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The Weekend Desk Report

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on November 16, 2019

"Astronomers recently discovered a star whizzing out of the center of our galaxy at the seriously blinding speed of four million miles an hour. The star, which goes by the typically inscrutable name S5-HVS1, is currently about 29,000 light-years from Earth, streaking through the Grus, or Crane, constellation in the southern sky," the New York Times reported this week.

I've long advocated that science news of this nature - and really, any nature - get more prominent play by media organizations. And not just because news like this has the "Holy shit!" factor, but also because we rarely contemplate the very nature our our universe, our reality, our existence - at least in a way that is "news."

For example, this is the way this kind of news should be presented if given the proper weight of its implications:

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As for this week's news, the star in question was recently discovered traveling four million miles an hour. That's a speed beyond our ability to comprehend.

Also, we here on Earth were able to discover this even though the star is 29,000 light years away. Also, light traveled 29,000 light years before reaching us. Also, we're looking, then, into the past.

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Idea: Time travel isn't possible, but time observation is: We can see the past and, due to relativity, the future.

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"The star is about twice as massive as our own sun and ten times more luminous."

And that's probably no big thang as far as the universe goes.

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"Drawing on data from the European Space Agency's Gaia spacecraft, which has charted the positions and motions of some 1.3 billion stars in the Milky Way, the astronomers traced the streaking star back to the galactic center. That is the home of a black hole known as Sagittarius A*, a gravitational monster with the mass of four million suns."

So a European spacecraft has charted the positions of motions of 1.3 billion stars - just in our galaxy alone.

And the black hole in question has a mass of four million suns.

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"The dance with S5-HVS1 unfolded about 5 million years ago . . . The astronomers estimate that in about 100 million years the star will have exited the Milky Way entirely."

At that speed? That's one big motherfucking galaxy.

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"Out there, drifting among the other galaxies of the Local Group, far from the crowded circumstances of its birth, the star called S5-HVS1 will exhaust its thermonuclear fuel in about 2 billion years, blow up and die, alone."

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Here's an animated version of the star's ejection from its previous entangled orbit, by the Royal Astronomical Society.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #278: Ryan Pace's Major Malfunction
And now Mitch Trubisky is holding us hostage. Plus: Matty Renteria; Sign Kaepernick!; The Next Man Is Inherently Up On Every Team In Every League!; Brad Biggs' Mailbox Talks Football With You; All Signs Point To Yu; Bulls Still In It!; The Blackhawks Are Back!; Lovie Smith And His Beard Are Going Bowling; Chicago Didn't Know What It Had In Sam Kerr; and Fire Coach Fired.

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Weekend ChicagoReddit

Will the CTA ever create new "L" lines? from r/chicago

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Weekend ChicagoGram

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Weekend ChicagoTube

The Brummies at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

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Weekend BeachBook

The Anti-Gentrification Movement Was Growing. Then It Met Reagan.

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The Hipster.

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Weekend TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Weekend Desk Tout Line: Three-and-tout.

Permalink


MUSIC - Verböten.
TV - The Berlin Tunnel TV Wars.
POLITICS - Loyola's Predatory Lending Bill.
SPORTS - At Least There's No Quarterback Controversy.

BOOKS - Blow Your Mind.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - If I Was Bill Gates.


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