The Comforting Indifference of the Universe

The Universe DGAF

Bridget Falck
Jan 30, 2017 · 3 min read
On the scale of The Universe, your shit is negligible. (Credit: Virgo Consortium)

No matter what is happening or will happen to the inhabitants of Earth — an Earth which, largely, could care less whether the humans on its surface create a climate in which they can no longer survive — the Universe will keep doing its awesome, incomprehensible thing.

Let’s take solace in the fact that we can’t fuck up the Universe, because the Universe is dealing with its own shit.

  • Stars will continue to die fiery deaths, a creative destruction that will send out the building blocks of life into their host galaxies, giving future planets that coalesce around future stars the chance to host alien life that maybe isn’t so intent on killing itself.
Kepler’s supernova remnant DGAF who Kepler was or that both he and the star that formed it are dead. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
  • Galaxies will continue to rotate, form spiral arms, and crash into their neighbors in an awesome cosmic dance. That is, at least until the stars run out of fuel and the expansion of the Universe pulls the remaining galaxies so far apart that they all go slowly cold and dead, adrift in the vast emptiness of space-time, alone.
M74 is pretty and knows it. It doesn’t need your validation. (Credit: NASA)
  • The cosmic web of dark matter filaments, walls, and voids will continue to look amazing — if anyone could see dark matter, which they can’t. Voids won’t be able to expand indefinitely, having run into their neighboring voids, but their contents will continue their struggle away from the unattractive void centers towards the more gravitationally pleasing, dense boundaries, hoping to merge.
A simulated universe that also DGAF about us. (Credit: Me and the MXXL Browser)
  • Black holes will continue to rip apart and consume any matter that gets too close, increasing their mass while sending out high energy jets far away from their host galaxies; although, once their source material runs out, Hawking radiation will shrink them, slowly, relentlessly, until they finally evaporate back into the nothingness which connects us all.
Artist conception of a supermassive black hole powering a blazar — for now. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC)
  • CMB photons will continue their journey from everywhere in the Universe to everywhere else, a journey that started 13.8 billion years ago. Purposeless and adrift, flung out of the cosmic plasma with which they were in equilibrium, they search for an aeon where they can interact, be absorbed, or be observed by creatures with the ability to detect their light. But there are too many of them; they outnumber matter by a factor of 10 billion. And so they will wander on, into the future, searching.
Cosmic Microwave Background photons lucky enough to have landed on the WMAP satellite, ending their journey through oblivion. (Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team)

The Universe DGAF about us.

So we have to give a fuck about each other.

Bridget Falck

Written by

Professional astrophysicist. Amateur philosopher. Human.