Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do we live in Whoville?

A caring elephant named Horton lived in the jungle of Nool. One day while taking a dip in the pool, a dust speck floats past him in the air, and he hears a tiny yelp coming from it. He finds out that the speck harbors the city of Whoville and all its microscopic inhabitants, led by a Mayor. Realising that Whoville would be destroyed if he doesn't find a "safer more stable home", Horton decides to place the speck on top of a mountain, the safest place in the jungle. The other inhabitants of Nool ridicules Horton and forces him to get rid of the speck. But Horton refuses saying "A person's a person, no matter how small". 

In the end, after facing lot of difficulties, Horton manages to convince others that he was right. Everyone helps Horton carry the speck up to the top of Mt. Nool. At the end of the movie, the camera zooms out, revealing that along with numerous other worlds in our universe, the jungle of Nool is just one speck among numerous others like our planet. 

The fiction ends here. Lets move on to a real life story.

On 23rd day of April 2009, an international team of astronomers discovered the most distant object in the universe — a spectacular stellar explosion known as a gamma-ray burst located about 13 billion light years away. The observations demonstrated that the record-breaking explosion occurred when the universe was only 630 million years old, or less than five percent of its present age. 

If you translate the numbers, it means, the explosion took place at a spot in the universe which could be reached if we travel at the speed of light for 13 billion years or the spot is 1,229,89,496,143,550,400,000,000 Kms  (76,422,129,851,386,900,000,000 Miles) away from us. Now, did you know that, to reach the sun we need to travel only 8.3 minutes at the speed of light?
No doubt we too live in Whoville.


Kunjootty said...

Yes! The whole of Earth definitely is a Whoville and am praying we also find ourselves a Horton to save us from extinction!! The dinos and dodos are not there around anymore right?? That itself is an apt example that we could one day become an extict species!!

Nirmal said...

Hey Anu, that was lightning fast :) Thanks

Kunjootty said...

my bloglist gets updated according to most recent posts... so right now you are on top!! :-)

Manju said...

Happened upon another video in youtube on similar notes. I really liked the comment at the end of the video...

...the distant image of our tiny world underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot...the only home we've ever known.