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Author Topic: What would we see at the edge of the universe?  (Read 14161 times)

Neil Henis

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What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« on: 07/06/2011 16:36:55 »
Neil Henis asked the Naked Scientists:

   

Let's say we develop warp drive..say warp 1,000,000,000. We start at earth and travel 13.7 billion light years in any direction. When we get there-what will we see? Will there be a sign saying danger..slow down, universe ends in 10,000 light years, or will we simply see similar space and stars like we see here, with a further 13.7 billion light year limit in any direction. How far could we go like this?



What do you think?
« Last Edit: 07/06/2011 16:36:55 by _system »


 

Offline Pikaia

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #1 on: 05/06/2011 14:22:38 »
The universe does not have an edge, it is infinite, and it is essentially the same everywhere.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #2 on: 05/06/2011 14:28:22 »
Look at it from the viewpoint of topology. Then you could have a sphere, so as you move you return to your point of origin, there is also the doughnut which introduce two types of 'rotations', as it seems to me? As it has this 'hole' in the middle.



I wonder?

What the he* is infinity?

The *.gif is from: We are the doughnuts :) :Which in its turn lended it from Wikipedia commons: Which in its turn lended it from ? Which in its turn ?? Which ..
« Last Edit: 05/06/2011 14:44:37 by yor_on »
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #3 on: 06/06/2011 05:45:00 »
A complication that arises when talking about the hypothetical "warp drive" is that by definition this device moves us through a great deal of "space" in a very short "time". When talking about things cosmological, Einstein's theory of relativity requires that we specify what we mean by these terms. Involved in the issue not only of "what" is at the edge of the universe, but "when". We may get different answers depending on what we mean by "when".
 

@EvilEyeMonster

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #4 on: 06/06/2011 12:07:54 »
@NakedScientists Space and time are curved... so if you could see all the way around... you'd see you again looking for yourself.

was tweeted by @EvilEyeMonster
 

@EvilEyeMonster

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #5 on: 06/06/2011 12:07:55 »
@NakedScientists The edge of the universe? HA... you'd see your own back.

was tweeted by @EvilEyeMonster
 

Offline thedoc

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #6 on: 07/06/2011 17:53:09 »
Let's say we develop warp drive..say warp 1,000,000,000. We start at earth and travel 13.7 billion light years in any direction. When we get there-what will we see? Will there be a sign saying danger..slow down, universe ends in 10,000 light years, or will we simply see similar space and stars like we see here, with a further 13.7 billion light year limit in any direction. How far could we go like this?
Asked by Neil Henis

                                       
Go to the show page.
                                       
 or Listen to the Answer or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 01/01/1970 01:00:00 by _system »
 

Offline Incognito

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #7 on: 08/06/2011 17:59:17 »
Another Universe.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #8 on: 08/06/2011 19:37:47 »
Spheres and Toroids for the shape of the Universe are all very speculative.

I don't believe anybody has been able to look out and see a primordial view of the Milky Way or Andromeda as reflected around a sphere or toroid. 

If one believes in a point-source Big Bang theory, then there would be no reason to think that there wouldn't be an edge out there somewhere, but that we just happen to be in the middle of a relatively high density region of the Universe.

It is possible that one would reach a place where stars and galaxies just start becoming rarer and rarer...  until there are just no more, and half the night sky would just be empty.

Or...  it is an equally likely argument that it is truly infinite.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #9 on: 08/06/2011 20:32:07 »
dont matter where, if theres no light u aint gonna see?as per optical BUT if theres an antilight thing out there u might get ur eyes pulled out of ur head?
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #10 on: 12/06/2011 18:59:49 »
Now, that is a model of a universe that might worry me slightly Czarcar. Remind me to take no star trips before your model has beeen invalidated.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Offline Don_1

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #12 on: 16/06/2011 23:26:44 »
Of course, all these hypotheses are just that, hypotheses, be it doughnut, sphere, hecatohedron or twin doughnuts joined at the........... alright, a figure of 8 then.

The problem I have with all of them, is that they all suggest a boundary. Even if the centre of the universe is wherever you are, with 13.7b light years all around, it still suggests a limit of the universe. A boundary.

Though it is impossible for humans to comprehend, I am much happier with the concept of the universe (as we call it) being a mass of varying density expanding into an infinite void. Look beyond the limits of our universe and you will see nothing whatsoever. A total and boundless void.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #13 on: 17/06/2011 10:19:44 »
Don - that boundary is considered more as a horizon than anything physical.  It has many of the same characteristics as the event horizon of a black hole - incl an analogue of Hawking radiation.  It is very complicated and frankly I struggle to get my head around it
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #14 on: 17/06/2011 12:14:23 »
Yes, I see this term 'horizon' bandied around quite a lot and though the concept of a (or should that be 'an') horizon is easy enough to grasp, it still has me in a quandary. I know that there is something beyond the detectable horizon and if I move toward the horizon, I will be able to detect it, but the horizon has now moved and there is still something beyond it.

I think part of the problem with understanding the terminology of the universe is the inability of language to describe it and, as I have said before, the fact that we and our world are finite.

Perhaps I should describe my notion of the universe as being an inverted sphere. Now I must try to get my head around that idea.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #15 on: 17/06/2011 12:52:04 »
Yes, I see this term 'horizon' bandied around quite a lot and though the concept of a (or should that be 'an') horizon is easy enough to grasp, it still has me in a quandary. I know that there is something beyond the detectable horizon and if I move toward the horizon, I will be able to detect it, but the horizon has now moved and there is still something beyond it.

I think part of the problem with understanding the terminology of the universe is the inability of language to describe it and, as I have said before, the fact that we and our world are finite.

Perhaps I should describe my notion of the universe as being an inverted sphere. Now I must try to get my head around that idea.

A horizon (if you pronounce the h) An horizon (if you don't) - what you do when writing it - I dunno.  The horizon is the division between the part of the universe with which you can interact and those which you cannot (even at light speed communication).  Your second sentence is incorrect if I am reading it as intended.  Stuff outside your horizon is lost to you forever ( just as if you fall through the event horizon of a black hole then the outside is lost forever).

You point about language is very well made and correct - it is for this reason that much of physics and science in general requires the use of maths.  Our language and instinct are classical, small scale, slow speed, and low energy; when we move out of our comfort zone then language struggles to keep up and mathematical definitions/explanations are the only way of continuing.
 

???

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #16 on: 28/07/2011 05:08:11 »
I think you can actually get to the edge, because if you keep going straight and not turning, you won't actually go around the sphere. You know what I mean?
 

Offline grumpy10

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #17 on: 18/08/2011 01:42:24 »
It is difficult for man to contemplate eternity,but that is what it is, there is no beginning or end to the universe, so you could not reach the end of it,no more than you could find the beginning or end of time. It's just something which we don't have enough brain power to understand.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #18 on: 18/08/2011 15:19:57 »
It's just something which we don't have enough brain power to understand.

I guess that would make you a Cosmic-Agnostic then, if that's what you believe.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #19 on: 18/08/2011 16:18:29 »
As a firm believer in empirical study..I went to the end of the universe this morning and this is what I found !




 

Offline syhprum

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #20 on: 20/08/2011 19:54:08 »
This is what you would find
 

Offline MikeS

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #21 on: 21/08/2011 09:21:56 »
I know it has been said in other ways but to put it simply, light rays travel a straight line in curved space.  Rather like a light ray follows the curves of a fibre optic.
That curvature stops it from effectively having an observable or definable edge.  It's a very similar concept to being inside the event horizon of a black hole.  In this case we are within the event horizon of the Universe.
« Last Edit: 24/08/2011 08:05:38 by MikeS »
 

Offline Robro

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #22 on: 23/08/2011 23:54:44 »
I do not think the universe has an edge. I think it is infinite in size in all directions without looping back on itself.
 

Offline MikeS

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #23 on: 24/08/2011 08:10:37 »
I do not think the universe has an edge. I think it is infinite in size in all directions without looping back on itself.

But if it's already infinite in size how can it be expanding?
If it's infinite in size, would that not imply that it was always infinite in size in which case it could not have started with the big bang.
 

Offline Mazurka

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #24 on: 24/08/2011 08:43:54 »
As a firm believer in empirical study..I went to the end of the universe this morning and this is what I found !
...
In a similar vein according to Alan Moore scripting as Tharg (of 2000AD comic fame) the end of the unioverse has "Big George was here" written across it in massive letters...
 

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Re: What would we see at the edge of the universe?
« Reply #24 on: 24/08/2011 08:43:54 »

 

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