Friday, November 16, 2007

How Big is Our Universe?



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??

8 comments:

Divinyl said...

I can't even begin to think about this...I think my brain would explode! All too mathmatical and huge. Our little world often blows my mind, never mind what else is out there! x

black_mamba said...

The first link was like DUH?? Wasn't quite sure if they were trying to insult Einstein lol.... The second link was like WHAT THE??? As if I wasn't perplexed enougn.
The third was like OOOOHHHHH!!! I think it offered the best perspective too ;)

The All Seeing Eye said...

Check out the Nova site for the reversal of the planet's magnetic field... I saw the show and its graphs match the magnetic shift to the higher world temperatures better than what is said to be caused only by man. Sorry about going a little nerdy on you...

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

LOL! All Seeing Eye, I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to occasionaly GEEK-OUT on astro physics! By the way, as you can tell by this post, NERDY is my middle name. I'll make sure to check out your recommendation...

BURAOT said...

thats is how they usually answer questions regarding time travel, which is actually a segway, not the real answer to most of our questions pertaining to the issue.

on a standpoint of their usual answers, yes time travel is possible. but that is a techincal answer that is more of a segway, than an actual one. of course, since light travels at a specific speed, what wee see from afar, is actually the image of it, maybe millions of years ago. (that's their time travel segway answer)

but i think what we are asking is can we really travel through time? i think the real time travel can only be possible if there's a presence of multiple parallel universe, as theorized by some scientists. first we need to establish that.

only in an alternate universe can there be a presence of an alternate past and future. and therefore a place and time to do the time travel stuff.

if one can believe in ghosts and life after death, i think it is easy to believe in parallel universes.

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Thanks for your insight, Buraot. I can definitely stand to learn a great deal on this subject. As apparent in this post, I obviously have an extremely CRUDE understanding of these concepts as exploring the time-space continuum is unfortunately, not one of my fortes...LOL!

Divinyl said...

Watch this video on YouTube for an amusing take on time travel...I really like this video (and plan to blog about Emily, the vlogger, at some point):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd6143EAHkk

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Thanks Divinyl! I'll definitely check out the link and give you a shout afterwards!

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