands of years. But it was thought to be a nebula inside the Milky Way. Hubble showed that it was far too distant for that and was rather a galaxy like our own. It was truly one of the days the universe changed.
When I was young, I had what is probably a typical view of the universe: there are stars, and around them are plants; stars swirl around in galaxies; and galaxies are just these things that hang out. But it is all a whole lot more messy than that. In fact, the universe seems to be like a fractal: it’s kind of the same at whatever scale you observe it. There are, for example, about three dozen galaxies that we know are satellites of our own. In about four billion years, the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are going to “collide.” They won’t really collide, because like most of the universe, they are almost all empty. But the two will go on to form a new galaxy, that we’ve already named: Milkomeda. Check out this great animation that NASA created of this interaction:
Based upon this, you can see why people have a hard time not believing in a multiverse. And I don’t doubt that at some point we will find a way to show this indirectly. Maybe a better understand of dark energy will imply other universes. Or maybe, it is all just a delusion of the singularity of my consciousness. In which case, I don’t know why you’re even reading this. Oh, that’s right: you aren’t. A better question: why am I not happier? As singularities go, this consciousness is just meh.