Break-ups, Mergers, Re-orgs

“It’s business, not personal”- says the new VP as your entire group is eliminated from the “new company” business plan.  Could be a break-up, re-organization, spin-off, maybe a merger or take-over. This is the world of business.

How funny, this is how our universe works too.

July 16-22, 1994.  Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, after breaking up in 1992, slams into Jupiter like a barrage of bombs, creating a planetwide chain of scabs.  This was the first predicted and observed collision event of two solar system objects.  Yet when it was first discovered in 1993, breakup had already occurred.  The alleged cause: This comet got too close to Jupiter in 1929, was captured and orbited Jupiter. In 1992 tidal forces ripped it apart and it peppered Jupiter.  The comet is now part of Jupiter, but you would not know it.  Kind of like Microsoft capturing, breaking up and absorbing a little company.

September 14, 2015.  A hundred years after Einstein predicted them, we finally detected a gravitational wave.  Gravitational waves are everywhere but so weak they are not detected.  They are the spacetime acceleration product of mergers or collisions of objects, but only extremely massive objects such as black holes can make a wave detectable with our current technology.  So, in 2015 we detected a wave, but we weren’t sure until 2016.  Why? This wave changed the distance between two mirrors 4km apart by about 1/1000 the width of a proton!  That’s why.  It took a long time to analyze the data to eliminate spurious signal.  And that weak wave came from two black holes merging! It would appear gravitational waves live in the quantum universe.

The rings of Saturn and other planets formed by satellite breakups.  Now they are loose mergers.

Primordial solar system.  It is thought our Moon formed after a hostile merger attempt with Earth by an object the size of Mars.  The merger didn’t take, but the subsequent spin off of a bunch of Earth’s mantle resulted in a new organization, the Moon.  Earth and Moon are now tidally locked in an intimate relationship.  Who knows, the hostile takeover attempt might just have produced conditions prime for life on Earth.

4.5 billion years hence.  Our home, the Milky Way is predicted to merge with the Andromeda galaxy, M31.  From what we know now, this merger will produce a mega galaxy called an elliptical, after several passes and handshakes.  The Earth will be toast well before then so no worries, eh?

65 million years ago.  The world changed in a flash as an asteroid pounded the Yucatan.  Worldwide fire, and devastation came from pressure waves.  By-by dinosaurs. Mammals took over and never looked back.  That was a hostile takeover, breakup, and reorganization.  Guess it worked for us.

What’s in the Sky?

September 5; 11pm on; east:  Watch as the waning gibbous Moon inches closer to Mars, coming close but will they kiss? Not supposed to.