The idea for this post came to me as I was lying in bed one night (get your minds out of the gutter!) and started thinking about Astro Physics. What do I actually know about Astro Physics? Not a whole heck of a lot, hence the reason I started tripping myself out over it.
This whole debacle actually began earlier in the evening. I had watched Back to the Future for the bazillionth time and couldn't help but ponder the possibility of time travel. How far-fetched was this idea? Was there actually scientific evidence supporting this preposterous notion? So alas, I turned to trusty ol' Google for answers.
Instantly, I realized the best place to conduct my research would be the NOVA website. And boy, was I ever right! Not only did the site explain some of these concepts for me, it even dumbed things down which I appreciated.
So back to the issue at hand--time travel. Apparently, the root of this idea is closely tied in with Einstein's Theory of Relativity which pretty much entails our relative measurement of time and distance. I'm not going to lie, this stuff gets deep so I'll spare you my crude scientific analysis. But here's the dumbed-down version so you can read this crap for yourself.
And once I unearthed the concepts behind Einstein's famous theory, I started thinking about the universe and how incomprehensibly vast it must be. Is there only one universe or is there an infinite number of universes? How far does our universe actually go? How many galaxies are in our universe? Since the universe is so vast, couldn't there be an infinite number of living beings out there? Okay, I know asking such questions is enough to make the average person go loco but I just couldn't help it! I had become a crazed-wannabe-astronomer who needed answers!
So once again, I turned to NOVA Online and found the article aptly entitled, "How Big is the Universe?" It was written by Brent Tully, an astronomer from the University of Hawaii. According to Tully, we are extremely limited by time and distance in order to truly answer this age-old question. Since there are approximately 6 trillion, yes TRILLION, miles in 1 light-year, the farthest galaxies we are able to see are 10-12 billion light-years away. Seriously, my brain can't even begin to compute how far away that really is!
If my mind wasn't completely BOGGLED enough, I stumbled upon the Harvard website which helped put some of these insane figures into perspective. Those most distant galaxies, at approximately 10 billion light-years away, are "so far that the light arriving on Earth today set out from the galaxies billions of years ago. We see the galaxies not as they are today, but as they looked long before there was life on Earth."
Doesn't that just blow your mind??