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Questions Raised: If the Universe is Expanding at an Accelerating Rate ...

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posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 07:35 PM
Hi guys. You will find the summary/questions at the bottom.

According to some credible sources, the universe (and galaxies/matter within) is expanding and is accelerating. According to current models it will continue to accelerate. But, more than one variable still seems elusive. According to most scientists in various fields it should have already started to decelerate. Below are some source links.


External Source:
NOVA follows cosmologists trying to understand why the universe may be expanding at an accelerating rate.
The program:
- reviews data from two teams of astronomers that seem to indicate some unknown force that is causing the universe to expand faster and faster.
- explains that the astronomers are basing their theories on observations of type 1A supernovae, which are believed to be uniformly bright and thus can be used as reference points or "mileage markers" to measure the expansion of the universe.
- reviews the technical and logistical challenges involved in finding the right kind of supernova for further study.
- shows how astronomers painstakingly compare recent and months-old images of thousands of galaxies looking for minute changes in brightness that signal a supernova.
- notes that preliminary data indicate that the universe is accelerating in its expansion, not slowing down due to gravity as previously believed.


External Source
Main article: Ultimate fate of the universe
Depending on the average density of matter and energy in the universe, it will either keep on expanding forever or it will be gravitationally slowed down and will eventually collapse back on itself in a "Big Crunch". Currently the evidence suggests not only that there is insufficient mass/energy to cause a recollapse, but that the expansion of the universe seems to be accelerating and will accelerate for eternity (see accelerating universe). Other ideas of the fate of our universe include the Big Rip, the Big Freeze, and Heat death of the universe theory. For a more detailed discussion of other theories, see the ultimate fate of the universe.


The main attraction of the cosmological constant term is that it significantly improves the agreement between theory and observation. The most spectacular example of this is the recent effort to measure how much the expansion of the universe has changed in the last few billion years. Generically, the gravitational pull exerted by the matter in the universe slows the expansion imparted by the Big Bang. Very recently it has become practical for astronomers to observe very bright rare stars called supernova in an effort to measure how much the universal expansion has slowed over the last few billion years. Surprisingly, the results of these observations indicate that the universal expansion is speeding up, or accelerating! While these results should be considered preliminary, they raise the possibility that the universe contains a bizarre form of matter or energy that is, in effect, gravitationally repulsive. The cosmological constant is an example of this type of energy. Much work remains to elucidate this mystery!

Summary & Questions Raised ….
So, if galaxies are accelerating, and will continue to do so, what will the galaxies look like as they approach the speed of light, or match it, from the view point of an observer who is not traveling at the speed of light?

And, what will occur to an observer who is on a planet that naturally reaches such speeds?

Are there laws in physics that should prevent planets, solar systems, and galaxies from reaching such speeds?

What other ramifications could exist if acceleration is continuous?

posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 11:19 PM
Its not the galaxies that are accelerating apart, its the space itself that is expanding, that contains the galaxies. Take the balloon example. 2 dots on a balloon never move, but when you blow the balloon up, the 'area' between them grows. So in fact the dots aren't moving at all, it just appears that way to them.

You will also notice that the dots themselves grow, because they are a part of the balloon. We are a part of space, we are made up of space. Everything is. If space is expanding, we are expanding with it. We shouldn't notice the expansion because everything else is expanding. Look at the spaghetification effect around black holes, space is seriously warped, and so are you if you get to close. We are affected by space, because we are part of it.

Now because the galaxies aren't actually moving (in terms of expansion), they don't reach the speed of light. It just looks like the are moving, because space itself is invisible and things can move within it (unlike a dots on a balloon), so we assume they they are racing from each other, when in actual fact they are just riding within it.

Now if space is expanded, traveling through it should take the same amount of time as before because there is no 'extra space', its just bigger. So light should cover the same distance in the same time, through the same amount of space, whether its expanded or not....
Why is it then that we see red shifted galaxies indicating that they are in fact moving?

My understanding must be flawed.


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