The Astrophysicists Guide To A Party

You are new in town and were lucky to score an invite to a party. This is your big chance to break into the local scene, but whom should you try to connect with? Lets take the astrophysicists view of the social universe.

The first thing you might notice is that the room is broken into groups of people which we’ll call galaxies. There is obviously more opportunity for finding your best place in the largest galaxy as there are more people to interact with. Aim for there. Do not get distracted by the brightly shining star wandering about, she is about to inflate, explode and become a red dwarf.

At the centre of each galaxy there is a supermassive black hole. Whilst highly stable and relatively immobile these people are soul destroyers, as they radiate such a strong influence that most of us have no chance of escaping them let alone competing with them. If you get too close and cross their event horizon, you will not have enough additional gravitas to have any influence on your similarly captivated neighbours or anyone else in the galaxy.

Best to take a tangential path to these supermassive black holes so that you can use their energy to thrust you into contact with other heavenly bodies, whilst not getting absorbed by them.

If the galaxy is big enough you will notice some clustering occuring. At the centre of each cluster is a Sun. Suns attract many localised bodies that have not yet crossed the supermassive black hole’s event horizon and are therefore available for your influence. A sun is what you aim to be. While supermassive black holes just swallow everything that comes near, suns allow other lesser bodies (planets) to happily co-exist and even (almost) compete, collecting satellites of their own (moons).

However if you just turn up as a roving fully formed star, you will disturb existing clusters and may spiral with one or more other stars. When this happens, it is usual for one star to be ejected from the cluster and galaxy. It is not very predictable which star will win and the effect it will have on the planets and moons, so it is best to avoid this strategy. A better strategy is to become a star.

One becomes a star firstly by picking a group of unclassified people because one needs a critical mass with no existing sun or black hole. Then you move into their midst and radiate a little personality. Once this personality influences nearby bodies they will give you some attention. A wave of attention giving will radiate away from you and all that attention will allow you to shine. You are now a star!

Some people to be aware of are the asteroids and the comets. These people are not desirable but need not be the destroyers they might sound. Comets are actually harmless but might not seem so initially. Comets come floating in from some distant location putting on a good display as they come. The good news is that you can see them coming from a long way off and they will leave just as they come if you do nothing to intercept them. They are all show with little substance. Best just to let them come and wait for them to leave.

Asteroids are a different story. You often wont see them coming until its too late and they are about to collide with you. Unfortunately there is no avoiding the asteroid once it has entered your system. Fortunately they are smaller, usually, than even the smallest moon and are self destructive. With this in mind the best strategy for handling the asteroid is just to continue being the same sun, planet or moon you were before their appearance and bear the impact with as much grace as possible.

Afterwards the other bodies in your system can admire the character the impact has given you, whilst seeing that essentially you are unchanged.

Sometimes there are unseen forces at play in a gathering. These are respectively Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Essentially these two have opposite effects. Dark Matter seems to hold groups of people together despite the obvious strong attraction of nearby Suns. There is no known reason for this phenomenon, but it is suspected that it is due to the unrecognisable attraction of a member of the group.

Dark Energy is the force that results in a gathering breaking up. The effect of Dark Energy becomes evident after it is well entrenched, but by this stage its power is overwhelming and there is no fighting it. Even supermassive blackholes are eventually victim to it. Its presence can be detected early by the astute observer by noticing the surreptitious but growing departure of individuals. After a while, the Dark Energy generated flow grows from a trickle to a flood of people and eventually, apparently suddenly, all remaining people leave at once.

With this information you are now equipped to attend any function and assume your rightful place amongst the stars!


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