Claudius Ptolemaeus (100-170 A.D.) was a Greek astronomer and mathematician who laid out the the structure of an Earth-centered universe. His diagram surrounded the Earth with the four Greek Elements (earth, water, air, and fire) followed by the moon, Mercury, Venus, the sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and finally the fixed stars which were thought to be pefect crysaline structures. (see The Flat Earth)
Although other theories of the universe did exist at the time, the Ptolemaic system was accepted by the Roman Catholic church a went uncontested until the time of Copernicus.
By 1492 the round earth concept was still open for debate. An explorer by the name of Martin Behaim (Oct. 6, 1459 - July 29, 1507) tried to put a face to the globe through a series of nautical charts. He completed the globe in 1492 in an era without accurate nautical timepieces and all coastlines were defined by line of sight, it was a remakable accomplishment that there is any seblance to our contemporary models. There is no evidence that Behaim ever encountered Christopher Columbus but it is evident that they must have drawn from the same sources.
As can be seen by this model, Europe and Africa have more definition than the rest of Asia. The Americas, Austrailia, and Antarctica had yet to be discovered.
The Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) won his way into the royal courts during the late 16th century with his flambouyant pomp and bombastic attitude. Among his accomplishments was the first study of a supernova in 1572. With funding from the Danish king Frederick II, he built a castle and an observatory on the Isle of Ven. He proved himself to be an excellent observer and recorder of planetary movement. Although his observations led him to the conclusion that Mercury and Venus were orbiting the sun, he held to the concept of an Earth-centered or "Ptolemaic" universe with the sun going around the Earth. During his observations he noted that the planets appeared to be moving backward and forward at regular intervals. He attributed these "epicycles" to the planets going around an invisible point in space.
Johannes Kepler (Dec. 27, 1571 - Nov. 15, 1630) worked in support of Nicolas Copernicus' theory of a sun centered universe. He served as an assistant to Tycho Brahe and eventually used Tycho's observations to discover three laws of planetary motion.
1. The planet moves in an ellipse about the sun, with the sun at one focus.
2. The line between the sun and the planet sweeps across equal amounts of the area of the ellipse in equal amounts of time.
3. The square of the period of revolution of the planet around the sun is proportional to the cube of its average distance from the sun.
On March 26th of 1859, Dr. Edmond M. Lescarbault spied a perfectly round, well defined object just a short distance from the sun while looking through his telescope. As he continued to watch, it gradually moved across the face of the sun until it moved out of range of his telescope. After working out some calculations, he concluded that he had been the first to see the intramercurial planet that the French astronomer LeVerrier had predicted would exist. LeVerrier had proved the existance of Neptune mathematically before it was actually seen and used a similar set of equations for a planet between Merury and the sun. It wasn't until nine months later that Dr. Lescarbault worked up the nerve to contact LeVerrier to report his sighting. LeVerrier met with Lescarbault in person to confirm the accuracy and veracity of the amature astronomer. Shortly after a lengthy interview LeVerrier publicly announced the discovery of a nineth planet: they dubbed it Vulcan, after the Roman blacksmith of the gods and the next appearance was anticipated to be on March 2, 1877. Unfortunately, whatever Dr. Lescarbault saw never made another showing.
If you ask anybody in our fast-paced, techno-savvy, twenty-first century culture if they believe if there is intelligent life on other planets, you may be hard pressed to find someone that won't at least acknowlege the possibility. For over fifty years now we have been inundated with Hollywood's visions of flying saucers, alien invasions, and space travel. And what may at one time have been considered just science fiction is now taking on its own reality. Ever since NASA achieved landing men on the moon almost anything is thought to be possible. Space shuttle missions keep people in space almost on a regular basis and interplanetary spaceprobes have been exploring our solor system for decades now.
Ever since the Roswell UFO incident in 1947 there has been a growing need to know if we have been visited by an intelligent alien spieces. Many thousands of people claim to have seen UFOs and many people also make claims to making first contact with alien races (although most seem as if they were treated like lab animals). In addition, many ufologists have been studying ancient texts to determine whether we have been visited in the past and have created a lonstanding history to this phenominon.
It is not suprising that the belief in UFO's and Alien Abductions have a pretty solid following now. It has moved beyond its early hysterical response to the realization that "we may not be alone" and created bold, faith based system of conspiracy theories. The concept of advanced alien races has thoroughly imbedded itself in popular culture through books, movies, TV shows and video games. With the "Age of Information" now getting into full swing, the knowledge of how big the universe is has influenced the attitude of our society toward accepting as commonplace, concepts that were once thought bizarre.
The nine planet system shown in this cosmological model is already antiquated by twenty-first century standards since Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. And though we will continue to redefine the universe as we advance in our ability to explore time and space, we will always rely upon our most ancient cosmologies for our foundations of reality. The Zodiac (Latin for Circle of Life) has symbols that date back to the ancient Sumerians, our planets and constellations are named after mythical figures of the Roman Empire, and our calendar has contributions from just about every ancient civilization that ever existed.
There is a certain intangible quality to the infinite nature of the universe which gives itself easily over to spirituality. Even as science and technology take us into greater realms of understanding, humanity will continue to define itself by that which is unseen and unknowable.
This cube contains a singularity very similar to, if not exactly like the one that caused the Big Bang.
Located at the exact center of this box's containment grid is a universe compressed down to a point that has no length, width, or height. The four fundamental forces of Gravity, Electromagnatism, Weak Nuclear Action, and Strong Nuclear Action are all bound together inside it's grid to create a Super-Atom. This singularity is just barely held in a volatile state which would be much like the one that existed just seconds before the Big Bang. Should this box be tampered with, it could instantaneously open a massive white hole so powerful that it would annihilate reality as we know it.
Nobody knows exactly how many of these "kernels" may exist but in knowing the basic nature of the universe, the number is probably infinite. Like popcorn on an immense hotplate they are out there in the infinite void, floating; invisible to all our instruments but unable to escape our imaginations. And there is no set time for when or where the next one will go off. The realities created in their wake are like expanding gaseous masses that will eventually dissipate and fade out of existence.
The singularity that created our universe exploded approximately 13.7 billion years ago. The laws of probability would indicate that if anything happens once and given an infinite amount of time, it will probably happen again.