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Trouble from Hubble

Published September 08. 2012 09:02AM

Sometimes it's better when we're left in the dark.

Take the Hubble telescope, for example. The Hubble has been showing us galaxies for years. But the more we learn, the scarier it becomes.

Astronomers now say the Milky Way galaxy (translation: Earth) and the Andromeda galaxy are soaring toward each other at 250,000 mph and someday will crash head-on.

"The Andromeda galaxy is heading straight in our direction," says Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. "The galaxies will collide and they will merge together to form one new galaxy."

That merger begins in four billion years and will change the view of the stars.

But it won't matter to us. We won't be here. There won't be anyone living on Earth by then.

The sun's luminosity is increasing and Earth will be uninhabitable in 1.5 billion years, say experts.

The sun will continue to get hotter. Four billion years from now, the increase in the Earth's surface temperature will cause a runaway greenhouse effect. By that point, most if not all life on the planet will be extinct.

And maybe that's a good thing because, according to astronomers, the sun will enter its red giant phase and consume Earth. Supposedly, the sun will vaporize Earth completely. Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase of .01% in solar metallicity. Just when we thought it was safe to put our savings into a long-term CD we find out that the future isn't so rosy.

If all of this is true, the only hope for humanity is a move to a new planet. I wonder what the mortgage rates are like on Pluto? I never even checked out the neighborhood. What if I can't get along with Plutonites, or whatever they're called?

We earthlings really don't want to hear any of this news and maybe that's why the Hubble story failed to make headlines.

On the same day that this revelation came out, the top national news story centered on the fact that Miss Pennsylvania accused the Miss USA Pageant of being fixed. The Miss USA fiasco was the day's top story.

In other words, the average earthling isn't overly concerned about the fate of the planet. What really interests us is beauty, Botox and a rigged swimsuit contest. Go figure. Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.

On the other hand, maybe it's better to forget about Earth's future. After all, we won't be around. Unless, of course, Shirley MacLaine is right about reincarnation and that whole angle. But we really can't do anything about it anyway.

Unless theologians can come up with some kind of positive spin on all of this, Earth is doomed and so is humanity.

It's sad to think that intergalactic travelers zillions of years in the future won't even be able to find planet Earth and know that our civilization once existed. These theories are depressing. We're better off not knowing. Ignorance is bliss. No wonder we'd rather focus on simpler ideas. Miss USA pageants have strange quirks of their own. Contestants use hairspray, lifts, and layers of makeup so that the rest of us can celebrate their "natural beauty." Beam me up, Scotty.

Whatever the case, Miss Pennsylvania was a knockout and should have won.

But why do all of the contestants use eyeliner to look like Boy George? Makeup reminds me of Tammy Faye Baker. And now they sell men's makeup, too! Enough with the mascara already. Beauty queens apply it with a spatula, as if there were no tomorrow.

Honestly, you'd almost think the world is ending.

Hey Scotty, beam all of us up. Tell the Plutonites to make room. We're on our way and we're bringing tons of mascara.

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