nailpounder":ty1eived said:I believe your question is misunderstood by some of the members of this community. Although I agree that standard scientific notation should be used when expressing numbers this large, those who are intollerant to your way of expression are without imagination. What I believe you are asking is how freak'in big is the observable universe in miles.
Well I don't have a clue and neither does anyone else on the face of this planet, those who confess to knowing this are jacka__es, ( remember, 100 yrs. ago the Milky Way was the only known galaxy ). However, that said, there is a basic calculation that can be made to describe the size of what is believed to be, as of this time , the size of the universe in miles.
Our most powerful telescopes, and the persons who use them, tell us that we can look back roughly 14 billion light years. ASSUMING that Earth is located in the center, ( that's a big freak'in leap of faith here), and we could see another 14 billion light years in the the opposite direction, that gives us a diameter of 28 billion light years, ASSUMING the universe is roughly spherical.
We see light that has been travelling for 13.7 billion years (the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation), which was originally emitted only few tens of millions of light-years away. In the intervening time since that light was emitted, the universe has expanded to around 1100 times the size, meaning the coordinates where the CMBR we currently detect were emitted from, if they are considered to have receded with the expansion of the universe, will have receded to 46.5 billion light-years away, giving the universe we have observed (as it was in the past) a current diameter of 93 billion light-years. The CMBR is the light we detect that has been travelling for the longest time.
We see light emitted from the galaxies most distant in time. The light has been travelling for nearly 13 billion years (this is worked out based on their dimness and redshift). Those galaxies were only 3.5 billion light-years away when the light we see was emitted (this is worked out based on how big (or close!) they look in comparison to other galaxies). In the intervening time between that light being emitted and us receiving it, the universe has expanded such that those galaxies (or what has become of them since) are estimated to be around 29 billion light-years away. These are the galaxies whose light has been travelling for the longest time.
We see light from galaxies that were apparently receding at the speed of light, 9.1 billion years ago. They were 5.7 billion light-years away when that light was emitted, and today they are estimated to be around 14 billion light-years away. These are the galaxies that were furthest away from us when the light we see was emitted.
I might suggest you read the PDF file link in my signature!