Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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There is the lower group called the unredeemed and the second group ordinary Christians saved by faith, and the third group saved by knowledge with eternal bliss.


The great astronomer, Steven Weinberg in the opening chapter of  his book, The First Three Minutes, he quotes from the YOUNGER EDDA, one of the Norse Sagas, compiled by Snorri Sturleson, an ancestor of mine as our family traces back to ancient Icelanders. He gives the ancient chronicle's summary of the Creation. (Weinberg p. 3)  As an Icelander I appreciate the quote, as a scientist, of course,  he does not subscribe to the account, but as an Icelander, I subscribe to the underlying simplicity, inventiveness and metaphors of the account. There are several shelves in my library of Icelandic Sagas and histories. But, then I also have creational accounts by most southwestern Native Americans. My brother and I have found parallels to deep Mormon Doctrine in all of them, so I enjoy the various accounts. The ancients once had more than history has permitted them retain. And sometimes, looking at the sky, I sometimes think my ancestors did a pretty good job of understanding the meaning of it all.


After 25 years in space, Hubble has seen it all. It witnessed fragments of a comet pommel Jupiter. It spied planet nurseries silhouetted by the light of brand new stars in the Orion Nebula. It confirmed that in the center of every large galaxy lurks a supermassive black hole, an invisible behemoth weighing up to several billion suns. Hubble even monitored pulsating stars as far as    70 million light-years away. By doing so, it resolved decades long dispute about the expansion rate and age of our local bubble we call our universe. It confirmed we were in a bubble with cosmic background radiation in all directions forming the rind or rim of our bubble. And it did all of this with confirming images and pictures. In the Orion Nebula, the closest star nursery to the earth, just 1300 light years away, there were the Pillars of Creation, at the ends of which new stars were being born where newborn stars sculpt elongated finger like spires of gas several light-years high. With its FINE GUIDANCE SENSOR  it corrected distances to object near and far, such as the Pleiades measured by the HIPPARCOS SATELLITE  correcting the distance from 132.5 parsecs, to 133.5 plus or minus, l.2 pc. Not a trivial amount in nearby space. (A parsec is 3.27 light years) It provided photos of the deep field and ultra-deep field of vast fields of galaxies, nearly everything on the deep imagers were galaxies, all colors, the red were older, blue more recent, and all of them in various stages of their lives and varieties of shapes and forms. (Filkin-Hawking, pp. 91, 168, 189, 218, 232) These are selected images. On some of the deep field photos there were more than 10,000 galaxies spanning vast expanses of space and time. Hubble's iconic images set a new standard for how astronomers- and the public- see the universe.

Not too shabby for a telescope that started off as the butt of late-night TV jokes after its misshapen mirror sent home blurry early images that created a despair that was numbing. Hubble has been, however, such a "spectacular success," says University of Chicago astronomer Wendy Freedman, "because it was just a huge step beyond what we were capable of doing before." After the corrective optics were taken physically by humans to the orbiting instrument of so much hope, the feelings changed to ecstatic jubilation.  From its vantage point high above the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere, Hubble is one of the sharpest eyes ever to peer out at the universe and it has never been disappointing. With herculean effort the baby tenders of the huge instrument ascended into space in the first of five missions in 1993, intent on installing a fix for the misshapen mirror on the telescope, it was huddled into the cargo bay of the space shuttle Endeavor, and the repair mission was a success. With clearer vision, the telescope imaged thousands of galaxies in the astonishing deep fields, sighted in on the Helix Nebula to watch dying stars, and found pairs of entangled galaxies resisting unavoidable collisions, such as ARP 273. (Crockett pp. 19-21) 

From 2005 to 2012, Hubble discovered four new moons around Pluto raising the total of moons now to five, and farther out in the Butterfly Nebula, looking like a crystal hour glass, two cones of gas erupting from a dying star. They saw the immediate remnants of dying stars, how they end up as vast bubbles of tendrils with eerie blue light filling the insides like a star that was first seen in the year 1054. (Crockett p. 20)


Hubble was to explore frontiers that were unimagined when the telescope rode the space shuttle Discovery into orbit on April 24 1990. "Astronomers didn't have enough imagination at the beginning to think of all the things that nature does.” Said astrophysicist Robert Kirshner, at the Harvard -Smithsonian Center in Cambridge.  It was the diverse package of cameras and spectrometers combined with the ingenuity of the telescope's operations that let Hubble try things that no one planned for. Kirshner, working with the infrared camera added during the last servicing mission in 2009, trying to solve one of astronomer's thorniest mysteries: Why is the expansion of the universe speeding up? He is using Hubble's new infrared eye to observe a class of supernovas called type Ia in other galaxies, these exploding stars are useful distance markers because they emit roughly the same amount of light. Such supernovas more consistently reach the same brightness in infrared light than they do in visible light, so Kirshner hopes the infrared camera will give a more precise look at how cosmic expansion has changed through time.

Hubble's productive longevity owes a tremendous debt to human spaceflight. For three years,  there was great despair after the first image was taken and found to be greatly flawed. Now Astronauts have returned five times, including the 1993 launch of the first actual service visit to the telescope, STS 61, a trip installed optics called COSTAR  which corrected the optics for the flawed mirror. Five service visits were made to add additional instruments, the last in1997. Each visit brought spare parts and more advanced instruments.


Composer Paola Prestini worked with Mario Livio, (who described HUBBLES TOP SEVEN SCIENCE DISCOVERIES, Livio pp. 29-34), on a contemporary classical multimedia composition with mixed orchestral arrangements, vocalists with librettists Royce Vavek, spoken word and film maker Corinen Kordas,  to connect human life to the lives of stars debuted in 2013, as the HUBBLE CONTATA, with a final version for the 25th the anniversary of HUBBLE in March 2015. (Liz Krusei pp. 53-54)

The telescope right now at age 25 is working better than it has at any time in the past. The images are sharper and reach farther than before. Barring a catastrophic failure, Hubble will probably celebrate a 30th anniversary as well.  Who knows? Maybe many more. (Crockett p. 20)


Astronomers are pointing instruments at galaxies near the far reaches of the visible universe, looking back on events that transpired as the expanding superheated plasma began to cool enough for elemental matter to form. The light they are looking at has taken more than 13.5 billion years to reach our region. There was no light before then. Any stars, star cluster, or galaxies appear as they did just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. The expansion of the universe in that time has stretched the visible light from these galaxies to infrared wavelengths that Hubble's new equipment can detect, the reason for the installation of infrared capability.  Piecing together Hubble observations with those from other telescopes, astronomers can see how galaxies have evolved throughout cosmic history. Galaxies start as oddly shaped clumps of gravity induced coalescing gas and stars that repeatedly merge over time eventually building the large spiral and elliptical galaxies we see today.

Astronomers and cosmologists "know the universe formed stars furiously when it got started, then reached a peak some 10 billion years ago, and it's been declining every since."  says Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at Hubble's headquarters at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He continues "Nobody knew that was something that would come of the Hubble."


Also, no one knew that Hubble would be sniffing around the atmospheres of planets that orbited other stars, you would have been considered out of your mind to have mentioned something like that a couple of decades ago. The Astronomers have discovered the first planets outside the solar system starting just two years after Hubble was launched. In 2000 Hubble saw the first hints of an atmosphere around an exoplanet. As the planet crossed in front of its star certain wavelengths of starlight were blocked by gas in the planet's atmosphere. since then Hubble, along with other telescopes in space and on the ground, has tallied the chemical makeup of more than 50 worlds, and counting. "Hubble is right now the preeminent facility with which astronomers can make those measurements."  Says Caltech astronomer Heather Knutson. Joseph Smith had inferred we would be communicating with other worlds eventually, but you cannot communicate with any world until you have found it and located it. Knutson is using Hubble to understand the origin of super-earths, planets that are a few times as massive as Earth. Astronomers don't understand yet how these heavyweights form. But the atmosphere might keep a record of where they formed, which is a first step in figuring out how they did. Hubble  has shaped our view of what astronomy really is. (Crockett pp. 20-21)

Jennifer Wiseman, is an astrophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, where the Hubble Heritage Project, was found by Bond and others in 1998. She is responsible for the artistry and iconic pictures produced by Hubble.  As far as the public is concerned, the images produced, have inspired poetry, dance, music, and changed the lives of young people who were caught up by Hubble and yearn to know about the immensity of the universe. Major actors in the drama of astronomy have come on the stage influenced by Hubble and the Delirium of Immensity represented by the 25 years of peering near and far at the beauty and extravagance of the universe around us. (Crockett p. 21) Our home away from home.    


On a chilly Saturday evening last March, ignoring more than six inches of new snow, hundreds of people crowded into Shriver Hall at John Hopkins University in Baltimore to hear the east coast premier, of  "COSMIC DUST," AN ORCHESTRAL PIECE,  composed by the Los Angeles based composer Russell Steinberg, set to images of deep space. There was a trumpet fanfare that conveyed the immense power of an exploding star; a cascade from the violins accompanied the lights of comets. As the symphony played, images of galaxies and nebulae scrolled by on a big screen; it was an extrasensory experience in sight and sound.  Is there any other telescope that has had a concert in their honor, involving a special composition for the occasion of a 25th birthday? But then the Hubble Space Telescope is not just any telescope. For the composer, Steinberg, his music is his way of helping people grapple with the immensity of what Hubble has revealed during its 25 years and to connect to it individually.  He says "The reason we yearn to look at the heavens, is that we're seeking our origins, that curiosity we have to look at the sky is so primal to what makes us human beings" (In Crockett p. 19,  21)   Steinberg had the opportunity to shake hands with Hubble astronomer and former astronaut John Grunsfield, who had visited Hubble three of the five times it was modified.  (Hubble Space Telescope:bit:ly/NASA_ Hubble)

An astronomer by training and a photographer at heart, ZOLTAN LEVAY has created images of the cosmos with one of humankind's most advanced optical instruments: the Hubble space Telescope, producing photos with the telescope, is not much different than shooting photos of mountains, rivers or national parks. Levay was born in Pakistan, he moved with his parents to the United States in 1956. In high school, he built his own telescope to take pictures of planets and stars. He studied astronomy and astrophysics, and in 1983  he joined their Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore as a programmer for Hubble. A few years after the telescope launched in 1990, he began working with its photos.  Levay, now 62, heads Hubble's imaging group and is part of the Hubble Heritage Team, which works to share the telescope's images with the public.

Levay transforms Hubble's' raw data into iconic images. Hubble's cameras take black and white shots and record color with filters. Levay converts the data into reds, greens and blues of space. His famous Hubble image in the Pillars of Creation, released in 1995 shows where stars are born. Using recently installed infrared cameras on Hubble, Levay and his team have now refashioned the image with the greater clarity and view inside the cloudy pillars (Science News Online l/6/15),  "It was a nice way to bookend Hubble's mission." (Levay in Yeager p. 4)

It was 2011 and three astronomers, Brian Schmidt, Adam Reiss and Saul Perlmutter shared the Noble Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking measurements revealing that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. They had been making observations and sharing results since before 1997. It has been nearly two decades for cosmologists to struggle to understand how this could be happening.  Schmidt, leading one team was based at the Australian National University in Canberra.  He was intent on pinpointing the positions of supernovae, exploding stars that, at their apex, can outshine 5 billion suns. These bright, celestial objects serve as beacons across the vastness of the sky, helping astronomers to peer deep into the immensity of space and permit them to calculate the size, shape, mass, and distances; therefore age of the universe.  Schmidt's colleagues were scattered around the globe in Europe, South America, and the United States. The team had developed a 24-hour approach to analyzing their telescope data. Schmidt was at the lead of the relay, he would work all day in the East then e-mail the file to Adam Riess, then at the University of California, Berkeley, who picked up where Schmidt left off and studied the data during the day in the West.  One morning Schmidt received an electronic transfer of a graph from Riess summarizing graphically the latest estimates for supernovae distances. It was nothing like Schmidt expected.  He said: "I could see what was going on just by eye. I remember thinking. Oh Adam! Oh Adam! What have you done?"  (In Merali p. 39) He expected to see an upward curving diagonal line, rising from the bottom left of the graph to the top right.  Instead, the line veered downward, like the tail of a frightened dog. The surprising curl, frowning back at Schmidt, told him that astronomers might have to rethink the way the universe worked.

At the time, Schmidt thought he had a pretty good grasp of on the history and evolution of the Cosmos. All that he knew would have to be re-evaluated. Riess' results told him another story. Bizarrely, the supernovae appeared to be farther away from Earth than anybody had anticipated, implying that the cosmos was altogether bigger than astronomers had bargained for, as though gravity's pulling power was somehow being overwhelmed.  It didn't make sense.  The universes expansion must be speeding up. Schmidt immediately deemed that conclusion "absurd." No one had ever observed a force capable of driving acceleration like this; he dismissed the finding as a mistake. The disturbing notion persisted. Then an independent team, led by Saul Perlmutter at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, California, arrived at the same result.  Whatever was causing the speed up was whimsically called 'DARK ENERGY', it was mysteriously pushing space apart, combating gravity's inward pull. And it had a specific time of onset. If dark energy were to drive this galloping kind of expansion, the universe itself might one day be torn apart in a big Rip. The deep mystery enshrouding this antigravity affect is one of the biggest puzzles of modern physics with little consensus over where DARK ENERGY comes from, how it works, or if it exists at all. (Merali p. 41-42)

Newton's ideas  of the late 1600's held the picture that space and time were immutable and could be measured accurately by rigid rulers and clocks and gravity was a force that could reach across empty space pulling objects together by invisible threads. That view was challenged in 1915 by Einstein, who laid out an alternative theory of gravity; in his framework, the three dimensions of space and time are woven together to create a four-dimensional fabric, which acts as the source of gravity because it bends and warps around massive objects as though pulled toward the heavier structures by a force, with a spherical and static universe neither by expanding nor contracting, but in detail it emerged as an unstable cosmos. He tried to push the puzzle pieces together by a "cosmological constant, which was little more than a fudge factor to hold the universe still. By 1930's the American astronomers Vesto Melvin Slispher and Edwin Hubble, had by measuring the distance of galaxies, convinced everyone, even Einstein, the universe was expanding. They had opened new windows on the universe and the windows are still open. Advances were given a big shove when Christian Doppler, a nineteenth century Austrian physicist realized that light from a source moving away from you stretched out toward the red end of the spectrum of light, and contracted to the blue area when coming toward you, it became known as the "Doppler effect."  Hubble soon learned that that the redder the light from distant galaxies, the faster those galaxies were speeding away, which permitted him in 1929 to announce the universe was expanding.

Schmidt In high school, at age 14, and living in Alaska, his father, a biologist, bought him one of the first IMB PCs, within two years he had it programmed it to predict eclipses. His passion for computer coding, permitted him to develop software for sifting through telescopic plates selecting from the myriad celestial dots which of them were supernova. Astronomers were still struggling to run down the universe's expansion. They needed more reliable cosmic candles and Schmidt's student project was a key.  To chart the universe's expansion, astronomers needed reliable cosmic candles, objects that they could trust to burn with the same luminosity no matter how far from earth.  They turned to a type of supernova created by the death of stars about the same mass as our sun. During their lifetime such stars burn hydrogen and helium, giving them the energy to resist the incessant pull of gravity trying to draw their atoms inward. Once this fuel is used up, however, the remaining matter is crushed into the center of the star which becomes a white dwarf, so dense a teaspoon of it would weight several tons. When a white dwarf's mass hits a critical value, from accreting mass from energy stars, or l.38 times the mass of the sun, it explodes like a giant thermonuclear bomb. These are type la supernovas. they all explode when they reach the critical mass.  They are close to being consistently bright. Just by measuring how bright the explosion appears, astronomers can estimate a supernova's distance from Earth.  And because light waves are stretched as they travel through expanding space, the red shift allows astronomers to directly measure that expansion. With new instruments they have developed, necessity becomes the mother of invention, they have become very good at making these  estimates.

In 1989, Schmidt getting his PhD at Harvard, met Riess, a science addict from his childhood, three years behind him, and who was acquainted with Perlmutter, they had already identified seven of the Type la supernova 10 times farther away than any that had been seen before. They combined their efforts to use Type la supernova to track the universe's expansion further back in time. Later, Perlmutter would become a rival. The deeper you peer into the sky, the further back into the history of the universe you see. Pinpointing the position of these extremely far-flung supernova reveals how fast the universe has been expanding in the past. In an expanding universe the red shifts of distant supernovae would be more pronounced when compared to the light-emitting from nearby supernova. If the cosmos had been expanding slowly, the red shifts of the distant supernovae would be less extreme. By relating the distant with the nearby la’s, it would be possible to check whether the rate of expansion was changing or not. It was so straight forward that they wondered by everybody wasn't doing it. There were many theories of the possible destiny of the universe that had been put forward, but three were more serious contenders than others: The Big Crunch, the Big Rip, and the Knife Edge. None of them having the dignity of being a fact.

Perlmutter wanted to understand the owner's manual of the universe. There were a lot of missing pages. He asked: "Does the universe go on forever in time and space, or does it eventually end?" Perlmutter is driven by a desire to work out the ultimate fate of the universe. The Mormon version is that each earth becomes a Celestial World and is taken to another part of the geography of the larger Universe, in which the present universe is merely is a small finite bubble, and since there is no end the energy is recycled in reserved areas of space. Also working on the problem were cosmologists Alan Guth at MIT, and Addre Linde, then at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow. Cosmologists were also struggling to explain why the cosmos looks amazingly similar no matter which direction they looked or how far out they could see. And they got even more perplexed as they continued to refine their study of the Cosmological Microwave Background, the radiation left over after the Big Bang, found in all directions with only the slightest variation in its temperature across the entire sky. Take two points opposite each other 14 billion light years to the north and 14 billion years to the south, the temperature differs by only one part in 10,000 between them. How could two parts of the sky some 28 Billion light years apart have essentially the same temperature? (Merali pp. 41, 42) So far astronomers have discovered only enough matter to make up only 30 % of the critical density.  This means that 70 % of the universe was playing hide and seek with astronomers. Riess wanted to be the one to find the missing mass.  Was failing to find the missing 70 % of matter of the universe an oversight?  Astronomers were aware that with the instruments they had that they simply could not capture all the objects that might just be lurking in space. Or was there something else?


Then observations were being made that indicated much of the matter in the universe may be invisible! They noticed that the outer portions of a significant number of galaxies were rotating inexplicably fast.  Those outer stars seemed to be pulled by far more gravity than could be accounted for by adding up the contributions of the visible stars. Was the answer that galaxies also contained clouds of what they dubbed "DARK MATTER?" Matter that could not be seen, yet, by conventional means, but which asserts a gravitational tug?  By 1992, they realized that galaxies must be suffused with an unseen kind of material-dark matter, that invisibly adds mass to the universe.

Now there were two questions that needed answers! Riess wondered if there might be enough DARK MATTER in the universe to comprise the missing 70 %? Could measuring the rate of which the expansion of the universe was slowing down accounting for unaccounted gravity pulling it back on itself with a huge amount of dark matter at the root and would the amount dictate whether the cosmos would grow forever or end with a crunch?  In China I learned an interesting proverb: "A blind man can ask more questions in a few minutes than a wise man can answer in a life time!" These two teams, as well as others, were spending their life time trying to find answers.  Now the race was really on to measure the expansion rate of the universe involving a long list of telescopes and observations and data analysis until early in 1997 Perlmutter saw the first hints of something unexpected. Measuring brightness he found that supernova for a given red shift, or distance, was much farther from Earth than anyone had ever dreamed. This would be shocking! Instead of the gradually slowing cosmic expansion being predicted by cosmologists, the expansion of the universe was speeding up! Back to the drawing board! Check and recheck the observations1.  Riess was persistent and had created a new computer program that set out calculations on cosmic density, the results were so nonsensical that he thought his program was malfunctioning.  Instead of pointing to a universe in which matter comprised 30 %, the results did not appear to correspond to anything physically reasonable at all, because the computer seemed to mock him with a demand of a negative 30 %. Perhaps DARK MATTER wasn't the only stuff contributing to the overall density of the universe exerting either a gravitational push or pull. Maybe, just maybe, something else was lurking out there as well?

The search for DARK MATTER and DARK ENGERY continues unabated.  Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess and Saul Pulmutter went on to get their Noble Prize. The rest is history.  Much of it summarized in the first five issues for 2015 of ASTRONOMY.  The future holds great promise. 


The HUBBLE was launched into orbit in 1990, twenty five years ago this April, the 2.4 meter telescope the size of a school bus, was going to rewrite astronomy. But it didn't work! But with corrective optics installed in 1993 and additions with four more visits by technicians, it astonished all associated with the beautiful apparatus, and the world as well. Hubble revealed that most galaxies contain supermassive black holes, millions of times heavier than the sun. What was the relationship between a galaxy's evolution and its black holes? They are working on it. Is there a real ET out there? Then came the first views of protoplanetary disks, the birth places of stars and orbiting planets, such as our own solar system. In 1993, images were obtained that showed galaxies in mid-collision with spectacular streams of stars, gas and dust, and vast birthing areas of stars. In1995, the first spectacular images of the deep fields were delivered to a special press conference. By pointing the Hubble for more than100 hours in one section of the sky images were obtained of thousands of galaxies in the field, except for a few intervening stars, nearly everything on the photo was a galaxy, of every conceivable size and shape.  Then, with audacity, they did the same thing in the opposite direction with the same results, galaxies everywhere!  Later when the Ultra Deep Field images were obtained, they were getting closer to the beginning of the birth of time and the origin of our universe. I was teaching classes at that time and I held up enlarged copies of the fields, in Color, it was exciting. It was a good time to be a teacher! 

By 2001, stellar explosions were giving evidence of the expansion rate of our BUBBLE, which was found to actually speeding up. Some still-mysterious repulsive force dubbed dark energy, is actively pushing the universe apart. These were among Hubble's greatest additions to our knowledge of the universe. (Discover p. 15, April 2015)  The last few decades have seen sweeping changes not only in astronomy and cosmology, but in every scientific field from Biology and geology to particle physics and information history with huge strides in instrumentation and computation. One can scarce take it all in.


Computer capabilities have tremendously progressed, ILLUSTRIS SIMULATION is no less than an effort to calculate the evolution, or history, of the universe or the bubble of matter and energy we call the BIG BANG. The calculations started with the estimated conditions based on all that had been learned so far, in the early universe or the baby picture, along with the well understood provisions including general relativity, the physics of star formation and evolution. An image of the microwave sky is literally a baby picture of the cosmos. The picture that emerges from 19 million CPU hours of supercomputer time doing physics calculations following what happened over the next 14 billion years was familiar. The computer was doing its job terrifically.  When it was done the computer showed large scale structure much like what we see in today's universe and galaxies so realistic that even experts have trouble telling them apart from images of the real thing.  (Hester p. 10) But don't you think God has a more sophisticated set up than that and much longer time to work out the details? 

The Lord said to Joseph Smith: "All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. And also, if there be bounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars- All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months and years, and all their glories, laws and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fullness of times- According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods, before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his  immortal rest." Joseph Smith said: "The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence, or ever the "morning stars sang together" for joy. The past, the present, and the future were and are, with him one eternal "now"." (Anderson p. 30) "The organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeable to the most perfect order and harmony, their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably and voluntarily subscribed to in their heavenly stage by themselves, and were by our first parents subscribed to upon the earth. Hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth by all men upon the earth that expect eternal life.  It was the design in the mind of God and in the Councils of Heaven before the world was." (Anderson p. 30; Smith 325, 308, Ehat p. 209-216: D&C 121:29-32)  Wherever that "conference" is going to be held, I would like be on the front row ready to compare and see how close we humans got to the real substance of things. After all, science is: HOW DID GOD DO IT?   When we get the true facts of that, generally we learn Why!


Here is us what has been conjectured:  Start a universe like ours with some kind of unfathomable ignition.  What- ever it was, we call it the Big Bang; a sudden and immediate generation of hot plasma, (if we can call it that), called the PLANCK ERA lasting about 10-43seconds, there WILL be a sudden expansion, things WILL get extremely hot, then begin to cool. The GUT era followed  and as soon as further cooling occurred after the elapse of the next 10-38 seconds, the next era WILL arrive in 10-16 seconds, the ELECTROWEAK ERA. The electroweak and weak forces become distinct. Expansion WILL cool the expanding Bubble in the next 10-1 seconds: the PARTICLE  ERA. The first generation of Rishons, considered basic matter, that WILL make up the first generation quarks and leptons. There is a regular sequence in terms of electrical charge from the positron to the electron, passing in turn through the up quark, the antidown quark, the neutrino and antineutrinos, the down quark and the antiup quark. With the exception of the two neutrinos, which are both neutral, each particle is one third of a unit less positive than the preceding one.  All quarks and leptons have electrical charges that are multiples of one third of that on the electrons. (Cadogan p. 170) The UP and DOWN  QUARKS  WILL emerge to form neutrons and protons and radiation. This is the NEUCLEOSYNTHESIS ERA. The plasma changes character in the next 3 minutes, this is the ERA OF NUCLEI, now protons and neutrons and electrons and neutrinos WILL form. Temperatures for a period of time WILL exceed ONE  BILLION DEGREES, 10-9 K, so deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen with one proton and one neutron WILL be fused. (Arnett pp. 141-145) Nowhere in the universe is deuterium now being created. There WILL be no more. Hydrogen WILL be set and in time it WILL fuse into HELIUM and WILL change the character of the Universe considerably. Early on it was realized that in the early Big Bang, the nuclear cooker would be filled with very high energy radiation, having at that epoch a mass density greater than the mass density of the nuclear soup itself. The density and temperature WILL be so high that even after eons of expansion and cooling the radiation WILL still be detectable.  It took fifteen years and some more for detail after that that the WILKINSON MICROWAVE ANISOTROPY PROBE (WMAP) would be established and its significance for interpreting the universe and the Big Bang realized.  (Ostriker pp. 166-168) And as cooling continued that rapidly expanding mass WILL begin to take on the form of our universe, clumps of matter WILL form and ultimately collapse under the force of gravity to start the formation of galaxies and large scale structure. Clouds of gas WILL collapse to form stars and within those stars nuclear forces WILL build new chemical elements, some masses WILL form very large stars, which grow unstable and explode, the Supernovas, the Ia supernovas WILL form the heavier elements. (Arnett pp. 2-3) Stellar winds and explosions WILL blow that chemically enriched material back into and around interstellar space. As stars continue to form, flat rotating disks WILL form around those stars and give birth to planets laden with new elements. Nearby spiral galaxies WILL merge to form the elliptical giants. (Scoles p. 30)  Heavy elements WILL gather in masses that WILL end up with the elements or MATTER UNORGANIZED necessary for earths, some of which will be like ours, and on an least one such planet, probably many, many more, chemistry and the inexorable algorithm of evolution- but define that word carefully, WILL lead to the rise of the remarkable phenomenon we call life. (Hester p. 10) Every possible environmental NICHE WILL be occupied by life in all its myriad forms. All this WILL happen because physics and chemistry work, and the word of the Lord is obeyed. (Abraham 4:9-12)  Once the pattern is set and the templates completed, then after that all is repetitive.  All are patterned after the first one.


See the diagram prepared for this entry. It provides the one of the most representative models or theory of what they think has happened to get to where we are in the BIG BANG.   Note there is much more detail in this model compared to previous charts and diagrams we have included.  Great effort is now being concentrated on the various ERAS to clarify the details. On this diagram the approximate time or age is given on the far left side. The eight ERAS so far identified are next.  On the right side there is a column of Major events showing the Big Bang in terms of particles, matter and objects. On the far right are comments on the Events. (Ostriker p. 110) Somebody with specialized equipment is now focusing on some aspect of one or more of those ERAS. There is a concentration of effort to get details of the ERA of NUCLEI, BETWEEN 300 to 500 thousand years after the ERA OF NUCLEOSYNTHESIS.  A lot of new work is also being done in the study of our galaxy and its contents, because what is here and close buy will enlighten us about what is far, far away.

Without prior knowledge, could you tell what species or if there was one, if all you had were three snap shots, a baby on all fours, a walking man, an old man supported by a cane? Astronomers have to match snapshots of youthful galaxies with mature counterparts and filling in missing links. The most massive galaxies in our universe are the Ellipticals. Astronomers are trying to find out how they got so gargantuan. In January, 2015, astronomers used optical and infrared telescopes to look back nearly to the beginning of the universe, to just 1.5 billion years after the BIG BANG, where they saw newborn Ellipticals, ancient galaxies, so dusty they were nearly invisible. In their early years these galaxies formed stars a thousand times faster than the Milky Way does today, devouring their initial gas reserves in just 40 million years. After that, they grew slowly by merging with other galaxies. Now, about 11.2 billion years later, they no longer make new stars at all. Full of old, rose-colored suns, they are "red and dead." The Theory was that they had become barren in their old age, lacking the cool gas that condenses into new stars. But, then in February, another team of astronomers discovered that some have plenty of cold gas but they just cannot us it. These galaxies' supermassive black holes work against them, devouring nearby gas and exhaling powerful jets that either heat the remaining cold material or push it out of the galaxy entirely. Again, in February, a third team of astronomers finally discovered what determines the lifestyle difference: It is SPIN SPEED. Their focus was on spiral galaxies that have flat disks and come in different shapes, some are fat or thick, other are slim and thin. The faster you twirl pizza dough the thinner the crust becomes. Our own svelt galaxy spins at a speedy 600,000 miles per hour, it is a sort of thick galaxy. Spiral disks thin out or don't! Stars form or don't! Galaxies grow gigantic but they get old, they become geriatric. As any astro-anthropologists would attest, making sense of our galaxy requires making sense of those that are younger, older, fatter, thinner and differently hued. (Scoles p. 19)  Red-old, Blue-new!


What is missing from this model is the HISTORY OF LIGHT. GOD wasted little time banishing pervasive darkness. He said “Let there be light.  As its explosive birth there was a immense flash of light and energy, then the universe went dark and didn’t begin to shine again in a full panoply of stars and galaxies until hundreds of millions of years later.  There was the first DAWN at the ignition of the fire ball which was very bright, outshining everything that followed, about 13.8+ billion years ago. At about 1 billion years after what is called the DARK AGES, less than 800 million years after the BB, the new born Universe would have cooled  and faded to black leaving a dull murk made mostly of hydrogen gas. Mighty forces were at work though there was no light emitted. Gravity from ordinary matter as well as other strange and invisible material pulled the scattered gas into filaments and collapsing globs. As it grew denser it burst into light from newly forming stars and other points of light. The intense Ultraviolet Rays also created would have gradually converted the surrounding hydrogen into thin IONIZED gas as reionization, the SECOND DAWN and light filled the universe and is still there today. Space, today, is filled with thin ionized gas and is transparent to starlight, this was about 12.9 to 12.5 billion years from the Big Bang. Galaxies grew and merged.

An automated telescope in New Mexico has been surveying deep space since 1998 in a project called the SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY, mentioned in an earlier entry. They have sifted and re-examined the data and concluded that they had detected faint signals from the most distant quasar ever seen. These brilliant beacons in early galaxies, powered by black holes millions of times more massive than the sun are so far away that their light left them when the universe was about l billion years old. A 27 man team led by Robert H. Becker of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used the giant KECK TELESOPE in Hawaii to analyze the quasars’ light.  It found shadows that hinted the team was see in the very end of the COSMIC DARK AGES. The Quasars would have burned brightly at ultraviolet wavelengths, but those wavelengths are missing. The finding implies that the Quasars were shining during the era of reionization that ended the dark ages, when fog like banks of neutral hydrogen gas still lingered, blocking some of the light. Another team also believes it has seen signs of remnant wisps of hydrogen fog in one of the same quasars.

Paul Shapiro of the University of Texas-Austin “Now we know REIONIZATION happened. We need to find out what did it. What made the FIRST LIGHT?  Shapiro’s and Beckers’ teams both think quasars were too rare and generally formed too late to have been the main actors. So what does that leave? Probably huge and rambunctious starts, with masses 100 times or more than that of the sun! Such stars could have been born early in the DARK AGES, perhaps just 50 to 100 million years after the Big Bang. Over hundreds of millions of years later, they would have burned expanding bubbles of reionized gas until the entire universe was cleared. Now there are several projects in place looking for faint infrared or radio signals from these FIRST LIGHTS. A billion-dollar NEXT GENERATION SPACE TELESCOPE, nearly 10 TIMES as powerful as today’s HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE, is on the drawing boards, and astronomers are working on plans for colossal radio arrays-one more than 200 miles wide, and optical and infrared telescopes with mirrors the size of football fields. “There are extraordinary possibilities,” says Martin Rees of the University of Oxford. He has proposed examining nearby galaxies for any sign of ancient black holes dozen of or hundreds of times the mass of the sun they could be the collapsed remnants of the FIRST STARS THAT EVER SHONE. There are going to be a lot of FIRSTS to report on soon. Stars and other sources of light will have their light redshifted to a large amount something like what 7.5 p to 12 or more.

Candidates for galaxies that formed most of the stars in the early Universe redshifts greater than 7 are now being found in large numbers with extremely deep reset frame ultraviolet imaging. It is difficult for spectrographs to characterize them using their ultraviolet light. Detailed properties of these galaxies are measured from dust and cool gas emission of far-infrared wavelengths if the galaxies have become sufficiently enriched in dust and metals. The most distant galaxy discovered through their ultraviolet emission and subsequently detected in dust emission have a red shift of less than 4. But thermal dust emission from an archetypal early Universe star-forming galaxy, A1689-zD1, provided a stellar continuum in star forming galaxy A1689 from spectroscopic detection of the Lyman-a break, representative of the star-forming rat of about 12 solar masses per year. The galaxy is highly evolved, it has a large stellar mass and is heavily enriched in dust with a dust to gas ratio close to that of the Milky Way. Dusty, evolved galaxies are thus present among the fainter star forming population at greater red shift than 7 during the time of reionization. (Watson p. 127)

Previously, those working with the HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE had spent more than 100 hours staring deeply into a small patch of sky in the region of the southern constellation FORNAX, the same area that was targeted in 2009 for the long-duration exposure known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. They had observed seven galaxies at great distances, including one that might be the record breaker of them all, seen as it was just 389 million years after the Big Bang. The team has determined the red shift for these objects are at red shift 8.5, one of them may even by at 11.9, named UDFj39546284 that had been noted earlier. HUBBLE DATA suggests it  MAYBE EVEN MORE DISTANT. The work is called CLASH  for  CLUSTER LENSING AND SUPERNOVA SURVEY, with the HUBBLE. There has also been observed a galaxy in the constellation of Leo that has a redshift of 9.6.  (Witze pp. 5)


The development of Ellipticals begin about l billion years after the Big Bang. Future observations will get more specific. By l.5 billion years there are abundant dusty star-forming galaxies.  About 500 million years later quasars develop, they are extremely bright objects. And at 3 billion years there are compact galaxies everywhere. At 5 billion years galaxies are merging and continue to merge until at present they have grown into monsters, some giant local   ones can be observed. (Scoles p. 19) That is the general outline, now they will put fine touches to the picture. 


 As observations continue, there are suggestions that invisible DARK MATTER spans the universe, underpinning its entire structure. The gravitationally sticky stuff catches galaxies and cause gases to adhere to filaments which stretch between the star clusters in a giant cosmic web with concentrations at junctions of the strands. Astronomers in California and in Germany studying quasar UM287 spotted an enormous strand  of nebulous gas illuminated by the quasar's bright light, like an attic window lighting up otherwise unseen cobwebs. At about 2 million light years long, the gas is thought to give form to one of the filaments of this cosmic web, the first time scientists have seen it. In a simulation that performed during the study made in January 2015, the brighter colors emerged in the upper left portion of the generated image showing higher concentrations of DARK MATTER. The quasar spotlights the cosmic web, a dark blue color is believed to represent the lowest density of gas and red glob sort of in the junction of the web represents the highest density. (Andrews p. 73)  They are learning something. But what?


The LARGE HADRON COLLIDER has been shut down since 2013 for maintenance and      especially upgrading right after the detecting of the HIGGS BOSON, a long sought particle responsible for giving mass. It was ramped back up June l, 2015.  Beam tests began again in February, as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) prepares for energies up to 13 trillion electron volts, nearly double what was developed in the previous run and substantially higher than ever before achieved. Ten thousand scientists and 100 countries are looking forward to results. CERN officials say this new hunt will look for evidence of DARK MATTER in hopes of better understanding the composition and history of our universe.  (Astronomy p. 20, March 2015)

Richard Massey, a cosmologist at Durham University in England, and colleagues, focused on a galaxy within ABELL 3827, a galaxy cluster about l.2 billion light years away in the constellation INDUS. The galaxy is colliding with three other galaxies, offering the opportunity to view clumps of DARK MATTER swooping past each another.  The galaxy sits directly between Earth and another galaxy 7.4 billion light year more distant. Using data from the Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Hubble Space Telescope, Massey's teak measured how much the variety of the nearby galaxy bent the light from the distant galaxy.  They work on the theory that exists, its gravity affects the spin of galaxies and bends light from distant cosmic objects. But DARK MATTER doesn't emit, absorb or scatter light, and no one knows what it is made of. So they attempt to solve this riddle by watching dark matter in the wild, in the form of colliding galaxies and galaxy clusters that are chock-full of the invisible stuff. They are looking for evidence that DARK MATTER intersects with itself in a novel way.  Details of this study appeared in June l, 2015 Monthly Notices of the Royal astronomical Society. (Grant p. 10)  They are trying to narrow down the extensive list of candidates for DARK MATTER's identity.           


ARNETT, David, Supernovae and Nucleosynthesis, Princeton University   Press, Princeton, 1996

ANDREWS, Bill, Quasar Illuminates Cosmic We, DISCOVER MAGAZINE.COM, January/February, 2015

CADOGAN, Peter H.,  From Quark to Quasar, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1985

EHAT, Andrew F., & Lyndon W. Cook., The Words of Joseph Smith, Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 1980

FILKIN, David,  Stephen Hawking's Universe, Basic Books, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1997

GRANT, Andrew, Split Galaxy Offers Dark Matter Clues, Science News, May 16, 2015

LIVIO, Mario, Hubble's Top Seven Discoveries, Astronomy, April, 2015

OSTRIKER, Jeremiah P., & Simon Mitton, Heart of Darkness, Princeton Press, Princeton, 2013

SCOLES, Sarah, The Lives of the Galaxies, DISCOVER MAGAZINE.COM, January/February 2015

WATSON, Darach, et al., A Dusty, Normal Galaxy, in the Epoch of Reionization, Nature, Vol. 519, March 2015

WEINBERG, Steven, The First Three Minutes, Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, New York, 1977

WITZE, Alexandra, Clutch of Distant Galaxies Reveals Infant Universe, Science News, January 12, 2013

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