Beyond the observable universe 31 replies

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Serio VIP Member

The Dane

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#1 6 years ago

One of the great, unanswered questions of modern astronomy is the boundaries of observable space, basically the edge of the universe so-to-speak. There are a few theories and ideas as to what is beyond this big, black space of (presumably) nothingness, but nothing has been proven due to the nature of the subject. Some believe the universe wraps around like a piece of partially folded paper, so that reaching one end will make you pop out on the opposite side. Others think it's infinite, and that there is no ending.

Personally, I'm keen to believe in the wrap-around idea. It seems to be the idea with the least problems, at least in my mind. But it's still difficult for me to imagine something entirely without an edge. It just seems impossible to my mind.

However, I'm interested in hearing what everyone else is thinking. Infinite? Wrap around? Or some kind of invisible barrier?




SeinfeldisKindaOk

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#2 6 years ago

So the universe could be like a Pacman game? Crazy. I just assumed it was infinite. Humans can't really comprehend that though (at least I can't), sort of like how it's difficult to conceive of time having no beginning and no end. But we're evolved monkeys so it shouldn't be too surprising that we can't fully comprehend the reality of the universe.




Kilobyte

What does the Fox say?

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#3 6 years ago
SeinfeldisKindaOk;5653774I just assumed it was infinite. Humans can't really comprehend that though...

We can't comprehend infinite?

Try loading up a space simulator, that has no boundaries, and fly off of the grid, and see how long it takes for you to get tired. Then think about how long it could possible keep going. Think about what you would run into, outside of the grid of a game that measures everything in coordinates.

Until I get evidence to the contrary, I'm going to assume that our universe extends out four times the distance we can see, and then extends further into infinite blackness.

Current theories seem to say that the known universe will keep expanding, and will eventually die. Everything will be dead, for the rest of eternity. Life will have flashed by, gone in a blink, forgotten. There would be no rebirth, no destruction and recreation of the universe. No second chances. The known universe will continue to expand, filling up nothing, with whatever sparseness the known universe itself yet contained. The distance between a single particle would be exponentially greater than the size of the known universe itself, and still it would continue to expand. Will it ever stop expanding? Is the known universe's maximum size finite? Even then, the universe will be infinitely more vast and empty.




D3matt

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#4 6 years ago

The universe wrapping around makes no sense, as we can observe the galaxies we can see moving apart. If the galaxy wrapped around, they should all be crossing the "boundary", reappearing on the other side, and heading back towards the core of the universe. I'm included to believe it's infinite. Nothing I've seen or read gives me any reason to believe that universe just suddenly stops. It simply doesn't make sense. The wrapping around idea would make more sense than suddenly stopping, in my opinion.




Guest

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#5 6 years ago

Here you go kiddos

No eeeeeedge




Jamoking

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#6 6 years ago

Guys, come on...haven't you seen MIB, answer is right there:

It's just a giant marble :p

But really, I'm inclined to say it's infinite.

The wrap around concept is intriguing though. When you say wrap around, just to be sure, you mean that the "supposed" edges touch each other thus forming a kind of circle? If so I could see that as being a very plausible possibility. So would be like, if I flew to the north pole in the Western Hemisphere, going to the most northern point "the edge" and then going even farther north at which point I'd be entering the so called northern "edge" of the Eastern Hemisphere and would thus no longer be actually traveling north but south.

With that said though, the science fiction fan inside of me wants there to be a super stargate at the very edge to take you to funky town. ;)




Flash525

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#7 6 years ago

Serio;5653763One of the great, unanswered questions of modern astronomy is the boundaries of observable space, basically the edge of the universe so-to-speak.

However, I'm interested in hearing what everyone else is thinking. Infinite? Wrap around? Or some kind of invisible barrier?[/QUOTE]

SeinfeldisKindaOk;5653774I just assumed it was infinite. Humans can't really comprehend that though (at least I can't), sort of like how it's difficult to conceive of time having no beginning and no end.[/QUOTE]This would probably best fit my conclusion.

I believe one of two things;

1) The Universe is infinite and goes on forever (though as already stated, we can't truly comprehend what (or how far) infinite really is.

2) The Universe does have an edge, though if we are to believe this, then there has to be something on the other side of that edge, right?

This is where it gets confusing (from a human perspective at least). If the Universe has an Edge, then there should be something on the other side, yet, from our perception, there isn't actually anything on the other side of that edge. It's just nothingness. Our problem, as somewhat stated by SeinfeldisKindaOk is that we can't quite comprehend what nothing is. Such is beyond us.

Kilobyte;5653781Try loading up a space simulator, that has no boundaries, and fly off of the grid, and see how long it takes for you to get tired. Then think about how long it could possible keep going. Think about what you would run into, outside of the grid of a game that measures everything in coordinates.[/quote]Eventually, such simulator would probably crash. =p Besides, you say to fly off the grid and see how far you can go before you get tired. Who's saying the possible edge of the Universe is even penetrable?

[QUOTE=D3matt;5653806]The universe wrapping around makes no sense, as we can observe the galaxies we can see moving apart. If the galaxy wrapped around, they should all be crossing the "boundary", reappearing on the other side, and heading back towards the core of the universe. I'm included to believe it's infinite. Nothing I've seen or read gives me any reason to believe that universe just suddenly stops. It simply doesn't make sense. The wrapping around idea would make more sense than suddenly stopping, in my opinion.

Except that I don't think it's infinite. It the Universe is growing in size (which is speculated by many) then it has a size, else it wouldn't be growing. Something that goes on forever wouldn't be changing shape.

[QUOTE=Jamoking;5653822]It's just a giant marble.

Excuse me. What is outside the marble? =p

[QUOTE=Jamoking;5653822]With that said though, the science fiction fan inside of me wants there to be a super stargate at the very edge to take you to funky town.

A Super Gate will only take you to another Galaxy, not another Universe. And if you went to another Galaxy, you'd piss off some seriously messed up Religious folk who would bring their armies to our Galaxy and command that we convert to their religion.




Emperor Benedictine

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#8 6 years ago

If the universe was finite and "wrapped-around" it wouldn't have any distinct edge that could be reached, any more than the surface of the earth does. The boundary to the observable universe is just the limit on how much we can observe due to the time it takes for light and other signals to reach us.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#9 6 years ago

One of the problems with this sort of thing is that we're not really that well equipped to think about it. Nothing is infinite! What about space? Well space is nothing.

What about the range of natural numbers? Well, look, that's just something you've made up according to repetition of a finite pattern - there's not really an infinite number-line out there somewhere....

In which case talking about what space is bound by would be sort of meaningless. Space is all the area inside this sphere. Well what's on the other side of the sphere? Nothing! So - space then?

You know, we can talk about folding space as if it's a piece of fabric, and say that it curves around on itself and all that sort of stuff. But space isn't a piece of fabric. That's just a way of visualising gravitational fields. It's about as meaningful as saying space is an ocean. We just don't know enough to render a meaningful answer on this sort of question.

...

Consequently, I think we all know that wherever we've not yet looked is where the dragons and sea monsters are hiding. So, I'm voting for dragons. Even if I'm wrong, my guess is at least 80% cooler than the next closest alternative.




Guest

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#10 6 years ago

There are several schools of thought on numbers, and the shape of space. We do actually know enough to make meaningful theories. The mathematics involved are just rather...intense, so to the general public it appears we don't.