Convention - Ch. 0 Prologue
Mo HeSheng has a secret hidden deep in his heart.
He did not tell anyone about his secret, including his most trusted Chen Yang. For the sake of his daughter’s future, for the sake of his astronomy, Mo HeSheng had no other choice.
Someplace billions of light-years away from Earth, the Phoenix Galaxy, shrouded in fog, is facing a huge catastrophe, Gladini’s indifferent gOlden pupils are also tainted with strange emotions.
The two seemingly unrelated planets separated by billions of light-years are about to usher in a new chapter.
The vast galaxy is gorgeous and bright.
Why is the universe always black? Men sometimes ask themselves such stupid questions.
He knows the answer to the question well, but he still feels puzzled. There are so many stars, so many stars shining on this big black curtain of silence, yet it is still pitch black.
For this man, the answer is obvious: compared to the vast universe, countless stars are sporadically distributed, and light is propagated along a straight line, there must be an observer in its path to see it, or hit the stars to make a weak deflection to increase their chances of being seen, and the infinite expansion of the universe makes the observers’ chances to capture such are almost few to none, and so light can only continue to travel alone.
Thus, the universe is always dark. For people who do the work he does, this is basic common sense and not even worth thinking about.
So men do not question why the universe is dark, but why it ‘should’ be dark.
From Earth, people can see the sun and moon change with the naked eye, the stars fall, and with the help of telescopes, people can see the stunning view hidden by the thick pollutants and suspended particles in the air. And using the astronomical dome, one can see things that have not been known and imagined, nothing to do with humans, uncountable light-years away, uncountable stars moving, dying, nebulae filling the sky, binary stars never separate. Just as men know, the swarm of stars is not alone, it is even active.
But why, then, is the universe so silent.
It’s as if it deliberately wants to hide things from man’s eyes.
The universe hides all the best and most beautiful things in its infinitely expanding margins, where it is so dark and so deep that it cannot be reached. Yes, humans are afraid of the dark, it is engraved in the genes of fear.
As the ancient man said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest fear is the fear of the unknown.” So mankind fears the universe, fears the unknown. But the more fearful they are, the more curious they are, just like the more people are told what not to do, the more they want to try, so they have been exploring the universe, trying to know the secrets of the darkness.
Turning the instrument of the observatory, the man could not help but move the telescope along the Y-axis by thirty degrees again.
“Hey, what are you doing, you’re mistaken, that’s not what we’re observing, why are you deserting again!”
Ignoring the voice coming from behind, the man pointed the lens at the place that haunted him.
It was the constellation of Phoenix, south of the constellation of Tamao, north of the constellation of Azalea, between the constellations of Tengu and Namie, named after the shape of the phoenix that was reborn in fire. The man is observing the swirling galaxy called NGC 328.
If the universe is a canvas, a man can be sure that this is the finishing touch to the picture, he likes beautiful things, but that is not the reason why this man pays attention to this galaxy.
Just six months ago, this galaxy began to be eroded by a golden ‘fog’, but this is really just a metaphor for the man, from the appearance of it is not much different from an ordinary nebula. This ‘fog’ first began to sprout from the interior of the galaxy, and then gradually spread outward from its center, until last month, this bizarre ‘fog’ has completely enveloped NGC328, like a growing gel wrapping an object, the entire galaxy gradually turned into a translucent ‘egg’. Through this layer of ‘fog’, the entire whirlpool galaxy appears hazy, yet exudes an inscrutable and unique beauty, like the layers of ripples that bloom with a jade stone was penetrated by strong light. The man was obsessed with this sight, even though what he saw had happened billions of years ago.
But to this layer of ‘fog’ man has an instinctive sense of disgust for. As we all know, the evolution of the universe is slow, for human beings with a lifespan of a hundred years, this evolution is almost impossible to perceive with the naked eye. Nebulae are created because stars are changing, for example, when a star evolves into a K-type giant, its internal heat will be dissipated to the surrounding area, and thus a nebula is created. The color of the nebula varies depending on the chemicals and elements it contains.
The change of a star takes at least as long as the sands of the Ganges, which is longer than all the time that the creatures of the earth have gone through from the sea to the shore to drink blood and feathers, to the present building soaring into the sky. This is simply not the change that can be observed with the existence named ‘human’. This is why the man will only shroud the Phoenix galaxy called ‘fog’, rather than a nebula.
(TLN: Drink blood and feathers is a phrase to describe a beast that eats other animals without draining blood or plucking the feathers.)
The man slightly turned up the magnification of the telescope a little more.
In the tail of the Phoenix, there is a less conspicuous point of light, that is a comet, the volume and mass are larger than one can imagine. Otherwise, it is impossible for men to observe it at such a distant distance. The man has been paying attention to this comet for a long time, just as long as he has been paying attention to 328.
The speed of the comet is fast, and after all, it makes sense because it is so large in size and mass. In the last three months, the comet had moved 1 mm on the astrophotographs, which is a very impressive rate considering the scale of the observations. The man stared at the comet with rapt attention and frowned.
“Old Chen, bring me the previous astronomical photo.”
(TLN: Old is like an honorific in Chinese used between people who are good friends regardless of age.)
He said while staring at the point of light that was stationary in the lens. But he reached out with his empty hand for a long time, but all he could grab was air, and no one handed up the photo for him.
He could only reluctantly move his eyes down from the end of the telescope, with some doubts turned the stool around and looked at the only man behind him.
“Hey, Old Chen, I’d say your ears are getting worse and worse.”
The man surnamed Chen sighed and played with his phone while still sitting motionless in his chair.
“Come on, Old Mo, I didn’t work overtime with you to watch you do all these random things, you’re always like this halfway through, how can we do research?”
Old Mo smacked his lips.
“If you are just looking for undiscovered stars, give the monkey a telescope, the monkey can also do it, of course, we are to observe something more unusual”
“And have you observed any?”
Old Chen asked impatiently.
“If we can’t find any more undiscovered stars, and show the council some achievements at the year-end summary meeting, Herman will complain much again, this Astronomy Department may be removed, and we all would lose our jobs.”
“Don’t worry, of course there is.”
“There is what?”
“You first bring me the previous pictures.”
“What do you have first?”
“You bring it first.”
“You say it first.”
“You bring it first.”
“You say ……”
This went back and forth, and before a couple of rounds, Old Chen stuttered. This was expected by Old Mo, he and Old Chen are partners for many years, Old Mo knows exactly about Old Chen’s nature. So finally Old Chen stood up and walked to the messy desk to pick up the thick stack of photos and came over as Old Mo expected.
Receiving the heavy photos from Old Chen’s hand, Old Mo smiled at Old Chen.
“Can’t really stop you.”
Old Chen shook his head and sat back in his seat. At the same time Old Mo also once again tucked his eyes into the end of the telescope. Turning over a photo, looking at the telescope again, and so on.
“Don’t you like astronomy?”
“How can I work in this field if I don’t like it.”
“Yes, if we talk about the beauty born from the marriage of science and art, what else can compare to astronomy but architecture.”
“Old Mo, you are a person with a daughter, you have some things to look forward to.”
Old Chen said, paused, as if considering whether the next words should be said, after a moment, he reopened his mouth.
“There’s some gossip, next year the council would cut our department’s fund by half, that bastard Herman…”
Old Mo said while flipping the photos in his hand before his mouth was closed, the words came to an abrupt end in his throat. He opened his mouth for half a second without moving, and only after a while did he extend his hand, signaling Old Chen to come to his side. Old Chen walked to his side suspiciously, only to see him pointing to the light spot on the photo.
Old Mo squeaked and Old Chen didn’t know what he was saying
“Look at this! Old Chen!”
“What’s wrong with it?” A scene which Old Chen was used to.
Old Chen took the photo in Old Mo’s hand, examined it for a moment, and showed a disappointed expression.
“It’s just a comet, the people of the Council don’t count this as something significant.”
“No, I’m not talking about that.”
Saying so, Old Mo snatched the photos from Old Chen’s hand and excitedly plopped down on the ground, spreading the thick stack of photos into a row. Old Chen wasn’t surprised by Old Mo, Old Mo is such a person since the time of college, a little discovery and he will be excited like a child, although many times just ‘happy for nothing’.
And this time, it should be the same.
Old Chen looked down at the row of photos and didn’t find out what was so special about it. Old Mo tilted his head and waited expectantly for Old Chen to say something, but in the end, he only waited for Old Chen to shake his head.
“Comrade Mo HeSheng, we might as well see an ophthalmologist, if that doesn’t work we can go see a psychiatrist.”
“Comrade Chen Yang, please don’t start f*cking bullsh*ts, take a closer look!”
Said Old Mo while picking up the two photos at the far ends and putting them in front of Old Chen’s eyes. Old Chen still could not see any anomaly in it, only the position of the comet moved a little bit, slightly away from the galaxy that was marked – NGC328. The astronomical photos can easily show the difference as long as they were viewed at a fixed angle and at a fixed magnification. But such a small change is no big deal.
Seeing that Old Chen was still confused, Old Mo simply shoved the two photos into Old Chen’s hand and picked up the middle one from the ground.
“Look at it clearly, Old Chen, I didn’t change the order of these photos.”
Hearing this, Old Chen seemed to understand something, although it seemed very unreasonable. He took the photos, took the first and the last, and looked at them for a while, showing an incredulous expression. Before he could ask questions, Old Mo had already hugged him, jumping and dancing with excitement.
“This is a great discovery!”
“But …… what’s going on?”
Old Chen was a little dizzy after shaken by Old Mo but still picked up three photos to look at them again.
The first, is a photo of the comet approaching the galaxy.
The second, is the comet in contact with the “fog” photo.
And the third one, the comet is already moving away from the galaxy.
Although the distance difference is very small, but it does change in this order.
Old Chen shook his head.
“How can something push a comet moving at high speed in the opposite direction?”
“I think, it might be that ‘fog’.”