The Crack in Space by Philip K. DickIn The Crack in Space, a repairman discovers that a hole in a faulty Jifi-scuttler leads to a parallel world. Jim Briskin, campaigning to be the first black president of the United States, thinks alter-Earth is the solution to the chronic overpopulation that has seventy million people cryogenically frozen; Tito Cravelli, a shadowy private detective, wants to know why Dr Lurton Sands is hiding his mistress on the planet; billionaire mutant George Walt wants to make the empty world all his own. But when the other earth turns out to be inhabited, everything changes.
Winner of both the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.
Call the Doctor! Nasa spots Dr Who's crack in the universe in the middle of the Milky Way
Like many physicists today, Rafael Lang at Purdue University is on the hunt. As in a treasure hunt, the odds of finding the treasure may be slim, but the rewards are huge and the lure of the hunt irresistible. Scientists have calculated that some 25 percent of the matter in the universe is not accounted for. They know something is out there because it is exerting gravitational pull on things that we can see. As light from distant stars passes through a galaxy, for example, the gravitational pull of the galaxy bends the light, as if it were passing through a lens. But when scientists measure the mass of the galaxy, and when they study this bending of light using space telescopes, there is more bending than there should be, so something else is out there, pulling. But they do not know what it is, or even what it is like.
For followers of the current season of Dr Who, it is more than a little disconcerting. For this thick black snake-like object in space bears an uncanny resemblance to the crack in the universe which has haunted Matt Smith and his companion, Karen Gillan. Luckily for us, this striking image is the core of a thick, sooty cloud large enough to swallow dozens of solar systems. Spitzer was able to spot the sinuous cloud using its heat-seeking infrared vision. The object is hiding in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy, invisible to optical telescopes. Because its heat, or infrared light, can sneak through the dust, it first showed up in infrared images from past missions. The cloud is so thick with dust that if you were to somehow transport yourself into the middle of it, you would see nothing but black, not even a star in the sky.
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