I'm taking a break from AI in this short post, it's time for something more general about the universe [see the last post in this category "what if we had a warp drive"].
In our daily activities we may not notice how lucky we are - we can see the sky. I mean the deep sky, even far beyond our Galaxy. And by looking at those things, we can learn that the Universe is expanding, that there are quasars, active galaxies, large scale cosmic structures, galaxy clusters, cosmic background radiation and many other marvels. We treat all that as obvious.
But imagine the Sun along with the solar system was trapped inside one of the dense nebulas, which there are countless numbers of in our Galaxy. Say we were trapped somewhere deep inside the Orion nebula. All we would see in the night sky would be the faint pink glow of hydrogen and maybe a few blurred stars shining through the fog.
And best of all, since the nebula is many, many light years across, we could do nothing to see beyond it. Absolutely nothing. Discovering anything about the outside universe would require sending a probe light years … Read more...