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Questions about the observable universe.

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posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 01:46 AM
I have a question I can not find explained adequately enough that I finally understand the answer.

I was wondering, If the light we see here on earth emanating from space is sometimes millions of years old, how can we see real time events like super novas exploding, or other such events that we measure?

Are those events actually a time lapse photo from the past?

If so, does our entire knowledge base come from events that happened many years ago?

Also, if this is true then would our knowledge of the universe be knowledge of how it was millions of years ago and not how it actually is now?

Like if the images we got back from the rovers on mars took millions of years to get back to earth, we would not know how it is now, we would see images of how it was when it first landed. Similarly if the light we see and measure the universe by is so old, then might the stars we observe not even exist anymore?

I would venture to say, basing my argument off my assumptions, that the universe may then not be expanding anymore. It may in fact be dissolved already or be in a state of "crunch" where somehow gravitational forces have begun to crush it all together again.

How long would our perception of any event in the universe take for us to observe it.

Like if mars was destroyed by an asteroid, we would have some lag time until we received the images here on earth. Similarly, how long would it take for the measurable observations to change for us if the universe stopped expanding?

Thanks in advance.

Also how do gravitational distortions of time factor in?

I understand we measure certain wave frequencies of light to see how it progresses through the universe, BUT wouldn't that light, even from what ever particular part of the spectrum be subject to the same time lapse and distortion as the full spectrum?

edit on 8-1-2013 by zedVSzardoz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:04 AM
Cool question, light travels at 186,000 miles per second, if the sun just "shut down" we would not know it happened for approx 8 minutes. Any event observable from space happened long ago and is approxamated by it's distance from earth in light years, this is the distance light travels in 1 year. yes, we are seeing the long ago past in our skies. If a distant star went supernova today, it could take millions of years for earth to have a view of the event. If our universe is in a state of collapse, and the rate of collapse is at the speed of light, not FTL, (faster than light) we have not a clue at this point of reference. There would be a distant early warning.

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:14 AM
reply to post by zedVSzardoz

We do not have any way to see what is happening instantaneously. We have to wait until light from the distant event gets to us.

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:19 AM
it would be interesting though if everything we experience was just a time lapse of something that already happened, it could explain deja vu?

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:22 AM
reply to post by teslahowitzer


Another concept that this places into question is the rate of expansion and the uniform temperature of the universe.

They are both supposed to be constant. Well, if our observations are old news, sort to speak, who is to say that they are constant now. Taking the big bang theory at face value: what if the universe WAS uniform and expanding at a constant rate when it was closer together, but now those variables that we measure have changed and we still have not had a change in our perception of it due to our distance from those things we measure?

It is fun to think about in any event.

edit on 8-1-2013 by zedVSzardoz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:25 AM
reply to post by Verbatim19

That is an interesting concept.

If time is subject to gravity and our perception of it is as well, then would a universe with less gravitational distortion due to its far expanded nature have different laws of time on the outer reaches as compared to its "core" because of the distance between gravitational fields of matter?

If so , would our perception of time change as we moved farther out?

Would times rate of progress increase or decrease?

In either event, we would have a different perception and rate of progress of time than people still on earth.

If we are traveling on a space ship planet, then has our rate of times progression changed on earth?

Can I see myself in the future as I cross into a different gravitational distortion that speeds up the rate of time?
Can I perceive that time if somehow there is a subatomic link between consciences?

Does that link (if it exists) grow stronger as matter is spaced out more or if it is packed together more?

Does subspace exist, and if so, is earth there already in a the distant future after traveling long enough to reach a different area with less gravitational distortion, but somehow it is still connected to its previous state while still in transit?

edit on 8-1-2013 by zedVSzardoz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:33 AM
reply to post by zedVSzardoz

That is something to consider, i guess i would prefer to be in the center of the universe so i know that what i see is what's happening around me in real time
. but would the speed of light increase and decrease in relation to where you are in the universe?

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:35 AM
reply to post by Verbatim19

Another concept this problem puts into question.

IS the speed of light constant all through out the universe, or only so here?

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:39 AM
Well that makes me think, when we observe other galaxies can we be sure that we are looking at something that's still there? or just the light of what used to be there just now reaching where we are now. There would probably have to be a black hole the size of that which we can not describe at the center of the universe

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by Verbatim19

We could be circling a super massive black hole and not even know it. OR we could have collided with the Andromeda galaxy already, but due to the excess gravity distorting our perception and bending the light we can see, we think it has not happened yet. Like we exist in a time bubble due to the matter already inside of it, WHICH may have already popped.

edit on 8-1-2013 by zedVSzardoz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 10:03 AM
With what little we really know of our universe, and it is very little, even that is based in theory, sheer theory. common theories are that gravity does not effect time, but does effect or distort light. a mere second after the big bang (theory) objects and matter moved outward at a rate of speed, and if without resistance to movement or gravity, are still traveling at that rate even now. Our universe is amazing in all aspects, with wonders abound, anything you can dream could, theoretically be possible. on another post I said" to me, our universe is a small box, in a huge warehouse, in a massive complex, in a big city, in a Texas size state, in a large country, on an gigantic planet, in a really big solar system, in a massive galaxy, in a big universe, inside a small box, in huge warehouse"...I can see no start or end to time and space, even if it is round, wouldnt it be like a marble in a box, next to another, and another. If a viewable event were happening, we should be able to see it long before it reached us, like distant storm clouds approaching, but there are possibly unseeable forces that may effect objects, like radiation, you cant tell it is there without instuments until you see its effects. So, so many possibilities, never stop searching....

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