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The size of the universe?

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bobalue

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I have often wondered about the size of the universe. When one considers that when we estimate it's size we do it by observing the red shift of the most distant galaxies that we can see. Suppose the universe is to young for light from the most distant galaxies to have reached us. Suppose our insturments are not sensative enough to pick up the most distant galaxies. If either of these conditions are true then we have no idea how big it just might be. What do learned astromers say about this possibility?
 
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newtonian

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Bobalue - Good questions.<br /><br />I haven't any quotes at hand but I am aware learned astronomers vary on this question.<br /><br />If I remember correctly, astronomer Loeb proposes that our universe extends well beyond our visibility horizon - the limit we can see due to the speed of light.<br /><br />Inflation theory proposes that our universe expanded early faster than light (=FTL). In that case, much of the universe is beyond our visibility horizon, or our light cone.<br /><br />The universe, therefore, could be much larger than a radius of 14 billion light years - but if our universe is 14 billion years old you are correct that we would not see galaxies or quasars over 14 billion light years away yet!<br /><br />I'll let others give their views on this.... <br /><br />Related questions, some which I share:<br /><br />What is the mass of the universe?<br /><br />What is the average density of the universe?<br /><br />How much energy went into the big bang at the singularity and the origin or creation?
 
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nexium

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Main stream opinion is the visable universe has a radius of about 13.7 billion light years. Galaxies have been observed about that far away. Beyond 13.7 light years, galaxies are (some think) receding faster than light speed due to to expanding Universe, which may extend to 50 billion light years. Likely we will never know. Neil
 
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newtonian

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Neil - Unless we learn to observe dark energy, as in a dark energy telescope so to speak!<br /><br />If dark energy propagates faster than light, that is.<br /><br />Then we could 'see' beyond our visibility horizon by this method of observation!<br /><br />There may also be the possibility of extrapolating back by ancient cause and effect stemming from before FTL inflation - i.e. effects from portions of our universe that were at that time all in the same light cone and could have interchange of effects.<br /><br />In that case we could deduce some details about what lies beyond our light cone now.
 
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waxy

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<i>"Main stream opinion is the visable universe has a radius of about 13.7 billion light years"</i><br /><br />if the universe has a radius of only 13.7 light years...<br />1 - where in that sphere of 27.4 diamiter light years does <br />that place us? do we see one edge as closer than the <br />other?<br /><br />2 - what happens if we travel 27.4 light years from here <br />and come to a wall... and climb over it?<br /><br />let me rephrase that - what exactly do people mean by <br />size? <br />is this in refrence to the total volume of space/matter that <br />exsists in the universe?<br /><br />please, i've been dying to ask someone!
 
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harmonicaman

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<i>"The universe, therefore, could be much larger than a <b>radius</b> of 14 billion light years..."</i><br /><br />The <i>size </i> of the universe is a point; a <b>singularity!</b> I think applying dimensional terminology like "Radius" and "Volume" to the universe is improperly descriptive and leads to confusion. The universe is much more complicated than that...<br /><br />It's the same as saying an "Hour" has a "Radius of X" or "Y Volume"; and using the term "Radius" implies that the BB event is half way across the universe, when it is actually back to the very beginning.<br /><br />Every point in the universe has a different perception of what the age and therefore the perceived size of the universe is; and every point also sees itself as being at the very center of the universe (thus the "Radius" term). <br /><br />Our singularity universe has been creating space within itself for about 13.5-16 billion years, that's how big it is -- in our time and space perspective.<br /><br />Just take away the time dimension and we'd be back at the BB event. Add time to the singularity and infinite space is created within the infinitely small point which our universe is expanding into -- at least that's our perspective! (IMHO).
 
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rhodan

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Space.com ran a very interesting article two years ago about the size of our Universe. It's still online: <ul type="square"><b>Universe Measured: We're 156 Billion Light-years Wide!</b><br /><br />If you've ever wondered how big the universe is, you're not alone. Astronomers have long pondered this, too, and they've had a hard time figuring it out. Now an estimate has been made, and its a whopper.<br /><br />The universe is at least 156 billion light-years wide. <br /><br />In the new study, researchers examined primordial radiation imprinted on the cosmos. Among their conclusions is that it is less likely that there is some crazy cosmic "hall of mirrors" that would cause one object to be visible in two locations. And they've ruled out the idea that we could peer deep into space and time and see our own planet in its youth.<br /><br />First, let's see why the size is a number you've never heard of before.<br /><br /><b>Stretching reality</b><br /><br />The universe is about 13.7 billion years old. Light reaching us from the earliest known galaxies has been travelling, therefore, for more than 13 billion years. So one might assume that the radius of the universe is 13.7 billion light-years and that the whole shebang is double that, or 27.4 billion light-years wide.<br /><br />But the universe has been expanding ever since the beginning of time, when theorists believe it all sprang forth from an infinitely dense point in a Big Bang.<br /><br />"All the distance covered by the light in the early universe gets increased by the expansion of the universe," explains Neil Cornish, an astrophysicist at Montana State University. "Think of it like compound interest."<br /><br />Need a visual? Imagine the universe just a million years after it was born, Cornish suggests. A batch of light travels for a year, covering one light-year. "At that time, the universe was about 1,000 times smaller than it is today," he said. "Thus, that one light-year has now stretched to become 1,000 light-years."<br /></ul>
 
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bobalue

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Thanks to everyone that replyed to my question. I think I have a better understanding now. There were many interesting things said and it makes me wonder why I never ask the question before. It is something I have wondered about for 40 years. Thanks again.
 
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newtonian

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Bobalue - size also involves shape. To fully answer your question we need to know shape.<br /><br />Ii also involves dimensions. As Rhodan accurately noted, our universe is very complex.<br /><br />We do not know how complex - for example, there is String theory - actually a number of models of this theory - which involve additional dimensions.<br /><br />Sometimes it helps to have a simple, accurate, visual view of our universe at it appears from outside.<br /><br />This view is stated here:<br /><br />(Isaiah 40:22) . . .There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers, the One who is stretching out the heavens just as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent in which to dwell. . .<br /><br />The additional membrane models, such as the collision of branes theory for the origin of our universe, and also <br />String theory, which may be alluded to by the tentcloths above - are beyond scientific observational evidence so I will avoid that - except for this simple reference to it.<br /><br />However, the stretching fine gause model of Is.40:22 has been confirmed by scientific observation and computer modeling based on actual observation.<br /><br />I.e. our universe really does appear like a stretching fine gauze with its threads and filaments.<br /><br />Now, does that stretching fine gauze have a center?<br /><br />Some claim to know but we really don't know. <br /><br />The problem, as explained in the context of Isaiah 40, is that we and earth are so small compared with the heavens.<br /><br />In a stretching fine gauze all points separated by large distances [smaller distances involvle recoiling of broken bonds - see Job 38:31-33 and the thousands of local galaxies incl. Milky Way streaming towards the Great Attractor.] expand away from each other and more distant points expand away faster.<br /><br />This is what we observe. <br /><br />However, we are so small that we cannot determine if there is a center or an edge.<br /><br />
 
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rhodan

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<i>This view is stated here: <br /><br />(Isaiah 40:22) . . .There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers, the One who is stretching out the heavens just as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent in which to dwell. . .</i><br /><br />LOL! There is nothing worthwile in that verse that justifies quoting it in a science forum. It certainly does not present a view on the size or construct of our Universe. All it says is that we are grasshoppers and that god is somewhere above 'enthroned above the circle of the Earth' (New International Version). Vague as all verses are. It has no merit whatsoever in answering the thread question. It's just another attempt by you to spread your personal, religious agenda. How utterly annoying that you would choose to disrupt yet another thread with farfetched nonsense such as this.
 
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newtonian

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Rhodan - Excuse me - but I have already been thanked for my contribution to this thread.<br /><br />You believe that our universe is not being stretched out like a fine gauze?<br /><br />Or did you fail to note what the verse says?<br /><br />To repeat, for emphasis, the point I was posting on:<br /><br />(Isaiah 40:22) . . .the One who is stretching out the heavens just as a fine gauze. . .<br /><br />Further research into the Hebrew confirms that my comparing this to the stretching out of the threads and filaments of our observable universe is valid.<br /><br />Would you like me to post proof of this?<br /><br />Meanwhile, the fact that the universe is being stretched out or expanding is relevant to thread theme. It means that the size of the universe is increasing - and that is thread theme.<br /><br />Why do you falsely accuse me of disrupting this thread - and wherein have I ever disrupted any other thread on this forum???? <br /><br />Just curious - what agenda do you think I have?<br /><br />Before answering, you might want to review my profile.
 
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rhodan

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<i>You believe that our universe is not being stretched out like a fine gauze?</i><br /><br />I think the author used a metaphore - he mentions a tent later on, not an uncommon habitat for the nomadic peoples of his days - to write about the relation between his god and the people of Earth. Tents can be made of gauze. The Universe is not. <br /><br />Other translations use different words. The New International Version speaks of a canopy instead of a gauze. Your using an ancient religious text --which has been translated and transformed over and over again- to answer a scientific question. This you do all the time. Because you are desperately trying to reconcile the Bible with current scientific findings. However, this is not a message board dedicated to religion. This is a message board dedicated to (space) science. There is no scientific merit in Bible verses. None. Neither is there in the Torah or the Quran or in any other book of religion. That is because they are books of religion, not books of science. T<br /><br />There is only you and your agenda to spread your personal religious beliefs whenever you can. Imagine this board filled with a 100 members like yourself; there would be no room for debating science anymore. We'd be wading through thread up on thread of religious quotes. So, yes, I find your promotion of your own agenda disturbing. Religion can be discussed in both the Free Space and the Phenomena forum. It has no place here.
 
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newtonian

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Rhodan - I see bias rearing its ugly head.<br /><br />I totally disagree with you.<br /><br />And I am prepared to prove it if you are willing to actually examine the evidence.<br /><br />To help you I will resurect some older threads where to detail Biblical astronomy is on thread theme.<br /><br />If you examine the post you are upset about you will note it has considerable content, not just Biblical astronomy. <br /><br />Note, for example, my mention of String theory and collision of branes theory.<br /><br />I note you are not so upset at my injecting unproved scientific theories - but that you are upset at my injecting proved Scripture.<br /><br />You should reflect on your reaction and try to be more objective.<br /><br />And also avoid bias totally.<br /><br />This is, of course, up to you - I am just making a suggestion.<br /><br />Remember, Isaac Newton wrote more on Scripture than on Science (hence my user name). And Galileo appealed to Scriptural indications against a geocentric universe when he dared to challenge the church's adoption of Aristotle's model of the universe.<br /><br />BTW - I thought you were a more friendly poster. Are you having a bad day? If so, I hope things go better for you.
 
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rhodan

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Instead of addressing the points I raise, you chose to ignore them. That's really telling.
 
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newtonian

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Rhodan - Patience!<br /><br />You posted:<br /><br />"Tents can be made of gauze. The Universe is not." <br /><br />The expression is "just as a fine gauze" - not that the heavens is made of the same material as a gauze.<br /><br />The universe has threads and filaments just like a fine gauze has threads and filaments.<br /><br />Further detailing bonds in the heavens, the Bible adds:<br /><br />(Job 38:31-33) 31 Can you tie fast the bonds of the Ki´mah constellation, Or can you loosen the very cords of the Ke´sil constellation? 32 Can you bring forth the Maz´za·roth constellation in its appointed time? And as for the Ash constellation alongside its sons, can you conduct them? 33 Have you come to know the statutes of the heavens, Or could you put its authority in the earth?<br /><br />Thankfully, many of these laws and properties have authority on the earth so scientists can discover them.<br /><br />Specifically note that stellar bonds, i.e. bonds between stars can either hold fast or be loosened. <br /><br />All Scripture is in harmony - so while the threads and filaments are being stretched out (Isaiah 40:22), some bonds are loosened and even break.<br /><br />This literally happens if you stretch a flexible fine gauze. Some threads will break and even recoil.<br /><br />In our universe this has happenned with the gravitational tug of war between the Great Attractor and another attractor in the (roughly) opposite direction.<br /><br />The illustration is valid and scientifically accurate. <br /><br />I will address translation differences soon - please be patient as I need to load The Bible Library CD which includes the version you are citing and also the original Hebrew and Greek and Strong's basic definitions.<br /><br />I may have already done this on another thread. If so, rather than repost I will resurect it (bump it).<br /><br />Note I already added a post on a thread relevant to Is. 40:22 on the earth being round.
 
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newtonian

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Rhodan - Sorry I didn’t give a detailed response sooner:<br /><br />Darby's Bible<br />Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a gauze curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in; <br /><br /> King James<br />Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:<br /><br /> New Jerusalem with Apocrypha<br />Isaiah 40:22 He who sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,<br />the inhabitants of which are like grasshoppers,<br />stretches out the heavens like a cloth,<br />spreads them out like a tent to live in.<br /><br />-- Transliterated, Pronounceable<br />Isaiah 40:22 Hayosheeb`al- chuwg haa'aarets. Wyoshbeyhaa kachgaabiym. HanowTeh kadoqshaamayim. Wayimtaacheem kaa'ohel laashaabet. <br /><br />-- Transliterated, Unaccented<br />Isaiah 40:22 Hayosheb`al- chuwg ha'arets. Wyoshbeyha kachgabiym. HanowTeh kadoqshamayim. Wayimtachem ka'ohel lashabet. <br /><br />Literal with Strong’s numbering:<br /><br />|3427| He who sits<br /> |5921| over<br /> |5475| the circle of<br /> |0776| the earth,<br /> |3427| even its dwellers<br /> |2284| {are} like grasshoppers.<br /> |5186| He who stretches<br /> |1852| like the curtain<br /> |8064| the heavens,<br /> |4969| and spreads them<br /> |0168| like a tent<br /> |3427| to live in.<br /><br />Strong's Ref. # 1852<br /><br />Romanized doq<br />Pronounced doke<br /><br />from HSN1854; something crumbling, i.e. fine (as a thin cloth): <br /><br />KJV--curtain.<br /><br />Note that the literal meaning of the Hebrew word translated “fine gauze” in NW is “something crumbling, I.e. fine (as a thin cloth). NW, my favorite translation, is a fresh literal translation from the original languages, not merely copying popular or traditional renderings such as the King James Versio
 
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newtonian

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Rhodan - This is the only place in the Bible where word #1852, the Hebrew "doq", is used. It is not the same as the Hebrew word for "curtain."<br /><br />The Hebrew word for "curtain" is Strong's #3407 in Hebrew, namely: yeriyah - as you should note right away this word is not at all related to "doq" in Hebrew.<br /><br />NW, my favorite translation, makes this obvious by translating "doq" as "fine gauze" rather than "curtain."<br /><br />Ther Hebrew word translated "tent," btw, is word #168, ohel in Hebrew, is derived from word # 166 - ahal. In fact, ahal and ohel are spelled with the same 3 Hebrew letters (there were no vowels in the original Hebrew).<br /><br />While ohel means "tent" it also from its root ahel means "clear." Ahal is translated "shine" in the King James Version at Job 25:5<br /><br />ohel can also mean "home."<br /><br />Indeed, the heavens are clear and yet shine! <br /><br />My reference however was to the same translation "tent" as you posted on.<br /><br />In ancient times tents were in variouis shapes. The tabernacle, for example, was a rectangular prism. <br /><br />My allusion to the collision of brane's model and String theory had to do with this part of the illustration in Isaiah 40:22.<br /><br />Tentcloths can intersect in basically 3 ways: a straight line, a curved line, a point. The latter intersection of branes constitutes the brane model for the origin of our universe.<br /><br />In String theory, different dimensions can intersect with our 3-d brane or universe in a point or, perhaps, in some other way. I.e. - a straight line would indicate the intersection is with two dimensions rather than merely one.<br /><br />I am not saying the illustration in Isaiah 40:22 is supporting brane models or String theory. However, meditating on the illustration certainly leads to those possible conclusions.<br /><br />Often the Bible gives hints like that which invite scientific research and discovery. <br /><br />Certainly a Hebrew reader would catch the definitio
 
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newtonian

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Rhodan - you posted:<br /><br />Religion can be discussed in both the Free Space and the Phenomena forum. It has no place here.<br /><br />Well, look at my post. I was not discussing religion. I introduced an ancient text which has both religious, historical, moral and scientific references. The reference I cited was on astronomy or cosmology - not religion.<br /><br />The fact is that Biblical astronomy is accurate, while ancient religious texts contain laughable cosmology.<br /><br />Compare, for example, the Jewish Pseudipegrapha for some unscientific cosmology models.<br /><br />Here is another of many examplles:<br /><br />(Job 26:7) 7 He is stretching out the north over the empty place, Hanging the earth upon nothing;<br /><br />Compare this simple accurate statement with the ancient Hindu tradition on a turtle (etc.), or the ancient belief Atlas held up the earth, or Aristotles celestial spheres to which stars were fixed or attached.<br /><br />Now, would you so strongly object to someone posting concerning Aristotle's cosmology - or is it simply Biblical cosmology that you object to?<br /><br />Do you remember the old SDC thread "the hand of God?" [SDC twice removed - i.e. two crashes ago]<br /><br />Note how many responses and views my threads on Biblical astronomy have had!<br /><br />Granted, some choose to ignore my posts when I bring up Biblical astronomy or cosmology. However, many have posted pro and con on these threads.<br /><br />Note the one I recently revived, for example.<br /><br />Now, if SDC changes its policy on this matter, I certainly will go along with it. I am simply following a pattern that existed since I first posted on SDC years ago - as I said, before the two past crashes.
 
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rhodan

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<i>Well, look at my post. I was not discussing religion. I introduced an ancient text which has both religious, historical, moral and scientific references.</i><br /><br />It has no scientific references. What kind of credentials does Isahaia have? Has his work on Astronomy been peer reviewed? <br /><br /><i>The reference I cited was on astronomy or cosmology - not religion.</i><br /><br />No, you are quoting a ancient religious text with NO scientific value on a science board. Quoting ancient religious texts would be appropriate in a religion forum, not a science forum.<br /><br /><i>Now, if SDC changes its policy on this matter, I certainly will go along with it. I am simply following a pattern that existed since I first posted on SDC years ago - as I said, before the two past crashes.</i><br /><br />Yes, I understand you have been allowed to preach here for a long time. A policy change is indeed considered at the moment and we will inform you if anything changes.
 
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waxy

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Religion mixed with science has entered this thread...<br /><br />shall we go back 300 years and worship the Holey rotten<br />steak that has performed spointanious animation?<br /><br />i'd rather be thankful that a religious man seeks more <br />knowledge (instead of saying it's all in the book) than to <br />critisize him for it.<br /><br />now, to try and get you two back on track, here a are relevant <br />questions about the big bang....<br />-how long was it around before it blew up, <br />-what took it so long, <br />and <br />-where did all of that primordial big bang matter come from, <br />anyway?<br /><br />
 
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