If we could see the big bang...

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weeman

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Every direction we look into space, we look into the past. Each direction we look, we can see to 2 billion years ago, 8 billion years ago, 11 billion years ago, and so on. We can't actually see the big bang because the universe was not transparent in its early days (photons never made it into open space). We can see to a point when the universe was about 300,000-400,000 years old, after this, we see nothing. <br /><br />So, if the universe had been transparent from the very beginning, would we be able to actually see the beginning of time? What would the big bang look like through our telescopes? <br /><br />Does it even make sense that it would be possible to see the initial big bang? IMO, I don't see how it would be possible to see back the the origin of everything. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Techies: We do it in the dark. </font></strong></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>"Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.</strong><strong>" -Albert Einstein </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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SpeedFreek

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Very interesting question.<br /><br />If we currently see radiation in every direction, redshifted to z=1089, and that represents the CMB emitted at around 380,000 years after the big bang, what would anything more <i>distant</i> be like?<br /><br />As you said, the universe was not transparent before the CMB was emitted. It is theorised to have initially contained a superheated quark-gluon plasma, which, as the universe expanded, went through various transitions until after 380,000 years <i>recombination</i> happened, hydrogen and helium atoms finally formed and photon separated and evolved independently.<br /><br />Now then, if the universe were transparent before this, in order to allow us to observe it, what would we see? Well, in that example, absolutely nothing, as it is transparent - it has nothing in it to see! <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />What if we were to, for our own amusement, attribute a pattern of our own to the big bang, and then try to work out what it might look like now? We could try that, but we have to remember that we are sitting at the centre of the observable universe at all times, right back to the start - looking at it from the inside, as it were... (easy there! I'm not saying there is an outside or anything!). We see our observable universe as a sphere with us at the centre now, and the oldest information from the past is at the extreme edge.<br /><br />Whatever the pattern was, it would be very large! It would be a lot more distant than the CMB in all directions, many many magnitudes further away. This is due to the super fast expansion rate early on. It was slowing down for 380,000 years until the CMB was emitted and that has a redshift of z=1089! By the time galaxies formed, redhshifts were down below z=20. So how much would the pattern from the big bang be redshifted? Well, some might say that redhshift tends towards infinity at the big-bang, so that wont help us here.<br /><br />How about after inflation, when the universe was <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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alkalin

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Theory can always be wrong. Data we have suggests that the universe is older than 13.7 billion years. We have found large galaxies 12 billion Light Age old. Those galaxies had to have existed many billions of years before light left them, the light we see now from them. So they have to be at least 20 or 30 billion years old. Big Bang theory has failed as a valid theory. There are a number of other indicators of failure as well.<br /><br />The question you pose makes for me impossible assumptions and I cannot even come close to an answer. Not that it is wrong to think if it actually were true, what it would look like. We cannot know due to the notion of inflation, which messes with the time frame given to expansion, based in turn on the notion that the red shift seen in the distant universe is caused by Doppler. These assumptions taken together cannot be used to determine true age of the universe.<br /><br />What is it you want? Some kind of verification of a fantasy? I’m sure the BB Boys are busy buoying belief before being buoyant.<br />
 
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SpeedFreek

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The theory has it that galaxies formed between 100 and 500 million years after the big bang, so 12 billion year old galaxies are fine. Why exactly do you think the galaxies had to be between 8 and 18 billion years older than that?<br /><br />And even if we do have the age of the universe wrong, how does that affect the overall theory? Does redshift suddenly not correspond to recession speed? Do galaxies suddenly not look like they were once closer together? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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Think about it this way.......<br /><br />If a star that was 50,000 LY away went supernova before the Earth was formed, could we see it? No.<br /><br />Now, when the star that was the Crab Nebula exploded, we saw that light. But it passed us, and the area went dark. Without some type of mirror that could reflect that light we'd never be able to look "past" Earth in a direction away from the Crab Nebula and see the supernova light.<br /><br />In your hypothetical, the (visible) light from your BB would have already passed what is now the Milky Way (and the Earth) before it was there and continue to move away at the speed of light. Since that light is already "past" us, we could never see it.<br /><br />Make any sense?<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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mytheory

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Good topic to bring up weeman! But there's one aspect of the big bang that I never understood. Do you believe the big bang was one massive explosion in a certain space and time? If so, wouldn't we have to look in to one specific direction of the universe to try and observe this "Big Bang?" If we can look in to any direction of space and see what was, shouldn't this tell us that the big bang occurred in many places (Big Bangs) and not just one? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="font-weight:bold" class="Apple-style-span">@LEX</span> </div>
 
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weeman

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Yes, it makes perfect sense. Thanks <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Techies: We do it in the dark. </font></strong></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>"Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.</strong><strong>" -Albert Einstein </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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alkalin

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According to the theory there should be only small blue galaxies shortly after the big bang, so why in fact are there galaxies the size and age of the Milky Way we see there?<br />First lines about a study recently done:<br /><br /><font color="yellow">Source: Johns Hopkins University <br /><br />Glimpse at Early Universe Reveals Surprisingly Mature Galaxies. <br />Observations challenge standing view of how and when galaxies formed.</font><br /><br />The early universe at 12-13 billion years looks very much as ours does. There are all sorts of galaxies and many large and old ones too. Do not think the cosmologists are going to readily admit this. They may find small blue galaxies way in the past but they also can find them locally. Be aware that when we (or they, cosmologists) choose to play the pick the data game, we might end up supporting almost any idea we want.<br />
 
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alkalin

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This observation is correct about local light, but in the case of very distant objects or of the CMB it isn’t due to the notion of inflation that only affects those distant energies. Comparing local to distant is where some of the problem lies caused by this notion.<br /><br />For me inflation is a cooked theory that cannot be supported in any way in real physics. Alternate theories that are based on real lab verification work better, but yet haven’t caught on. <br /> <br />Time may bring progress, but one funeral at a time as it has been said may work too. <br />
 
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SpeedFreek

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I read the article and related reports and it is indeed interesting, how mature galaxies seem to have formed after only 1 billion years. It would seem that either our theories of galaxy formation are wrong, or we have the wrong age for the universe, or we have the wrong age for those galaxies. How do any of these options necessarily preclude the metric expansion of space or the underlying model known as the big bang theory?<br /><br />All these observations do are challenge our view of either how or when galaxies formed. That article and the related ones don't mention these observations challenging the overall big bang theory itself.<br /><br />We are trying to understand our universe, using observation and theory. When we make observations that conflict with aspects of the current theory, we adjust those aspects to fit and the see if the overall theory still fits or not. Any estimates we make about things like the size and age of the universe are likely to swing wildy, and hopefully with time they will settle towards something approaching accuracy. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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ashish27

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weeman, my opinion is this: you are not allowed to see the Big Bang. Because at the time of the BB the Universe was like a black hole, with infinite density. Now if density is infinite so I beleive gravity would also be infinite. And even if photons were present in the Universe at that time, there's no way they could have escaped. <br /><br />If you agree with this then think, BB was designed in a way so that it could never be seen by anybody at anytime. The only question that remains is why?<br /><br />Excellent post.
 
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ashish27

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mytheory,<br /><br />The BB occured everywhere in the known Universe including where our planet Earth is at the moment. At t=0 the Universe was a singularity, a point in space. That space has inflated to the present size of the Universe. And its still continuosly expanding. BB is not an explosion, as the name often misleads, its actually a sudden expansion of space and time.
 
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will25

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As I understand the things I've read on the subject, first there was a singularity. There was no spacetime for the singularity to exsist in just as there's no spacetime outside the Universe. We know flat nothing about the singularity, we can only speculate that it was this or that and such and such conditions might have exsisted. We think that spacetime expanded and the singularity somehow produced both matter and anti-matter, but somehow, perhaps in some flaw inherant in the singularity, more matter as we know it survived to become stars and, in time, us. We are therefore children of the singularity, and the matter that makes up our selves was part of the singularity. <br /><br />What it might have looked like is an interesting question. We can always posit an observer, even if that observer would have no matter or spacetime to exsist in, and no way to report his findings, being outside the Universe. Perhaps we should rather put him inside the singularity, but we have no idea what the singularity was like, so we can't even imagine what he might report.
 
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weeman

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<font color="yellow"> Good topic to bring up weeman! But there's one aspect of the big bang that I never understood. Do you believe the big bang was one massive explosion in a certain space and time? If so, wouldn't we have to look in to one specific direction of the universe to try and observe this "Big Bang?" If we can look in to any direction of space and see what was, shouldn't this tell us that the big bang occurred in many places (Big Bangs) and not just one? <br /><br /> </font><br /><br />Mytheory, Ashish is correct in the post above. Since the big bang happened as a single point, and expanded outwards, we can't look in a single direction, because the big bang happened everywhere.<br /><br />The big bang didn't happen IN space, the big bang WAS space. So, we can't look to a single direction and say, "Look! There's the big bang!" <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />This is why we see an even progression in the age of galaxies no matter what direction we look into the sky. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Techies: We do it in the dark. </font></strong></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>"Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.</strong><strong>" -Albert Einstein </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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mytheory

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The thing that really messes with my head is that everything in the universe is moving away from eachother at an increased rate of speed. Isn't this imposible? Shouldn't these objects be slowing down, or at very most be staying at a constant speed? Maybe the universe is younger than we think and hasn't had a chance to slow down yet. We might be in the early stages of "being" in this universe. Maybe X amount of Billions of years isn't as long a period of time as we think it is, as far as the life of space in concerned. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="font-weight:bold" class="Apple-style-span">@LEX</span> </div>
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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<font color="yellow">The thing that really messes with my head is that everything in the universe is moving away from eachother at an increased rate of speed. Isn't this imposible? Shouldn't these objects be slowing down, or at very most be staying at a constant speed?</font><br /><br />{Vader_voice} Come to the dark side Luke, errr, mytheory, come to the dark side {/Vader_voice}<br /><br /><br />Yeah, you had thunk that perhaps the gravity of all the matter in the universe would be slowing the expansion down. This was the generally accepted idea a little over a decade ago. 2 groups set out to prove this was the case and instead discovered that the universe is expanding faster now than it was in the past. This was a most unexpected result and the reason is still unknown today. The term dark energy has been coined as a method to explain why this occurs. Other think dark energy is a myth and there's different explanation. Your confusion on this topic is proper. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
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mytheory

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I still think black holes have something to do with other stars appearing as if they're moving away from us at an increased rate of speed. I don't think the expansion of space is the only culprit in this illusion. I think something's going on in our own neighborhood(galaxy)that's affecting us and how we're seeing things happen around us. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="font-weight:bold" class="Apple-style-span">@LEX</span> </div>
 
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SpeedFreek

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Points to remember, about the big bang theory.<br /><br />The big bang theory is not about the origin of the universe. Rather, its primary focus is the development of the universe over time.<br /><br />Big bang theory does <b>not</b> imply that the universe was ever point-like. It might, however, imply that our <b>observable</b> universe was once the size of a planck length perhaps, but it may well have been part of something that was already a great deal larger.<br /><br />The origin of the universe was not an explosion of matter into already existing space.<br /><br /> This article explains the current state of the theory, and explains it well. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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At beginning you never saw big bang.Wavelengths that we came much later.
 
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mytheory

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why is the term "Big Bang" used when speaking of the start of the know universe if there was never an explosion. Also if we are unable to see back through space and time to wittness this event happen then why do scientists theorize one actually occurred? Sounds pretty speculative to me! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="font-weight:bold" class="Apple-style-span">@LEX</span> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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Hoyle found the big bang theory funny.It was a dig ,he named big bang .He believes in steady stste theory.
 
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mytheory

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huuuh? a dig? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="font-weight:bold" class="Apple-style-span">@LEX</span> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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a dig=a purposeful joke to make fun of. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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SpeedFreek

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From the link I posted earlier:<br /><br /><i>"There are a number of reasons that these misconceptions persist in the public mind. First and foremost, the term "Big Bang" was originally coined in 1950 by Sir Fred Hoyle, a staunch opponent of the theory. He was a proponent of the competing "Steady State" model and had a very low opinion of the idea of an expanding universe. Another source of confusion is the oft repeated expression "primeval atom". This was used by Lemaitre (one of the theory's early developers) in 1927 to explain the concept to a lay audience, albeit one that would not be familiar with the idea of nuclear bombs for a few decades to come. With these and other misleading descriptions endlessly propagated by otherwise well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) media figures, it is not surprising that many people have wildly distorted ideas about what BBT says. Likewise, the fact that many in the public think the theory is rather ridiculous is to be expected, given their inaccurate understanding of the theory and the data behind it."</i><br /><br />So the term "big-bang" was actually coined by an opponent of the theory, in an attempt to belittle the concept.<br /><br />But why do we think everything was a lot closer together in the past? We think this because when we look at galaxies outside our own cluster of galaxies, those more distant galaxies <b>all</b> seem to be moving away from us. And the further we look (which means the further back in time we are looking at) we see galaxies moving away faster. At the furthest distances we see galaxies moving away the fastest of all - they are apparently receding at many times the speed of light.<br /><br />If our observations that redshift = speed of recession are correct, then the only model that is consistent with our observations is a model where everything was close together early on, and everything now is a lot more far apart. Thus it seems the universe is expanding, which causes distances between distant objects to <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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mytheory

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Wow, now that was a good answer! I better understand the workings of the universe. It's not looking so speculative anymore, thanks to you.. haaha <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="font-weight:bold" class="Apple-style-span">@LEX</span> </div>
 
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