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Visible universe only a small part of the whole universe

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16 years 10 months ago #47005 by peterhousehold
Can someone give me, or point me to, a simple explanation of how come the visible universe is only thought to be a small part of the whole universe? Intuitively this sounds impossible. Is it the case that the expansion of the universe is, or at some stage has been, faster than light speed? And what is the expansion rate thought to be now? Sorry to raise this old chestnut which those of you who are expert are probably weary of explaining! Many thanks

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16 years 10 months ago #47014 by jeyjey
Peter --

My memory is pretty hazy, but I *think* the "faster-than-light" expansion is what's known as hyper-inflation, and I *think* it all happened in the first few seconds.

Note that nothing actually moved faster than light. The coordinate system itself was expanding, so things were getting farther apart without necessarily moving (though I think they were moving as well).

-- Jeff.

Nikon 18x70s / UA Millennium                              Colorado:
Solarscope SF70 / TV Pronto / AP400QMD             Coronado SolarMax40 DS / Bogen 055+3130
APM MC1610 / Tak FC-125 / AP1200GTO               Tak Mewlon 250 / AP600EGTO

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16 years 10 months ago #47019 by pmgisme
Richard Feinman,Nobel Laureate, was honest enough to say that he had no idea of why all this stuff is happening.

I suspect that our present theories will look daft, quaint and old fashioned in just a thousand years in the future.

In 3007 AD they will smile at our folly.

Dark Matter,Dark Energy,Cosmic Acceleration etc. all look terribly "contrived".

There is a deeper truth in there somewhere.

Peter.

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16 years 10 months ago #47026 by voyager
Every point in the universe is expanding. So, the further stuff is away from you the more area there is between you and the other object and the faster it appears to be expanding. There is a distance at which the apparent expansion will be the speed of light. That's the edge of the visible universe.

There is nothing special about it. If we were over at Aplha Centuri there would be about 4 light years that we could see then that can't be seen form earth and vica-versa.

Also, were the actual edge to be anywhere near the visible edge we should see some form of edge effects, we don't, so most probably it goes on well beyond the bit we can see.

Hope that makes some sense.

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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16 years 10 months ago #47106 by jeyjey
Nice explaination, Bart.

-- Jeff.

Nikon 18x70s / UA Millennium                              Colorado:
Solarscope SF70 / TV Pronto / AP400QMD             Coronado SolarMax40 DS / Bogen 055+3130
APM MC1610 / Tak FC-125 / AP1200GTO               Tak Mewlon 250 / AP600EGTO

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16 years 10 months ago #47108 by gus

Every point in the universe is expanding. So, the further stuff is away from you the more area there is between you and the other object and the faster it appears to be expanding. There is a distance at which the apparent expansion will be the speed of light. That's the edge of the visible universe.


The edge of the visible universe corresponds to the light distance of the age of the universe; this is probably the same thing but my brain isn't in good enough shape to work it out at this instant. :?

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