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The Universe is so huge in fact that we’ll have to play around with scales so one can get a better idea.
According to the standard inflationary model of cosmology, the visible portion of our universe, the one mapped by our telescopes is an infinitesimally small speck in a much larger universe of at least 10 to the power 35 light-years across!
Admittedly this number is really, really big, and almost impossible to imagine. So lets shrink everything down, WAY down, just so we can get a better grasp of it. Let's imagine that the entire universe that we have seen in all the worlds telescopes, all the galaxies, all trillion of them, extending out 13 billion light years in every direction is shrunk down to the size of a golf ball.
If we do a volume calculation, the actual universe contains 10 to the power 60 of those golf balls! Wow, I guess we didn't shrink things down far enough, but this will have to do. So how big a volume would 10 to the power 60 golf balls fill up? Try a sphere 850 light years across! So imagine a mass of golf balls that big, and each one of those golf balls contains all the stars and galaxies that we can see through our telescopes!!
Now let’s try it with speed. Ready? Imagine traveling so fast that you can go from on end of the galaxy to the other in just one second. At this speed the entire galaxy would be in reach before you can say the word "go", and wham, you're there. At this speed, you could travel to the nearest galaxy Andromeda in 22 seconds flat. And you could cross from end of the visible universe to the other in 72 hours.
So, lets speed up our warp vehicles again, so that we can travel a quintillion light years every second. At such a speed we could cross the known universe 100 million times in one second.
How long would it take to cross from one side of the universe to the other?
.......................... 3.7 billion years!!!
posted by mikesingh
Makes you feel small, real small, what? But the question here is that if the Universe is THAT big, is it possible that it could have emanated from a single point after the so-called ‘Big Bang’? Probably we may never understand how the Universe was really created until we break free from our present three dimensional thought processes.
[Edited by Don W]
A project to create an easier way to measure cosmic distances has turned up surprising evidence our large and ancient universe might be even bigger and older than previously thought. A research team has found that the Triangulum Galaxy, known as M33, is about 15 percent farther away from our own Milky Way than previously calculated. The finding suggests that the Hubble constant, a number that measures the expansion rate and age of the universe, is actually 15 percent smaller than other studies have found.
Scientists estimate the universe to be about 13.7 billion years old since 2003, based on measurements of radiation leftover from the Big Bang. The new finding implies that the universe is instead about 15.8 billion years old. The researchers looked at a binary star system in M33 where the stars eclipsed each other every five days.
Unlike single stars, the masses of paired stars can be precisely calculated based on their movements. With knowledge of the stars' masses, the researchers could calculate their true luminosities. The difference between true luminosity and observed luminosity gives the distance between the stars and Earth. The team's results suggested that the stars were about 3 million light-years from Earth, or about half-a-million light-years farther than would be expected using the commonly accepted Hubble constant value.
posted by Damien_III
WOW! I never realized how big the universe really is . . it seems like warp will be to slow lol.
Originally posted by Toasty
Just a quick question, if they can't see it, how do they know its so big? Maths I guess.
posted by WestPoint23
“ . . if there is more universe than we can actually see then wouldn’t that mean that the universe has to be a LOT older than 13 or 15 billion years old? Can some explain where this "missing" universe is at? [Edited by Don W]
Originally posted by RetinoidReceptor
I have always thought that the Universe was never ending and it never had a starting point. It was just always there, and the space of the Universe is just on and pon and will never ever end.
Originally posted by mikesingh
How can such a mindboggling 'infinite' universe come into existance from a small, so-called singularity? From a 'point' that exploded with a big bang?
Originally posted by mikesingh
I believe in the 'Steady State' theory - that the universe was always there. It's expanding because of gravitational pressure and once this becomes weak due to the distances involved, it starts contracting again. Like the universe was breathing.
Darn, I wish I knew how the devil the universe started in the first place!