2938: Local Group

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Local Group
Cosmologists estimate the spaghetti strand to be about 200 septillion calories, though it could be higher depending on the nutritional value of dark matter.
Title text: Cosmologists estimate the spaghetti strand to be about 200 septillion calories, though it could be higher depending on the nutritional value of dark matter.

Explanation[edit]

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a COSMIC SPAGHETTI BOWL - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

In less than 5 billion years into the future, the Andromeda Galaxy is expected to collide with the Milky Way. This comic suggests this will happen when both galaxies get into a kissing distance after having slurped the same cosmic spaghetti strand. This is a spoof of a famous scene in the movie Lady and the Tramp, where the titular dogs are eating spaghetti at an Italian restaurant. They happen to be eating the same strand from opposite ends, so they end up meeting in the middle and kissing. This scene was mentioned before in 2612: Lightsabers, and has been referenced extensively in other media.

It's possible that this is also a reference to Pastafarianism, the spoof religion which claims that the universe was created by a "flying spaghetti monster". If both galaxies are eating one of the deity's "noodly appendages," they may be doing what the monster wishes, since one of the religion's holidays is about eating lots of pasta.

The title text figure of 200 septillion (2×1026) calories for the Milky Way-Andromeda noodle equates to approximately 2500 calories per foot of noodle. This value makes sense only if Randall is referring to the physics/chemistry "small" calorie (= 4.184 joules) rather than the dietary "large" Calorie (= 4184 joules). Dietary Calories, also called kilocalories (kcal), would be the usual meaning in a food-related context like this one, but Randall was trained as a physicist and apparently used the small calorie here. Having 2.5 dietary Calories per foot is roughly correct for a noodle size between thin spaghetti and angel hair.

The nutritional value of dark matter refers to the fact that evidence of 'dark matter' is particularly found in cosmic filaments and the cosmic web, implying that such "cosmic spaghetti" would have an appreciable amount of dark matter "sauce" on it. But, because the exact nature of dark matter is unknown, it is likely even more difficult to identify the calorific content that it might provide. Note that these filaments are much larger structures than the Local Group of galaxies that includes the Milky Way and Andromeda.

Transcript[edit]

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Two galaxies, positioned on the left and right sides of the panel, are each eating a single noodle of spaghetti, originating from a bowl of spaghetti in between them.]
[Left galaxy:] Sluuurp
[Right galaxy:] Sluuurp
[Caption below the panel:]
Astronomers have determined that the Milky Way and Andromeda are currently slurping up the same strand of cosmic spaghetti, suggesting that in 5 billion years they will likely kiss.


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Discussion

What other comics are there about the far future? Something maybe about the Sun swallowing the Earth in maybe 5.5B years? Btw, the Andromeda-Milky Way collision is in 4.5B years. Andromeda–Milky Way collision 172.71.103.208 23:15, 27 May 2024 (UTC)

There is one with the weather on that scale of time for instance 1606: Five-Day Forecast. Guess Randall rounded up? Anyway how many years does the first collision take. And is the time when the edges touch or when the centers pass close to each other? And after that there will be more than one further collision before the galaxy finally merges. --Kynde (talk) 06:49, 28 May 2024 (UTC)

Does the estimated nutritional value include pasta sauce etc? Would it be possible to work back from the food value given to figure out the thickness of the strand? -- MarcusRowland (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Seems like someone already have done this and in the scene from Lady and the Tramp the only other thing than pasta is meatballs. Maybe satellite galaxies could make up those ;-) --Kynde (talk) 06:49, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
The current calculation fails to allow for the fact that a lot of the strand is still curled in the cosmic bowl.141.101.99.73 08:24, 28 May 2024 (UTC)

I'm not sure if eating the "noodly appendages" is considered blasphemy (I don't even know if Pastafarianism actually knows the concept) considering that Catholics believe they're literally eating their God. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 06:48, 28 May 2024 (UTC)

Completely agree and have just changed the explanation. The spoof religion was a cry out against blasphemy laws and showing how silly it is to ask people to believe something you cannot disprove. Of course you cannot blaspheme against such a religion but also the goal of the religion is to eat lots of pasta and the galaxies would thus be doing the monsters bidding if anything. --Kynde (talk) 06:54, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
Great :) I removed the blaspehmy part as it's only relevant in context of this discussion and not for the explanation of the comic. You could argue that the whole FSM part is "off topic" but I get why one would jump to that idea that it's related to the comic, so I guess it's fine Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 07:17, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
Pastafarianism is but a shadow of the One True Truth, which is that of the Invisible Pink Unicorn... 172.70.163.120 08:58, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
I've never heard of a such a thing as a "dietary Calorie". "kcal" is the proper measurement and wording. Also if there's more than one, it should be "calories". Ralfoide (talk) 15:42, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
Large and Small versions of the Calorie are used. In past times, I've seen foodstuffs with both "cal" and "Cal" information on the nutritional panel. Although, currently, it looks like the standards around here are to give both "kJ" and "kcal" figures, explicitly, thus removing (or at least displacing) the confusion that might otherwise happen.
Can't speak for all jurisdictions, though, or times. I think there's less "deliberaretely misinterpretable" wiggle room in most modern labelling regulations. 162.158.74.25 23:01, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

Does it make sense to assume that Randal meant a "200 septillion [metric] calories" and not "200 septillion [kcal]"? If this is cosmic spaghetti its strands could potentially be 1,000 times the thickness of terrestrial spaghetti.172.69.6.120 18:47, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

I feel like there is a link to string theory and/or spaghettification in here somewhere but am not sure how to pull it out... -- Dilettante (talk) 19:27, 29 May 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Regarding the title text: what do y'all think dark matter tastes like? What about the texture? Would it be tasty on spaghetti? Psychoticpotato (talk) 12:49, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

Depends what Dark Matter is. (WIMP, MACHO, RAMBO, WISP, Q-Ball, etc...; or a blended mixture of them...) But if it's gravitationally potent but electromagnetically 'nothing', how would it meaningfully interact with tastebuds (which depend upon electrochemical activation of nerve-endings). Probably would be the ultimate anti-umami, then, if we jump to various unfounded conclusions. Or the opposite of 'empty calories'. 141.101.99.147 18:38, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
So what you're saying is that we live in a high-calorie, very nutritiously dense, but ultimately bland universe? Psychoticpotato (talk) 21:11, 5 June 2024 (UTC)