Friday, July 20, 2007

Astronomers Look Back 13 Billion Years in Time

The universe is about 13.5 billion years old. And astronomers are saying they’ve found some galaxies so far away from us that the light took 13 billion years to reach earth, according to a CNN report. That means they’re observing the universe when it was just 500 million years old. But wouldn’t that light have passed earth billions of years ago?

Am I the only one that finds this incredibly frustrating to wrap my puny little brain around?

Is it that when the Big Bang occurred, matter that formed the earth was shot 6.5 billion light years in one direction while matter that formed these 13 billion-year-old galaxies were shot 6.5 billion light years in the opposite direction?

Well, if the universe is expanding,
as Edwin Hubble discovered in 1929, maybe our position in the universe didn’t start so far away from those super-ancient galaxies (assuming we’re traveling at different speeds).

Hmm… I’m thinking that I’m thinking about the Big Bang the wrong way. From what I’ve heard, it wasn’t exactly like a bomb that exploded and everything rushed out from one point. Then again, they say all the matter in the universe was once
condensed into a space no bigger than a single electron.

Looks like I have some homework to do. I’ll post again on this later.


(Sorry, the original link up there to the CNN article is dead! Just realized that on 7/12/2008. But here's a link to the same, or a similar -- it's 10 years old! -- story.)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.