Monday, June 4, 2012

Is astronomy an exact science?

Astronomers in NASA, despite gathering plenty of knowledge throughout the more than half of century of NASA's existence, still aren't able to answer the most important questions such as the origin of our universe and origin of ourselves for that matter.

Whether we like it or not, astronomy is still not an “exact science”, where predictions heavily outweigh scientific facts. Our current level of knowledge and technology is simply not sufficient to offer more than some bold predictions that may turn out to be true in the end but not necessarily so.

The same thing can be applied with the latest NASA prediction that our Milky Way Galaxy will cease to exist in approximately 4 billion years time, after its collision with nearby Andromeda galaxy. Once this collision of galaxies occurs, the stars and planet should be thrown into different orbit around Milky Way's core - including our Sun, and this will mean the end of the Universe as we know it.

This is more an assumption than the actual fact. The NASA scientists do have their models but who can say with certainty that these models are 100% reliable, given our current level of astronomical knowledge?

They say that the neighboring Andromeda galaxy is approaching to our galaxy at roughly 250,000 miles per hour and that the distance between these two galaxies is currently 2.5 million light-years.

When exactly did the scientists witness the merger of two galaxies in order to know what exactly will happen if these two galaxies really collide in 4 billion years time? And we are talking here about the timespan of 4 billion years. Let’s just say that lot of „unexpected things“ can happen in 4 billion years.

The scientists also say that up to recently it was extremely difficult to determine whether the two galaxies would collide but now they know for certain that this crash will happen.

There aren't that many certainties in today’s astronomy, and predicting something that should happen in 4 billion years is anything but certain. The astronomers used extremely powerful cameras to capture the measurements that gave them crucial information about the motion of Andromeda. Well' don't be surprised if in not so distant future some more powerful cameras tell completely different story about the destiny of these two galaxies.