03 April, 2013

A To Z Blogging Challenge: Cosmology And Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (+ IWSG)

Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole: It's origin, its current state, and its future. Cosmology differs from astrophysics in that the latter is more focused on moons, planets, galaxies, stars, and other intergalactic forces, though there is significant overlap between the two fields; many scientific discoveries in one area of study affect the other.

One recent development in cosmology has been a better, much more detailed image of the universe's cosmic microwave background radiation, or CMBR, taken by the European Space Agency's Planck satellite. CMBR is considered to be a significant piece of evidence that the Big Bang (an extremely rapid explosion some 12-15 billion years ago considered by many cosmologists to have created the universe) actually happened. Assuming the Big Bang Theory is accurate, it calls for photon radiation (light) just after the initial explosion; these photons have since extended their wavelengths to become microwaves, hence the name cosmic microwave background radiation.

The radiation pattern shows fluctuations that, in some of the earliest moments of the Big Bang, caused the formation of galaxies and the other objects in the universe. It also supports the idea that the universe expanded very, very rapidly just after the Big Bang, and then slowed down, which would explain the size of the universe. The initial rapid expansion is called inflation.




And now, for the IWSG part of my post. In case you don't know what the Insecure Writer's Support Group is, check out this page on Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog.

My insecurity today is letting my writing sit for long periods of time; I haven't worked on my novel (my as-yet-unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, just to give you an idea for how long it's been around) in almost a month, and that's not unusual for me. A lot of people would argue you're supposed to write every day, even if it's just a few words, so my question is: Have you tried writing every day? Did it work? Were you more productive in the long term, or do you prefer to write in spurts?

Do you think cosmologists will someday be able to pinpoint the origin and the future of the universe? 

-----The Golden Eagle


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

How often one writes is personal preference. When I'm working on the first draft, it's every day. Once I hit revisions, it's every day until I'm done. That works for me because I like to finish what I start, and once I begin, I have to keep going. So don't feel bad if your manuscript sits for a while. Your writing style is your own!

Pat Hatt said...

I always try and get it done, then it is out of my hair haha interesting too how inflation came due.

Jemima Pett said...

Dear Insecure Writer.
Your wrote your blogs, they count!
And good luck finishing the NaNoWriMo. I'm plannng to publish my one from Camp NaNo (last August) in May.
Happy AtoZing
Jemima at Jemima's blog

Susan Kane said...

Cosmology opens up our minute understanding of just how immense and amazing the universe truly is.

Laura said...

Yeah- I'm a spurt writer, but they tend to be long bursts of time, like a month or so when I'm very productive- then nothing for ages... refilling the tanks I like to think :)

Christine Rains said...

Writing every day isn't for everyone nor can it be for all of us. Sometimes we have to take care of other things first. I'd like to try to write every day, but I maybe get four or five days where I write in a week. Do what works for you! :)

I'd be amazed if anyone discovers the origin of the universe. I think it's too vast.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm quite picky about when I write ie I need to have silence. If I don't get any of that during a day then I don't write. I should get over it!

What caused the Big Bang - that would be phenomenal to find out.

Kirsty said...

Definitely a spurt writer here though I'd love to be more proficient at writing a little bit every day.

Maurice Mitchell said...

While it's not the same thing I find if I go a few days without blogging I get really rusty. Interesting post although it's way over my head. :)

M Pax said...

That's fascinating. I've been reading about anti neutrinos in Scientific American which links into all of that.

J Hanna said...

I am still working on my novel after two years, but I am okay with that because I want it to be the best it can be before I send it off to be published.

Aimee Laine said...

Apologies if this offends, but I first read that as Cosmetology. ;) It made me giggle when I realized just HOW wrong I was. :)

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

lots of people would argue about 'when' and 'how long' one should write. I say to them - mind your own business. We are all different (thankfully). Keep doing what your doing. I always let my writing stew too. And I've been writing the same story for 6 years! Admittedly, it's a series, but even so!

Another most interesting post, Eagle :)

shelly said...

I write every day even if its for 10 minutes. That's just me. Some peeps say you have to outline but I just can't I panst it all out. To each his own, I say. Everyone is an individual. No one should tell you how to write. There's no wrong or right way.

Your A to Z piece was very cool, too.

Hugs and chocolate,

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do write every day and I'm most productive when I do that.
I don't expect them to prove the origins of the universere in my lifetime. It would be cool if they found the actual center.

Andrew Leon said...

I write every day when I'm writing (well, every work day), but, like right now, I'm busy editing, so I'm not writing. Even though I want to be.
Of course, that's not really true, because I do spend some time every day working on blog stuff, and that is writing, even though I don't consider it "real" writing.

Samuel Bledsoe said...

So glad there's another science blogger. And you have some great posts!

Bish Denham said...

Today I heard about more about dark matter and that scientists may be getting close to actually *seeing* it. Exciting stuff.

As for writing... All my life I've been one of those sporadic writers. I have gone months, even years, without writing anything of significance. Then I have these tremendously prolific stretches. I used to feel a little guilty about not writing every day. But not any more. It's the way I write. You will find your own pace too.

Bish Denham said...

Today I heard about more about dark matter and that scientists may be getting close to actually *seeing* it. Exciting stuff.

As for writing... All my life I've been one of those sporadic writers. I have gone months, even years, without writing anything of significance. Then I have these tremendously prolific stretches. I used to feel a little guilty about not writing every day. But not any more. It's the way I write. You will find your own pace too.

MAJK said...

Writing everyday definitely depends on the person. I do try to write some everyday but life gets in the way. Still, just because I try to and it is a habit that works for me does not mean that it is for everyone. Just because we are walking through the same forest doesn't mean we will take the same path.

Pleased to meet a fellow IWSG member!


Shell Flower said...

Fascinating about the cosmology and the big bang being further proven. I didn't know photons turned into microwaves.

As for writing, I go in spurts. I do write every day at times, especially drafting, but I've taken breaks, too. Usually I write at least a couple times a week, though.

Liz said...

I used to write every day. I don't anymore. As my life has changed, my writing schedule has changed right along with it. Find what works for you and embrace it.

I hope they'll be able to figure out the origin of the universe. Of course, that will open up more questions.

lily said...

Wow! Such a unique and interesting topic for the A-Z Challenge.

How often one should write, is down to the individual. I started off writing a post a day but soon found it mentally exhausting. I now aim for once a week, quality (ahem) over quantity and all that.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my A-Z post. :)

mshatch said...

I usually write every day but not always. As for the universe and the big bang, I just have one question: what was here before the universe got created by the big bang? I mean, if there was nothing, then how did the big bang even happen?

Herb Nowell said...

Returning your A-Z visit. This is a very awesome topic. While I'm more interested in stellar evolution than early time cosmology it's still very cool. I was very excited by the new "Face of God" image.

Pearson Report said...

Very cool - I'm a Cosmetologist...I study the body as a whole! hehehehe (little play on your Cosmology word)

I find my fascination with the universe keeps growing when I drop in and read your posts.


Trisha F said...

I used to do something on my writing every day (whether it was revision or actual new writing), but I haven't done anything much in the last month or more either. I've got other stuff dominating my life. It's okay though, I know I will get back to my true love(s).

I had enrolled in an intro cosmology course via Coursera, but after my experience with intro to astronomy I knew it probably wouldn't be for me. First I need to learn primary school maths, then high school maths, to have any sort of good foundation. hehe

Madeleine Sara said...

I do the same thing have long spells where I do not write, but when I do eventually get back to it the sentences and ideas flow. Since my life is so full of commitments and demands from others I have realised that something must give. Sadly that has been my writing. Good luck with yours. I hope you find a compromise that suits you.
Thanks for the definitions, very illuminating.

Paul Tobin said...

I seems almost like magic to me that we can look back at the origin of the universe. Interesting post-I am enjoying this challenge.
As to whether I write every day- I try to life can get in the way and sometimes I feel a lack of confidence in what i do-but I get over that. I worry more if the poetry doesn't come for a while. Then I tend to go back and revisit older half finished things to keep my hand in.

JeffO said...

This universe stuff is hard for me to get a handle on.

Regarding the writing, you have to do what works for you. I had the pleasure of being able to write pretty much every day, but now my schedule is more restrictive and I haven't written much at all this week. It's bugging me, but I'll have to find a way to make it work.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

So that's where we get microwave from?

mymy said...

origin and future of the universe - now that's an interesting idea! am afraid am not a writer, but I believe that each of us have our own style. do what works best for you. :)

Jen Chandler said...

Hey Eagle! Long time no read. Sorry about that! Glad to see you're educating us once more on the glories of the universe for your challenge theme.

I believe that writing frequency is a personal habit to build. I have tried writing every day but it didn't necessarily make me a better writer. I found myself sitting down to write just to write and check if off my "to do" list. I didn't really accomplish anything.

That being said, I SHOULD write more often than I do!

Cheers! Enjoy the Challenge,

Charles Gramlich said...

These kinds of maps are always just so cool.

Mark Noce said...

Man that's rad, the study of everything! Wait, isn't that what writing is too? ;) It's great to be a writer:)

The Golden Eagle said...

Alex: Good for on sticking to your projects every day!

Pat: LOL. I know what you mean; it's nice to have things out of the way.

Jemima: I suppose it is writing. :)

Thank you!

Good luck publishing your book. That's awesome.

Susan: It does. One of the reasons I love learning about it.

Laura: I think most people do that, to some extent. Creative wells run dry from time to time!

Christine: Thanks for the support. :)

Maybe. It's hard to tell at this point . . .

Nick: I like silence, too. If there are too many things going on in the immediate vicinity I'll get distracted.


Kirsty: Same here. I should probably at least try writing every day for a few months, maybe . . .

Maurice: Thanks. :)

Mary: Antimatter is really cool. Especially the idea that there may be more antimatter than matter.

J Hanna: I think that's a good idea. Better to take the time than submit something unfinished!

Aimee: LOL. That happened last year, too, with another blogger. :P They're easy to mix up at first glance.

Wendy: I admire your dedication! I think I would have abandoned a project after fewer than 5 years of working on it . . .

Thank you.

Shelly: We're all individual writers. :)

Glad you liked it!

Susan: Technically there may be no center, I think; the universe is (supposedly) uniform no matter what direction you look and there's no edge.

Andrew: I don't tend to look at my blogging as actual writing, either. Funny thing, that.

Samuel: Thank you! :)

Bish: I know, I saw an article talking about dark matter too. It's about time I actually went and read it . . .

Hopefully I will!

MAJK: I like the idea of writers wandering through a forest and taking their own individual paths.

Nice to meet you, too. :)

Shell Flower: It's the wavelengths of those photons that become microwaves; photons are standard whether it's light or microwaves or radio waves. It's just their length that changes across the spectrum.

Liz: There will always be more questions, I guess . . . at least, I hope there will be!

Lily: Thanks! :)

I've cut back on my post writing as well. When I started out I'd post every day at least, sometimes multiple times per day.

I enjoyed the visit!

Mshatch: As I understand the theory, there was never "nothing"--the Big Bang was the explosion of an extremely large amount of matter packed into a very small point.

Herb: Thank you!

Stars are fascinating subjects of study.

Jenny: I'm glad I could pique your curiosity a little. :)

Trisha: Life does take over sometimes!

I came across a cosmology course on Coursera while I was Googling materials for this post . . . I wonder if it was the same one. I don't think I know enough calculus for the one I found. :P

Madeleine: Thank you!

You're welcome.

Paul: Thanks!

I rarely go back and read things I've previously written . . . I should do that sometime. Might get me back into the mood to write.

Jeff: If I'm deep in a project, I don't like going for long periods of time without writing, either.

Diane: Microwave background radiation, anyway. Microwave ovens in people's kitchens emit microwaves directly; there's no need for photon wavelengths to lengthen.

Mymy: And hopefully one science will continue to explore for a while. :)

Jen: Thank you for stopping by!

I feel the same way. I'm not sure if writing every day is exactly the thing for me . . . but I should certainly be producing more than I am right now.

Charles: Agreed.

Mark: LOL. In a way, it is!

Deborah Walker said...

I write everyday, but only because I like it. I was thinking about not writing at weekends, but every I just can't help myself. Writing breeds more writing. So writing on a regular basis is often helpful. But there are no rules in writing. That's why I like it.

The Golden Eagle said...

Deborah: True, it is one of the arts that gives you room to follow your own steps most of the time.