Size of the universe
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01-07-2013, 06:56 PM
RE: Size of the universe
Just to offer up my 2cents (and note, I haven't read the thread so I'll probably just repeat what someone else said).

We don't know.

We don't know how big the universe is because we can only see a fraction of it. The fraction we can see could be 99% of the whole universe or it could be 0.0000000000000000000000001%. But the fact is, we don't know.

Even if you subscribe to the big bang I don't think you can 100% rely on it to explain everything in the universe, because we don't know how big the universe is.
There may have been a big bang (there is evidence for a big explosion), but if what we can see is only 0.00000000000001% of the universe, that big bang was really really really small in comparison and for all we know there could be similar explosions in other parts of the universe happening all the time.

Scientists can explain things best they can, but they can't be 100% accurate, and this is one of those areas that is just really sketchy in what we know.

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01-07-2013, 06:56 PM
RE: Size of the universe
(01-07-2013 06:35 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(01-07-2013 06:11 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  Are you guys saying we can see this no matter what direction we look in?

Yes, because that particular phenomenon originated in the singularity (as we all did!) but remained uniformly distributed (that's... not a good characterization, but it'll do) since then - in other words, it is equally 'spread out' in any direction we look.

Not that direction as such means much... The farther 'away' we look, the farther back in time (kind of!), and so in every direction we eventually 'see' back to an earlier time as well. The background radiation is the constant, uniform remnant of that earlier time, so it is everywhere. If that makes sense.

(01-07-2013 06:11 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  Does space and time not exist beyond the skin of the balloon, does light not travel across the interior? How do we observe galaxies on the other other side of the balloon? Or is that all gravitational lensing?

See, the balloon is not really a very good analogy. There is no 'inside' the balloon. It is a two-dimensional universe with a closed topology. Our 'actual' universe is macroscopically three-dimenionsal, and its curvature is unknown.

The light, in that analogy, is likewise confined to the outer surface.

The thing is, we don't observe galaxies on the other side. We only suppose that they probably exist. We can only see so far in one direction - as far as the expansion of the universe has allowed said distant light to reach us. That is, looking out is looking back, and we can't look back earlier than the beginning, thus we can't look out further than that limit. We have literally no idea what is happening in the unobservable regions. Strictly speaking we cannot even say they exist - but we assume the immediate post-big-bang state was relatively uniform, and spread out relatively uniformly - which would result in areas beyond our detection.

Okay so the early universe image is extracted from looking about all the space surrounding us and feeding that into a computer? ....actually kind of rings a bell (it's been a long time since I took astronomy)

Still confusing how you can get a deep field image, unless that is just the scale of the curvature that we are dealing with? All this funky geometry makes my head spin.

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02-07-2013, 07:16 AM
RE: Size of the universe
(01-07-2013 06:11 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  
(01-07-2013 04:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  Space itself is expanding, all things moving away from all other things.

Got that.

(01-07-2013 04:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  A 2-dimensional metaphor is the surface of a polka-dotted balloon that is being inflated. All of the dots would get further from each other, and the further they were apart, the faster they would move apart.

I get that too.

(01-07-2013 04:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  The background microwave radiation from the Big Bang comes from every direction.

I get that the radiation is dispersed, it makes up all the static on TV/radio if I understand correctly, what I don't get is how we obtain this image of the early universe unless we can point our telescopes toward the origination point of the universe:

[Image: cosmic_microwave_background_radiation_large.jpg]

Are you guys saying we can see this no matter what direction we look in?

Does space and time not exist beyond the skin of the balloon, does light not travel across the interior? How do we observe galaxies on the other other side of the balloon? Or is that all gravitational lensing?

Here is a flat projection of the outside of a sphere:
[Image: simple-printable-world-map.png]

The flat image of the background microwave radiation is a flat projection of the inside of a sphere; the image is the view in all directions.
[Image: cosmic_microwave_background_radiation_large.jpg]

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02-07-2013, 07:24 AM
RE: Size of the universe
(01-07-2013 01:43 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(01-07-2013 01:39 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Can someone help me understand this? It's huge. Not interested in an appeal to religion as part of the answer.

If the Big Bang was under 14 billion years ago, how is it that there are stars and galaxies that we can observe that are more than 28 billion light years away? First off, the light hasn't had enough time to reach us. Secondly, how did we have enough time to get that far away from each other. Wouldn't we each have to be traveling faster than light to achieve this?

I'm confident science has the explanation. I'm not confident of my ability to understand it. Dr. Cooper? Dr. Hofstadter? Anyone?

Here is a good starter on this topic.

http://twistedsifter.com/2012/10/putting...rspective/

As to the stars that are 28 billion light years away that is because of expansion. They are moving away from us, and us from them. Think of it like this you get into a car and drive at 60 mph to the east for 30 mins your brother gets into his car (parked next to yours) at the same time and drives at 60 mph to the west for 30 mins. Even though you have only been driving for 30 mins you are now 60 miles away from each other.

If you follow through that math, would it not be case that we and those stars were moving away from each other at .5 C for 14 billion years. Or do I just need to wake up and drink my first coffee before attempting to think?

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02-07-2013, 07:28 AM
RE: Size of the universe
(02-07-2013 07:24 AM)Humakt Wrote:  If you follow through that math, would it not be case that we and those stars were moving away from each other at .5 C for 14 billion years. Or do I just need to wake up and drink my first coffee before attempting to think?

Relativity.

All velocity (and, indeed, duration) depend on the reference point.

It's only ever a crude approximation to speak of them as shared.
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02-07-2013, 07:28 AM
RE: Size of the universe
(02-07-2013 07:16 AM)Chas Wrote:  The flat image of the background microwave radiation is a flat projection of the inside of a sphere; the image is the view in all directions.

Just so.
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02-07-2013, 07:30 AM
RE: Size of the universe
I hope this clarifies for someone. Levin is fantastic at explaining things. I previously used to think much the same way that "galaxies expand out" - but the way she explained it pretty much fucked my brain, but it makes sense.



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02-07-2013, 07:32 AM
RE: Size of the universe
(01-07-2013 03:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(01-07-2013 01:54 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  Yeah 28 = 14 x 2

Also we are seeing them as they where not as they are. Looking back toward the center of the universe is like looking back in time.

Looking in any direction in the universe is looking back in time.

There is no center to look toward.

If the "big bang" started everything and the universe is working in line with the expansion model, then surely there is a center from which it originated and is expanding from. Or is this not what mean.

I admit Ive gotten pretty used to concepts in this area, not making a great deal of intuitive sense, so although from what I understand of the matter there has to be a center/point of origin/point from which all expansion is moving away from. Is that wrong?

If it is how so?

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02-07-2013, 07:33 AM
RE: Size of the universe
(02-07-2013 07:32 AM)Humakt Wrote:  
(01-07-2013 03:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  Looking in any direction in the universe is looking back in time.

There is no center to look toward.

If the "big bang" started everything and the universe is working in line with the expansion model, then surely there is a center from which it originated and is expanding from. Or is this not what mean.

I admit Ive gotten pretty used to concepts in this area, not making a great deal of intuitive sense, so although from what I understand of the matter there has to be a center/point of origin/point from which all expansion is moving away from. Is that wrong?

If it is how so?

See above post.

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02-07-2013, 07:46 AM
RE: Size of the universe
(02-07-2013 07:33 AM)Logisch Wrote:  
(02-07-2013 07:32 AM)Humakt Wrote:  If the "big bang" started everything and the universe is working in line with the expansion model, then surely there is a center from which it originated and is expanding from. Or is this not what mean.

I admit Ive gotten pretty used to concepts in this area, not making a great deal of intuitive sense, so although from what I understand of the matter there has to be a center/point of origin/point from which all expansion is moving away from. Is that wrong?

If it is how so?

See above post.

OK, watched that, everything is moving away from each other, but if everything is moving away from a central point (the detonation point) then the circumference of the universe would be getting bigger, thus the area of the universe would also be increasing, thus the observable result would that the distance between point would increase.

But, from what I understand of stuff, that makes sense. However, I dont get how there isnt a center somewhere from which this expansion is happening. If the is no center, how is it we can hold to the idea that the universe is expanding from the point of origin?

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