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Could the Universes Other Worlds All Be Dead right now?

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posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 07:45 AM
reply to post by Dr Expired

The fact that we are seeing light from many years ago has often been part of or the basis for many of my daily ponderings... Yes, scientifically, it is true that if something caused the death of all other stars besides our own, and it happened simultaneously, we wouldn't know anything was wrong for well over 100 years. Even after a star is gulped up by a black hole, there would still be a stream of light coming at us and the rest of the universe surrounding the star. It would depend how far it is to tell how long before we notice it stops giving off light.
(1 light year away = it takes 1 year for its light, or absence thereof to reach us = we wouldn't notice for 1 yr)
I think our milky way galaxy is about 100,000 light years, side to side... But we are not located on the very rim, I think we are about 1/4 of the way to the center, so if these figures are fairly accurate then
I would say it would take anywhere from 75,000 to 90,000 years before we saw the last one go out. Obviously we would know something was wrong within the first 1,000. But maybe not before the first 100. This is all just my opinion as a guy who likes astronomy so that's all I have to offer, I'm afraid. I don't know exactly how many stars ate within 100 light years so I don't know if it would be shocking to see them all go within 100 years, but now that I think of it, someone would notice the stars dying in sequence by their distance and would eventually conclude that the process would continue and thus the universe, or at the very least, our galaxy, was dying.

While this (post) is mostly my opinion, I can assure you, that light does take time to travel large distances, and that's actually how they measure large distances in space. They look at how far light can get in 1 year and they said, ok, this is gonna be called a lightyear. So if a star, say 12,528 light years away were suddenly to go out like a snuffed candle, we would continue seeing the light that has already left the star before it met its fate. Light that is already on its way to us. The star dying or getting eaten by a black hole would have no effect on any light that escaped the event horizon of the black hole and begun its journey toward us.

Of course, if you are assuming the stars all simply have lived out the course of their lives, and died on their own, without all being "shut off for good" simultaneously, and many went supernova, then you have to remember that stars are also constantly being born out of clouds of gas and minerals and stuff that came out of an exploding star. So even if all existing stars died, others are being "switched on" all the time from existing.g clouds of gas, etc.. It will be so until either something like expansion causes the death of the universe, or all the lighter elements are converted to heavier elements. Or I suppose in some cases, some of the gas might eventually be too far apart and drifting in the wrong directions to be able to coallesce (sp) into a mass big enough to produce the sufficient pressure to cause nuclear ignition, creating a star.

PS, the elements that make up your body, the wooden coffee table in your living room, the device you are now using to access the internet, everything was cooked up in the giant nuclear pressure cookers we call stars. Or you could call it "Gods kitchen" if you were so inclined.

posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 08:03 AM
well we wouldn't know for 8 mins if our sun blew up.

sure as hell tho, 12bil ly out, things are not the same or even where we see them.

posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 10:32 AM
Forget about stars that are not there any more what about a whole galaxy that most likely is not there any more.

UDFy -38135539

This galaxy is so old that the light we see right now from it started it trip before our sun was even born. At 4.6 billion years old that makes the light we see from this galaxy about 2.8 times older than our own solar system. That whole galaxy could have disappeared before the Earth was formed and we would not know it for billions of years. I seen a show on TV a while back that said that half of the stars we see at night may in fact not even be there any more. And just think about all the things that are out there that we do not see because the light from them has not get here yet. There could be a galaxy the is 20 billion lightyears away but we would never know it as it would still take another 7 billion years for the light from it to get here.

But back to the OP. I have often though that Earth came to the party late. We humans just got here and so much time has past. A minimum of 13 billion years and I think a great deal longer than that has past so it is true that we could very well be one of the last if not the last life form in all of the universe. We just got here too late

posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 08:52 PM
reply to post by Dr Expired

Of course we would know... But since we have known about Proxima Centauri for a long time now, longer than 4 years, there is a flaw in your theory.

In order to grant the premis, it would need to be assumed that Proxima Centauri "died" with the last 4.2 years less 1 day.

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 02:03 PM
reply to post by fixer1967

Actually, a star that far away would most-likely be beyond our cosmic event horizon. IE - Due to the expansion of the universe you would have to take into account that all of space between us is expanding fairly uniformly. Add up all of the expansion between us and it, and it would exceed the speed of light. That means we would Never see it because the light can't outrun the expansion in the intervening space to reach us.

As far as stars dying, etc. There would have to be something extremely unique for all of the universe to just die out except for us. Even Proxima Centauri could not just "snuff out" without us knowing about it. Even if it happened within the ~4 year delay, we would see evidence that it was dying or about to die right now. We would have known it was going to die for many many years by now.

The same applies for other stars in our galaxy and nearby ones. There are a lot of different tell-tale clues that a star is dying in one way or another with only a small chance of a death with practically zero warning that would require some bizarre event to have occurred.

Even disregarding this, we wouldn't be able to catch but a few of them given the massive nature of the cosmos, but we would see enough to detect the pattern by now. The night sky would be like a slow-motion christmas tree as the nearest and brightest 'blinked out' progressing further and further until the sky was completely empty except for the objects in our own solar system. Considering our star holds no special significance (other than us of course) - it's a fairly standard yellow dwarf star. They don't live the longest, but live for a good while and remain relatively stable for a good portion of their lives.

From studying our star and comparing to others of similar types and extrapolating further, etc, they can get a pretty good baseline for the ages of other stars. In other words, we have a pretty good notion of the ages of most of the stars we can observe, and we know about how long they can live based on mass, composition, and status. If all of the other stars were dead and the deaths were all of natural causes, we would have seen the pattern long before now. Instead we see deaths and births of stars practically everywhere we look.

However, what the OP fears will happen at some point...though Earth will be long dead by then. Entropy will win out eventually unless there's some unknown process in play that will kick in and turn all of the heavy metals back in to Hydrogen and Helium and then kick off starbirth once more.

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 07:38 PM

Originally posted by Dashdragon
reply to post by fixer1967

Actually, a star that far away would most-likely be beyond our cosmic event horizon. IE - Due to the expansion of the universe you would have to take into account that all of space between us is expanding fairly uniformly. Add up all of the expansion between us and it, and it would exceed the speed of light. That means we would Never see it because the light can't outrun the expansion in the intervening space to reach us.

I can not believe it. I finally have found some one who understands this. I have tried to explain this to people for years and no one understands it. You do. You just made my day. We can only see so far back in time when looking at the stars and from that they get the ago of the universe and that is said to be about 13 billion years old. Cosmic event horizon, did you make up that term? I like it. Because of this the universe could be many many times older than 13 billion years. It could be 100's of billions or trillions of years old but because of the cosmic event horizon we can not see any thing beyond that range of about 13 billion years (lightyears). I still can not get over the fact that I have found someone who understand this. You really made my day.

posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 01:11 AM
Thanks te ye all for so many great posts in this thread, I have enjoyed reading other peoples understandings of this fascinating subject.
Was obseving the sky with my new dob last night and I saw another bat in the 25mm eyepiece again.
Imagine the stars are so far away and the only thing in front of their light before it reache my eye is a bat.

posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 08:24 AM
reply to post by fixer1967

Actually I believe I first heard it referred to as the cosmic event horizon on UniverseToday.

The more technical information about it can be found here under Particle Horizon of the Observable Universe. Also - Observable Universe

It doesn't denote the age of the universe so much as just the limit of observability. There's a lot left to be figured out, but some pretty good theories so far.

edit on 9-8-2011 by Dashdragon because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 04:54 PM
reply to post by Dr Expired

Firstly no, radio waves are not slower than visible light. They both travel at the same speed. Light is a spectrum, Gamma rays to radio waves.

Secondly, the closest stars would be the binary star system Alpha Centauri, including Proxima Centauri which is roughly 4 light years away.

So to assume what you say is correct, the Alpha Centauri star system must have been destroyed less than 4 years ago for us to still be able to see it.

Not to mention the number of stars that were documented since astronomy records began. For example the Egyptians documented Orion's Belt, and it is thought the pyramids at Giza line up with where Orion's Belt was in the Universe, relative to our Earth at that time. Some of these stars are relatively close to us, so why haven't they slowly started to disappear?

If this all happened at the same time we would see no stars at night.

posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 04:55 PM
reply to post by DeReK DaRkLy

couldn't agree more. me and my ATS friend always bring this up.

posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:01 AM
I have always looked at time in a very odd and strange way.
Obviously, I understand the difference between Light (or shall I say, the speed in which it travels) and time, but it seems to me as if we perceive time and light as the same thing.

People seem to think that just because you saw something at that particular time, it must've happened at that exact time. Since Light controls what we physically see. This could lead you to think that time and light are the same, of sorts. This would lead on to the theory that the faster you move, the slower time becomes, until you reach the speed of light, where you then start to go back in time because you are in essence, traveling faster than "time"...

I don't know, but it seems like the two are more closely related than we think. Can experimentation with light waves lead to meddling with time?

Does this intertwine with quantum mechanics, the slit experiment in particular?

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by splittheatom

So the universes stars and galaxies could have died, and we still have four years to live according to your information?

All the side affects of the explosions or whatever would still not reach us for four years also?

As nothing travels faster than the speed of light?

So the closest star would be invisible in four years bit the others would dissappear according to distance?

If all the worlds/stars exploded at once.

We wouldn't know for a long time?
So yes the universe may be dead?

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 06:27 PM
If a sniper shoots you with a bullet from long range, you will feel the shot before you will hear it if you can. That is because the bullet is faster than sound. Since nothing of matter can travel faster than light speed, you will see a dead star before it has any effect on you, kind of a nice little 'warning shot', to aid some supposed last preparations.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

So the answer to the thread question is could be.
We could watch stars one at a time vanish, knowing we were going to die.
So on eexploding star witnessed could in fact be the first sign of the universe dying.

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