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Author Topic: Can we never see the edge of the Universe?  (Read 1102 times)

Offline lunar11

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Can we never see the edge of the Universe?
« on: 03/05/2013 23:46:45 »
No matter how powerful we make our telescopes, am I right in stating that we can never see the edge of the Universe because of 'inflation' that occurred near the beginning of the Universe. Am I right? Can anyone elaborate?
Thanks
« Last Edit: 04/05/2013 13:22:23 by chris »


 

Offline chris

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Re: Can we never see the edge of the Universe?
« Reply #1 on: 04/05/2013 20:40:47 »
The Universe can expand faster than the speed of light, because it's not moving, it's just getting bigger. Hence, during the fast inflation phase, if you were watching it expanding you'd not see the actual expansion "edge" because you could never catch up with it!

Is that what you were referring to?
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Can we never see the edge of the Universe?
« Reply #2 on: 04/05/2013 22:01:15 »
It depends on what one mean I guess. The 'edges' might be anywhere, and one way you may find them is by moving in a straight line only to find yourself back where you once started. another way may be you moving to the left in a room, passing the wall to find yourself 'coming out' on the opposite side of the room, still moving to the left :) both descriptions seems to build on a assumption of where we are, and the universe we exist in, not allowing us the necessary freedom of 'movement' to perceive anything else than what we exist in. I like the idea of the universe being a symmetry break, with several different subsequent 'breaks' relating to our arrow of time existing after the first, as well as what we call temperatures and 'micro states'. The last one is very intriguing, although hard for me to comprehend what it really might mean, if correct. But looking at as symmetry break it becomes some sort of self sufficient 'bubble' to me, all things we find having a meaning to us being restricted to inside it, as distances and time.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can we never see the edge of the Universe?
« Reply #3 on: 04/05/2013 22:52:04 »
If an object was receding from us at nearly the speed of light (or the space was expanding between it and us), then it should be red-shifted out of the visible light spectrum, through the IR spectrum, microwaves, and radio wave spectra.  I don't think supernovas and distant galaxies are being viewed anywhere close to that limit. 

In fact, assuming a finite age of the universe, the limit of what we can see may not be determined the distance of the object, but rather the age of the object.

If the universe is, in fact, finite, then if the Milky Way was near the edge of the universe 14 billion years ago, then we may be able to detect different densities of ancient supernovas and galaxies in different directions, potentially indicating an edge.  Of course, everything moves & changes, so what we see today billions of lightyears distant will likely be further away today, and much different.

Undoubtedly the next generation of space based telescopes, as well as land based radio telescopes will give us better insight into the most distant parts of the "visible" universe.
 

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Re: Can we never see the edge of the Universe?
« Reply #3 on: 04/05/2013 22:52:04 »

 

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