The center of the Universe

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Jerromy

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I still don't see how a singularity as the BBT proposes could be veiwed as anything but a central starting point. The one thing we might all agree on is that a singularity occupies a single place, whether space existed or not. Whether other "dimensions" exist or not. Whether other singularities existed simultaniously or not. Our singularitous existence in this "universe" either started in one place in a finite void or it started in many places across an infinite void but the philosophical argument is the same... did our "visible" universe start at a central point and we can't see what else is out there or is there an infinite amount of matter throughout an infinite space, which obviously cannot have a center because anywhere and everywhere is the center of infinity.

Worthless old me says, "If the universe is infinite and life is abundant, what does it really matter what we think or do? We cannot change inifinity meaningfully and most of the other lives will never be affected."
 
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nimbus

Guest
Jerromy":2ji5t2mt said:
Our singularitous existence in this "universe" either started in one place in a finite void or it started in many places across an infinite void but the philosophical argument is the same... did our "visible" universe start at a central point and we can't see what else is out there or is there an infinite amount of matter throughout an infinite space, which obviously cannot have a center because anywhere and everywhere is the center of infinity.
It's not the same. The universe, visible and not, all started together. There is no center not because the universe is infinite, but because the BB happened everywhere at once.
The singularity is a chronological threshold past which theory can't peer. It's a separate thing from the center riddle.
 
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Jerromy

Guest
Thank you nimbus for discussing this with me... and thanks in advance if we can continue this philosophical debate.

nimbus":311rn0nh said:
It's not the same. The universe, visible and not, all started together. There is no center not because the universe is infinite, but because the BB happened everywhere at once.
If the universe, visible as well as what we cannot see, is not inifinite, then there has to be either a center of what "exists"or a really big loop that we cannot detect. If it is a really big loop then I do not see how space could expand over top of other space... seems a bit further far-fetched than space expanding in the first place.

nimbus":311rn0nh said:
The singularity is a chronological threshold past which theory can't peer. It's a separate thing from the center riddle.
I'm kind of confused... please bear with me.
A black whole (a non-visualizable chunk of highly gravitational mass) is believed to be a singularity beyond the event horizon (where nothing but neutrinos can escape from) but none the less a confined area of space whether expanding or not can be determined as a 3D location with conceivable boundaries at any given time of observation.

A finite set of mass within finite space whether it can be accounted for prior to the expansion of space would still have a finite center of philosophical rights whether we had mathematical tools to calculate it or not, whether we could say space existed or matter existed would be irrelevant at that point... if the universe is finite it has limits, if it has limits it has a possibly calculatable boundary of existing mass and therefore a center. Even if it was all in a big loop there either would have to be a constant "balance" of mass or a "heaviest spot" that could be called a center since things could be pulled "that way".
 
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dilligaff01

Guest
I have a question for Fallingstar1971 regarding your post. This is a little off topic and I apologize for that but I'm a curious guy.

Fallingstar1971":1rs0l40e said:
Thinking about it this way the faster you accelerate (1x, 2x, 100x C). If you are traveling at C, the Universe stops expanding (at least from your speedy vantage point) If you go even faster, (100x C) than to you, the Universe would be shrinking instead of expanding. You would be so "outrunning" expansion that you could "catch the edge" so to speak. All space would then appear to get smaller and smaller and smaller

And if your outrunning space, then your also outrunning time. Traveling farther and farther back the faster you go. So that by the time you made your 15 billion ly trip, you will have traveled at least 15 billion years into the past. The moment you arrive you will be outside the visible Universe.

What would you see?

How about the same thing you see now, except instead of everything being redshifted, its now blue shifted with all points of space contracting twords you.
My question is, if speed is the key then wouldn't slowing down also be true? I've been reading through all these posts and I must admit my head hurts but if one extreme of speed was true wouldn't the other extreme also be true? I posted way back on page 3 or 4 and asked if the BB could have been caused by the proposed singularity slowing down below the speed of light (I was the bus with no windows guy). I'm still trying to get my head around all this so please bear with me but if speed is the key and exceeding the speed of light at some point would give us the perspective that the universe is receding instead of expanding, couldn't that cause us to perceive the universe as expanding from our limited perspective? If we were to find a way to become completely still and motionless would time stop from our perspective?

I'm not proposing any theories or anything so be gentle. I'm just trying to understand some of this a bit better and questions like this are a little insight into how my mind works :)
 
M

mabus

Guest
Jerromy":1bpjyc8l said:
I still don't see how a singularity as the BBT proposes could be veiwed as anything but a central starting point. The one thing we might all agree on is that a singularity occupies a single place, whether space existed or not. Whether other "dimensions" exist or not.
Actually, no :)

This is a very difficult thing to wrap your head around initially and is the source of most of the confusion and misunderstandings related to the Big Bang.

The Big Bang did not occur in a central space inside our current universe. You're thinking of the current universe as some huge room, and inside it "somewhere" is the PLACE where it happened. But that's not what it is at all. It is a fundamentally wrong view of the Big Bang.

Think of the universe itself like a huge room (as you obviously are already) but imagine the room itself getting larger or smaller. As you go back in time the room is smaller and smaller and smaller. There is no "PLACE" that is the center. EVERY point in space (Every part of the room, or universe) is simultaneously expanding outward. There is no place that is expanding more than others, and the expansion is not coming from any particular location. It's not something INSIDE the room that is expanding, but rather the room itself. The expansion is not coming from somewhere INSIDE the universe, rather, the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is expanding. There really is no central point of origin.

dilligaff01":1bpjyc8l said:
I posted way back on page 3 or 4 and asked if the BB could have been caused by the proposed singularity slowing down below the speed of light (I was the bus with no windows guy). I'm still trying to get my head around all this so please bear with me but if speed is the key and exceeding the speed of light at some point would give us the perspective that the universe is receding instead of expanding, couldn't that cause us to perceive the universe as expanding from our limited perspective? If we were to find a way to become completely still and motionless would time stop from our perspective?

I'm not proposing any theories or anything so be gentle. I'm just trying to understand some of this a bit better and questions like this are a little insight into how my mind works :)
Singularities do not slow down or speed up. They are simply areas of the universe where our ability to describe them mathematically break down. We need new mathematical tools to describe what happens there. Nothing ever exceeds the speed of light. The BB was not caused by singularities exceeding light.

You did latch onto something, we can never really be totally still and motionless. We are always in motion relative to something else. If we are sitting perfectly still on earth for example, the earth is moving around the sun, which is moving around in the milky way, which is moving around it's galactic cluster of galaxies, which is moving around the universe. You are never truly motionless.

The key is not speed so much as it is RELATIVE speed (hence relativity). It's not merely what speed you are travelling, but what speed you are travelling RELATIVE to some other observer who is in some other reference frame. If you are travelling near light speed for example, you would not notice anything different in your rocket ship. If you came back to earth after 30 weeks however, you may find that everyone on earth has aged 30 years. By travelling at insanely different speeds, in totally different reference frames, you have altered the rate at which time passes between both reference frames, but this has nothing at all to do with the Big Bang that I am aware of.
 
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dilligaff01

Guest
mabus":3m2d6mum said:
[
Think of the universe itself like a huge room (as you obviously are already) but imagine the room itself getting larger or smaller. As you go back in time the room is smaller and smaller and smaller. There is no "PLACE" that is the center. EVERY point in space (Every part of the room, or universe) is simultaneously expanding outward. There is no place that is expanding more than others, and the expansion is not coming from any particular location. It's not something INSIDE the room that is expanding, but rather the room itself. The expansion is not coming from somewhere INSIDE the universe, rather, the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is expanding. There really is no central point of origin.

dilligaff01":3m2d6mum said:
I posted way back on page 3 or 4 and asked if the BB could have been caused by the proposed singularity slowing down below the speed of light (I was the bus with no windows guy). I'm still trying to get my head around all this so please bear with me but if speed is the key and exceeding the speed of light at some point would give us the perspective that the universe is receding instead of expanding, couldn't that cause us to perceive the universe as expanding from our limited perspective? If we were to find a way to become completely still and motionless would time stop from our perspective?

I'm not proposing any theories or anything so be gentle. I'm just trying to understand some of this a bit better and questions like this are a little insight into how my mind works :)
Singularities do not slow down or speed up. They are simply areas of the universe where our ability to describe them mathematically break down. We need new mathematical tools to describe what happens there. Nothing ever exceeds the speed of light. The BB was not caused by singularities exceeding light.

You did latch onto something, we can never really be totally still and motionless. We are always in motion relative to something else. If we are sitting perfectly still on earth for example, the earth is moving around the sun, which is moving around in the milky way, which is moving around it's galactic cluster of galaxies, which is moving around the universe. You are never truly motionless.

The key is not speed so much as it is RELATIVE speed (hence relativity). It's not merely what speed you are travelling, but what speed you are travelling RELATIVE to some other observer who is in some other reference frame. If you are travelling near light speed for example, you would not notice anything different in your rocket ship. If you came back to earth after 30 weeks however, you may find that everyone on earth has aged 30 years. By travelling at insanely different speeds, in totally different reference frames, you have altered the rate at which time passes between both reference frames, but this has nothing at all to do with the Big Bang that I am aware of.
My questions are about the center of the universe, not directly about the big bang. I'm sure that I'm explaining this poorly because I'm trying to understand this out as I go along but everything we measure is relative because everything we can see is in independent motion (for lack of a better term). We have no definite reference point to gauge anything. We can look at other matter in the universe and gauge it's speed relative to our own and/or to the speed of light but we can't gauge anything about the actual universe itself. If moving many times faster than the speed of light would make it appear that the universe was shrinking, wouldn't moving much slower make it appear that the universe was expanding and throw the calculations off? If the earth is moving at Xmph around the sun and the solar system is moving at X10mph in the Milky Way and the Milky Way is moving at X1000mph through the universe and the universe is (?)moving(?) ... (?)spinning(?) X10000000000000mph though (?)whatever then wouldn't that throw everything off from our perspective? I realize theorists don't use mph, this is just to simplify it for me. The people that figured this stuff out are much smarter than I am. Couldn't the universe be neither expanding or contracting but it appeared that it was from our perspective? Possibly all the matter in the universe came from a singularity and is moving away from that point with no effect on the universe itself. Wouldn't that mean the universe has a center but because we are trying to use only the matter in the universe we can't find it?

I realize from reading through the posts that you guys and gals are all way beyond me on this and I appreciate your patience with me. In order for me to understand something I try to break it down into it's simplest parts and put it back together. Brighter people than me have re-checked the math that I will never understand, I am just curious about what was taken into account for the computations. That's where all the over-simplified questions are coming from.
 
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mabus

Guest
dilligaff01":25iaz2vo said:
My questions are about the center of the universe, not directly about the big bang. I'm sure that I'm explaining this poorly because I'm trying to understand this out as I go along
You're doing great. Everyone has the same difficulty understanding this stuff when they are introduced to it. You are in very good company asking these questions :)

dilligaff01":25iaz2vo said:
but everything we measure is relative because everything we can see is in independent motion (for lack of a better term). We have no definite reference point to gauge anything. We can look at other matter in the universe and gauge it's speed relative to our own and/or to the speed of light but we can't gauge anything about the actual universe itself.
The point with relativity is specifically that the universe has no percievable center. Without a central point there is nothing to measure movement relative to an absolute frame of reference. Since there is no absolute frame of reference (no central point), everything moves in relation to everything else. We do not gauge it relative to the speed of light.

dilligaff01":25iaz2vo said:
If moving many times faster than the speed of light would make it appear that the universe was shrinking, wouldn't moving much slower make it appear that the universe was expanding and throw the calculations off If the earth is moving at Xmph around the sun and the solar system is moving at X10mph in the Milky Way and the Milky Way is moving at X1000mph through the universe and the universe is (?)moving(?) ... (?)spinning(?) X10000000000000mph though (?)whatever then wouldn't that throw everything off from our perspective? I realize theorists don't use mph, this is just to simplify it for me. The people that figured this stuff out are much smarter than I am. Couldn't the universe be neither expanding or contracting but it appeared that it was from our perspective? Possibly all the matter in the universe came from a singularity and is moving away from that point with no effect on the universe itself. Wouldn't that mean the universe has a center but because we are trying to use only the matter in the universe we can't find it?
This is an interesting question and it shows you're really thinking here. Here's the problem; there is no central point, and it's not merely a question of velocities away from it. Think about how an explosion happens. An explosion happens from a central point with material moving away from it. The amount it moves (and spreads) is dependant on where it is in relation to that central point. The further away it is from this central point, the wider the spread, and the slower the rate of accelleration away from it. You can quite literally measure the debris field and determine by going backwards, where the center of the explosion was.

The expansion of the universe does not work that way, which is precisely why we say it is not an explosion.

The first thing to understand here is that the universe is NOT a 3 dimensional object, but we percieve the universe in 3 dimensions. The universe has more dimensions than we can percieve, and this makes it much more difficult to mentally grasp what is happening as it expands. To try to visualize it, we use a 2d to 3d analogy which helps us visualize it, in a very limited way.

To build this analogy we'll use an inflating balloon. You've probably heard the balloon analogy before, but bare with me here anyway.

Now, Imagine an ant walking along a surface of a table. This and, while being a 3 dimensional object, can only percieve it's world in 2 dimensions. It recognizes width and length, but is entirely unable to percieve height. It observes it's entire world as a flat 2 dimensional surface. If you were to hold a pencil, end up, over the table in front of the ant it would not see the pencil, though it would percieve a strange mysterious "shadow" ahead of it. If you put the tip of the pencil on the table it would observe an object appearing out of nowhere, like magic, blocking it's path. You can easily see from this analogy that it's world is more complex than it is able to percieve.

Now let's go back to the balloon. Imagine that we are the ants, and we percieve the universe in 2 dimensions. We live on the surface of the balloon.

As the balloon expands, we observe the expansion as the skin of the balloon stretching everywhere all around us in every direction. We could walk anywhere along the surface of this balloon, and we would never come any closer to the center of the expansion. Every single point along the skin of the balloon is just as close to the center as every other point. Every point of the surface of the balloon is expanding equally to every other, there is literally no center to find.

Now this is not a perfect analogy of course, but it does help you (I hope) to visualize how we observe the universe expanding evenly in every direction. Don't think of it as the universe expanding so much, as stretching. When we think of expansion we tend to think of it expanding FROM a central point, but there really is no central point to be found here. Rather, space is just stretching, and it does so equally in every direction at every single point. It's not stretching FROM a central point. Every single point is stretching just as much as every other point.

If there is a central point causing the stretching we have not found any indication of it at all and are entirely unaware of it. Sorry for the long winded explanation, but I hope it helps you visualize it a bit better.

dilligaff01":25iaz2vo said:
Brighter people than me have re-checked the math that I will never understand, I am just curious about what was taken into account for the computations. That's where all the over-simplified questions are coming from.
Well all the mathematics of course checks out and confirms the model. Also in observing the galaxies we find that they are all rushing away from each other, and that there is no central area they are rushing away from.

As for the simple questions, keep em coming. Don't ever stop asking the simple questions. They are usually the ones that get the most important answers.
 
J

Jerromy

Guest
It seems that this discussion is mostly about a non-existent center of expansion of space in the universe and it is apparently mis-titled. There could be an infinite amount of empty space and a finite amount of matter being dispersed into the void and therefore would conceivably have a center but that is hypothetical. There could be 11 dimensions meaning that x,y,z,t being the first 4 dimensions that there are 7 other dimensions and just 1 more dimension would mean there are a seemingly infinite amount of other spaces with a seemingly infinite amount of stars and they could have more or less than 13.7 billion years of history each. 6 more dimensions? Either someone is trying to misuse a term or they have a far greater understanding of the universe than God does.

I'm sorry but the center of the universe for us is Earth and we need a much better understanding of our home before we can understand what we are revolving around.
 
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dilligaff01

Guest
Thank you for the time, information and patience Mabus. I've read numerous articles about this but this is the first chance I have ever had to bounce questions off of someone.

I'm still digesting the info you gave me and mentally breaking it down to reconstruct the puzzle but 2 questions occur to me.

Question 1) If the universe is expanding, wouldn't the earth be expanding also? Really all the matter in the universe? Instead everything is simply moving away from everything else. Wouldn't that imply that ... well I don't really know what it implies but it seems to me to indicate differences on a basic level. One is not necessarily tied to the other. There is probably an explanation (pencil) for this but I don't understand how we came to the conclusion that the universe can expand without affecting matter in the same way. It just seems to me that we are looking at some ships on a calm sea drifting away from each other and assuming that the ocean is getting larger. When I read the post about traveling many times the speed of light and how it would affect our perception of the universe I began to wonder if the opposite end of the spectrum would have the opposite effect and could it all be tied together. Did we overlook some basic facts staring us in the face (heavier than air flight is impossible even though a flock of birds just flew by the window) to come up with an explanation we liked?

I realize I'm trying to oversimplify an extremely complicated issue and I promise I don't expect you to educate me to the point that I could perform the calculations myself ;) I just sometimes see odd things that don't quite make sense to me and I have to pick and poke until I get an answer or until I get distrac.......Squirrel!! :lol:

Question 2) How do you teach the ant to understand the pencil? :D Just kidding. In all seriousness though this analogy was probably more helpful to me than anything I have read in a long time. Once we figure out what the pencils are then maybe we can begin to understand them. I've read the balloon example a few times but I guess nobody else ever expanded on or simplified the subject enough to get through my thick head. Not sure which one. Anyway, thanks again for that.
 
M

mabus

Guest
dilligaff01":3ay7lf5i said:
Question 1) If the universe is expanding, wouldn't the earth be expanding also? Really all the matter in the universe?
You spotted the difference before I even answered :)

The matter inside the universe is different from the universe itself. The universe is expanding, not the matter inside the universe. Think of a really really really long rubber sheet, and on this rubber sheet are bowling balls of various sizes. Because of their mass, they curve the rubber sheet. This is analogous to the way stars and planets and matter in the universe warps space-time. For the purposes of our analogy the bowling balls would be galaxies (or clusters of galaxies). The universe itself would be the rubber sheet, and that is what would be expanding, and not the bowling balls. Because the rubber sheet (the universe) is expanding, the bowling balls (galaxy clusters) all seem to be moving away from each other in every direction, as opposed to all driving away from a central point.

The analogy is not perfect, because in our rubber sheet example, the rubber sheet has ends which we are pulling on, which stretch the sheet away from a central point, which obviously has a center.

dilligaff01":3ay7lf5i said:
It just seems to me that we are looking at some ships on a calm sea drifting away from each other and assuming that the ocean is getting larger.
That is essentially correct from a certain perspective. Einstein released his theory of Relativity at a time when everyone assumed (incorrectly) that the Milky Way (our Galaxy) was the entire universe. They believed that the universe was eternal, static, and infinite. Relativity however, mathematically demands that the universe expands. When Einstein realized this it went against everything that they believed to be true about the nature of the universe. So certain was he (and everyone else) that the universe was static infinite and eternal, that he introduced his cosmological constant into Relativity, a special unseen force that kept the universe constant and static. After all, how could an infinite universe expand???

Georges Lemaire, rejected the cosmological constant, and realized that if the model was correct, that the universe was expanding, that it must obviously then have been smaller in the past. Extending it backwards in time it must have at a certain point been incredibly small. Years later Hubble discovered that the Milky Way was not the entire universe, but rather a cluster of stars forming an object we today call a Galaxy, and that the sky was filled with many such Galaxies, and that they were all racing away from each other in every direction (much like your ships drifting away from each other).

The difference here, is that the mathematics predicted it with great precision. In order to have the universe we see around us today, it must be expanding as predicted by Relativity long before being observed. We know, from relativity, and from countless lab experiments since, that an expanding universe in this way is nessecary not only to account for the observation of receeding galaxies, but for the very formation of matter itself. Countless experiments have been performed which support the model, leading us to be very confident that it is correct.

It is not MERELY that we observe galaxies racing away from each other, but the experimental verification of what happened each step of the way, as predicted by the mathematical model, which gives us great confidence that this is the way it occured. So while it's true that we say the universe is expanding because we see galaxies racing away from each other, like ships at sea, unlike the ships at sea scenario, there is far more evidence that that, and rather than dreaming up the Big Bang because of the observed expansion, the observed expansion simply verified what had already been predicted by the mathematical model.

dilligaff01":3ay7lf5i said:
Question 2) How do you teach the ant to understand the pencil? :D Just kidding. In all seriousness though this analogy was probably more helpful to me than anything I have read in a long time. Once we figure out what the pencils are then maybe we can begin to understand them. I've read the balloon example a few times but I guess nobody else ever expanded on or simplified the subject enough to get through my thick head. Not sure which one. Anyway, thanks again for that.
Actually there is a way to teach the ant to understand the pencil, provided the ant understood mathematics. We cannot visualize other dimensions easily, but we can calculate them mathematically. That is, I think, our great advantage over the ants and why we shall be their overlords :lol:
 
S

SpeedFreek

Guest
I may be able to retire if mabus keeps making these great posts! ;)
 
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Jerromy

Guest
Well, you can't teach an old ant new tricks. Or so the saying implies. If I was crawling around on a garage floor, trying to rebuild a CVT transmission, and someone told me that you could just replace it with an infinite drive transmission, I would say, "Yes! And I can heat my house with cow farts while I am at it!"

There are the few who really understand true physics, and many more few who can apply them to our future.

I REALLY understand relativity, and I really think Einstien had it right. There is no center of expansion of the universe but there certainly is a center of rotation in which angular momentum plays a vital role. I'm sure we will find it someday but today is not that day so I'll talk to you tomorrow.
 
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dilligaff01

Guest
mabus":1049t8to said:
dilligaff01":1049t8to said:
Question 1) If the universe is expanding, wouldn't the earth be expanding also? Really all the matter in the universe?
You spotted the difference before I even answered :)

The matter inside the universe is different from the universe itself. The universe is expanding, not the matter inside the universe. Think of a really really really long rubber sheet, and on this rubber sheet are bowling balls of various sizes. Because of their mass, they curve the rubber sheet. This is analogous to the way stars and planets and matter in the universe warps space-time. For the purposes of our analogy the bowling balls would be galaxies (or clusters of galaxies). The universe itself would be the rubber sheet, and that is what would be expanding, and not the bowling balls. Because the rubber sheet (the universe) is expanding, the bowling balls (galaxy clusters) all seem to be moving away from each other in every direction, as opposed to all driving away from a central point.

The analogy is not perfect, because in our rubber sheet example, the rubber sheet has ends which we are pulling on, which stretch the sheet away from a central point, which obviously has a center.
I have been going over all the information for the past few days and I have a couple more questions. Everything that we can observe is moving away from everything else equally. If galaxy b is 10,000 light years away from us and it appears that it's moving away at 5,000mph (just for simplicity), then we would appear to be moving away from them at the same rate. If another galaxy was located on the exact opposite side of galaxy b from us then they would observe galaxy b moving away from them at the exact same rate of speed and vice versa. This tells me that even though the expansion doesn't directly affect matter, it still has an effect on matter.

I am going to assume (and I think I read somewhere) that planets are gravitationally locked which prevents them from "drifting" away from their parent star and the parent star is locked somehow in the galaxy. Probably locked to the central black hole that I have read about and is believed to exist in all galaxies. If any of this is incorrect please correct me, I'm asking these questions to learn after all. It seems to me that this would require a tedious and delicate balance between the gravitational pull and the expanding drift or push. Too much of one or the other would disrupt the balance.

My questions are....does it seem like a lot of galaxies that have found this equilibrium or happy medium? Wouldn't we find at least some galaxies flying apart or condensing together or at least some evidence of it happening in the past? Is there some theory that explains this that I have missed?

Sorry if this seems a little off topic. It's all related in my mind and one answer seems to lead me to a dozen new questions. I'm simply following the trail :)
 
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Jerromy

Guest
That last post by dilligaf01 has the obviously best question relative to the center of the universe. If there ever was a lack of balance to a planetary system, a galactic system or even a group of galaxies, the system would collapse or fall apart. I just read an article about a mysterious "dark flow" which answers this question's opposite question. If the universe has a center then would it be possible that it also has an opposite "furthest point from center"? The obvious answer in geometric logic is NO. In 1 dimension space would be a line where a center would have definite "ends". In 2 dimensions space would be a plane as a piece of paper with at least 2 pair of opposite "edges" defining a center point. 3D space in which humans are used to existing in requires at least 3 pair of opposite points to define a certain "center". 4th dimension geometry requires not only the 3 dimension boundaries but a start and end of time to define a center. Where the big bang theory states that a singularity occurs at t=0 could easily be thought of as a start of time but there is no prediction of time ending to define a center.

Back to the dark flow... if there is a point somewhere in space where galaxy clusters are converging on, could that not be considered the center of the universe?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
dilligaff01,
The term "locked" is a bit unclear. What objects in orbit are is graviationally bound to thecenter of mass of the object they are obiting. For the Earth-moon sytem, Sun, Jupiter, etc, we all orbit the center of mass of the solar system as a whole. The earth and moon orbit the center of mass of the earth-moon system (which is also is orbiting the center of mass of the solar system) All the stars and the black hole in a galaxy orbit the center of mass of the entire galaxy. Galaxies in a cluster orbit the center of mass of the whole cluster. In a sense it is a delicate balance, but that balance comes from how each system formed; if that balance wasn't there to start with, the system wouldn't exist in it's present form.
Galaxies have (and are continuing) to expand, contract, and merge...
 
M

mabus

Guest
dilligaff01":3pwgusb5 said:
I have been going over all the information for the past few days and I have a couple more questions. Everything that we can observe is moving away from everything else equally.
Never said that. I never used the word equally. We see different galaxies moving away from other galaxies at different speeds. We even see some racing towards us. The reason is of course gravity. Take for example an asteroid moving towards the earth and impacting it. Before the impact it's moving towards the earth. There are also galaxies moving towards each other and smashing into one another.

dilligaff01":3pwgusb5 said:
If galaxy b is 10,000 light years away from us and it appears that it's moving away at 5,000mph (just for simplicity), then we would appear to be moving away from them at the same rate. If another galaxy was located on the exact opposite side of galaxy b from us then they would observe galaxy b moving away from them at the exact same rate of speed and vice versa. This tells me that even though the expansion doesn't directly affect matter, it still has an effect on matter.
dilligaff01":3pwgusb5 said:
I am going to assume (and I think I read somewhere) that planets are gravitationally locked which prevents them from "drifting" away from their parent star and the parent star is locked somehow in the galaxy. Probably locked to the central black hole that I have read about and is believed to exist in all galaxies. If any of this is incorrect please correct me, I'm asking these questions to learn after all. It seems to me that this would require a tedious and delicate balance between the gravitational pull and the expanding drift or push. Too much of one or the other would disrupt the balance.
I think "Locked" is perhaps the wrong word to use here. Locked suggests it's "locked in place" and can't be moved out of place, but this is not quite the case.

All the matter which did not have an orbit which kept it from falling into other matter, or flying away from the orbit around the sun, either formed part of larger bodies, or flew away. What's left is merely the most successful orbits in terms of survivability (a sort of planetary natural selection if you like).

dilligaff01":3pwgusb5 said:
My questions are....does it seem like a lot of galaxies that have found this equilibrium or happy medium? Wouldn't we find at least some galaxies flying apart or condensing together or at least some evidence of it happening in the past? Is there some theory that explains this that I have missed?
The universe is a very chaotic place, just as the moon and earth have battle scars, from previous asteroid collisions, galaxies also collide with one another, in much the same way. We have many hubble photographs of just such collisions. Here are a couple of examples for you.

The first one is my favorite. It shows one galaxy literally driving through another galaxy that is sideways, like a car smashing through a wall.







 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
mabus":3ug4hcb8 said:
The moon for example is not "locked" into any orbit. It's orbit is slightly off, and because of this it moving slowly further away from the earth.
Actually that's not the reason the moon is moving further away, It's because momentum is slowly being transferred from the earth to the moon as a result of tides. This slows the earth's rotation rate, and increases the size of the moon's orbit.
 
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mabus

Guest
That's a very good point. I stand corrected. I've edited the original post, removing the error.
 
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dilligaff01

Guest
You guys make a good point about the term "locked". Bound by gravity sounds more accurate even to me.

Mabus, you are also correct. You didn't tell me everything was moving away from everything else equally. I think I made that assumption based on some information in one of the links someone posted. Either that or I confused it after reading that the universe is expanding equally in all directions. I'm reading back through some of the things I have read lately to get it straight in my mind.

As far as my questions are concerned I will try to re-phrase them a little bit. The examples you attached were all caused by an outside force. My question is with the sheer number of galaxies that we can observe, wouldn't it be likely that we would see partially formed galaxies who's gravity couldn't overcome the effect of expansion? Partially formed stars, planets and/or whole solar systems "drifting" away from everything else, especially as we view systems that formed relatively soon after the big bang? It seems to me that would be the most chaotic time.

MeteorWayne said that if the balance wasn't there to begin with then the systems wouldn't exist in their present form and that's the question that I'm trying to get across. Isn't it likely that we would see at least a few systems that almost, but not quite, managed to find the balance but failed after some degree of formation? I realize that all galaxies are in varying degrees of formation but we have never observed one that clearly failed. How likely is that in 13 billion years?
 
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MeteorWayne

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There are actually quite a few galaxies that we have discovered lately that have almost no stars, because the gas is not compact enough (due to lack of mass, hence lack of sufficient gravity) to form many stars. So they appear to exist forever as diffuse gas clouds.
 
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dilligaff01

Guest
Ahh, either I haven't read about them or I didn't make the connection if I did. I guess that's the point of all the questions I'm asking though is to help me connect the dots :D

I appreciate all the info and especially the patience you guys have had with me. I'm sure that I will have more questions but I need a bit to mentally break the info down and put it all back together first.

It's a pretty amazing time that we live in when an average joe like myself can get answers to mind boggling questions about the universe itself with a few key strokes :shock:
 
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Molodei

Guest
Reading the former posts, I realized that maybe the center of Galaxy is the place to existion for a powerful artefacts and a feacheres of Creators of Galaxy. Maybe some of you think so. But I think in another case. All human individuals can imagine the center of Galaxy, so the planets near stars, like I am do so. And maybe you are agree, that we are the creators of Galaxy personnally. I am personnally a member of more social think about this question. How you can explain cosmos without us, Russians, and how you can dispay the cosmos processes without us, I don*t know. It*s unbelievable. In fact I*ve invited some russian specialists from Roscosmos to this Forum, but I want to see discussion about cooperation. They also droped up into small questions.
 
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origin

Guest
Molodei":wtai7zkf said:
Reading the former posts, I realized that maybe the center of Galaxy is the place to existion for a powerful artefacts and a feacheres of Creators of Galaxy. Maybe some of you think so. But I think in another case. All human individuals can imagine the center of Galaxy, so the planets near stars, like I am do so. And maybe you are agree, that we are the creators of Galaxy personnally. I am personnally a member of more social think about this question. How you can explain cosmos without us, Russians, and how you can dispay the cosmos processes without us, I don*t know. It*s unbelievable. In fact I*ve invited some russian specialists from Roscosmos to this Forum, but I want to see discussion about cooperation. They also droped up into small questions.
The thread is about the center of the universe (it is generally agreed there is no center). The center of the galaxy appears to have a massive black hole so if there are were any artifacts they are gone.

What do you mean we are the creators of the galaxy? I hope that is an error in translation!
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Molodei":3jzuwu1g said:
Reading the former posts, I realized that maybe the center of Galaxy is the place to existion for a powerful artefacts and a feacheres of Creators of Galaxy. Maybe some of you think so. But I think in another case. All human individuals can imagine the center of Galaxy, so the planets near stars, like I am do so. And maybe you are agree, that we are the creators of Galaxy personnally. I am personnally a member of more social think about this question. How you can explain cosmos without us, Russians, and how you can dispay the cosmos processes without us, I don*t know. It*s unbelievable. In fact I*ve invited some russian specialists from Roscosmos to this Forum, but I want to see discussion about cooperation. They also droped up into small questions.
This discussion is about the center of the Universe, not the center of the galaxy.
 
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