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(io9)   Astronomers discover galaxy far, far away   (io9.com) divider line 74
    More: Cool, galaxies, astronomers, light-years away, solar masses, Hubble Space Telescope, redshifts, Milky Way  
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3097 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Oct 2013 at 9:38 PM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



74 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-10-23 08:36:14 PM
Sentences like this drive me crazy: "It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists. " No, it was producing stars 13.1 billion years ago. We have no idea what's happening there now.
 
2013-10-23 08:38:55 PM
And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.
 
2013-10-23 08:58:20 PM
Oooooooo... pretty picture!
 
2013-10-23 09:07:48 PM
Cool? Try Asinine.

Now when astronomers discover their asses, get off them, and get a manned Mars flight or ten going, that will be cool.

The only thing less cool than stars we can't reach is stars we can't reach billions of times farther away than those stars.
 
2013-10-23 09:11:43 PM
On a cosmic timeline, 700 million years is not "a long time ago"
 
2013-10-23 09:18:45 PM
Also stars are the least cool things in existence because fusion. So even if you're into deep field stuff, it's still hot, hot, HOT.

But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?
 
2013-10-23 09:30:08 PM

simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.


6000 light years away.
FIFY
 
2013-10-23 09:30:42 PM

doglover: But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?


ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
EUROPA
ATTEMPT NO
LANDING THERE
 
2013-10-23 09:34:08 PM

grokca: simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.

6000 light years away.
FIFY


Huh? Article says:
To confirm its distance, which is now at a jaw-dropping 30 billion light-years away, astronomers took a look at its redshift value - a wavelength signature indicating the rate at which light-emitting objects are moving away from us."
 
2013-10-23 09:35:26 PM

Shostie: doglover: But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?

ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
EUROPA
ATTEMPT NO
LANDING THERE


fark you, I'm not just attempting. We're colonizing that biatch. Soon as we cure up to 500 rads daily radiation dose or so..
 
2013-10-23 09:53:59 PM
Braaaaaa dun na na, dununununun naaaaa, dun dun dun daaa, daaaa.......
 
2013-10-23 09:55:10 PM
Happy Dale Galaxy, anyone?
 
2013-10-23 10:00:13 PM
How does a galaxy that old, when the whole universe was new, have a high metallicity?
 
2013-10-23 10:05:58 PM

doglover: But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?


Because it takes 12 parsecs to do the Kessel run...duh!
 
2013-10-23 10:06:15 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: How does a galaxy that old, when the whole universe was new, have a high metallicity?


Left over from the previous big bang.
 
2013-10-23 10:07:15 PM

doglover: Also stars are the least cool things in existence because fusion. So even if you're into deep field stuff, it's still hot, hot, HOT.

But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?


It is, just not probes from earth.
 
2013-10-23 10:12:12 PM

doglover: Also stars are the least cool things in existence because fusion. So even if you're into deep field stuff, it's still hot, hot, HOT.

But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?


ALL THESE WORLDS ARE THE PROPERTY OF MONSANTO
TRESPASSERS WILL BE VAPORIZED
 
2013-10-23 10:14:41 PM

simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.


Age and distance are two separate things when it comes to the speed of light, despite the fact that the same unit is used for each.
 
2013-10-23 10:18:08 PM

simplicimus: Sentences like this drive me crazy: "It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists. " No, it was producing stars 13.1 billion years ago. We have no idea what's happening there now.


I have no idea what my screen is doing right now.
 
2013-10-23 10:19:37 PM

simplicimus: Suckmaster Burstingfoam: How does a galaxy that old, when the whole universe was new, have a high metallicity?

Left over from the previous big bang.


Sciencedoesntworkthatway.jpg
 
2013-10-23 10:20:58 PM

Ishkur: simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.

Age and distance are two separate things when it comes to the speed of light, despite the fact that the same unit is used for each.


so "away" doesn't refer to distance all the time?
 
2013-10-23 10:22:47 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: simplicimus: Suckmaster Burstingfoam: How does a galaxy that old, when the whole universe was new, have a high metallicity?

Left over from the previous big bang.

Sciencedoesntworkthatway.jpg


I enjoy the certainty that some people have that there was only one, true Big Bang.
 
2013-10-23 10:37:53 PM

simplicimus: so "away" doesn't refer to distance all the time?


No. The light from that galaxy is telling us how old it is, not how far away it is.

The Universe is 13.72 billion years old yet 92 billion light-years wide.
 
2013-10-23 10:39:41 PM

simplicimus: Sentences like this drive me crazy: "It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists. " No, it was producing stars 13.1 billion years ago. We have no idea what's happening there now.


What we see is what is happening now. There is no objective viewpoint where time clicks by at one second per second, where someone can look down and see us as we are now, posting to Fark, and whatever that galaxy becomes 13.1 billion years after it emitted the light we now see. As far as we are concerned, that galaxy, as we see it, is now just as much as October 23rd here on Earth is.
 
2013-10-23 10:40:04 PM
Astronerds out there... How could something be 30 billion light years away if the universe is only 13 billion years old? I would think the maximum distance, assuming diametrically opposed points in the universe could be around 26 billion...

what gives?
 
2013-10-23 10:41:53 PM

sgnilward: Astronerds out there... How could something be 30 billion light years away if the universe is only 13 billion years old? I would think the maximum distance, assuming diametrically opposed points in the universe could be around 26 billion...

what gives?


Because the universe is expanding, too. It is like writing something on a balloon, then blowing it up.
 
2013-10-23 10:42:48 PM

sgnilward: Astronerds out there... How could something be 30 billion light years away if the universe is only 13 billion years old? I would think the maximum distance, assuming diametrically opposed points in the universe could be around 26 billion...

what gives?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29
 
2013-10-23 10:43:41 PM

simplicimus: I enjoy the certainty that some people have that there was only one, true Big Bang.


Which is total nonsense. Everyone knows that a second Big Bang visited the US and spoke with the lost tribes of Israel.
 
2013-10-23 10:50:13 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: How does a galaxy that old, when the whole universe was new, have a high metallicity?


Maybe its unusually high rate of star formation is producing lots of short-lived, high mass stars that subsequently produce and, er...distribute said metals.

And by distribute I mean explode violently.
 
2013-10-23 10:52:32 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: sgnilward: Astronerds out there... How could something be 30 billion light years away if the universe is only 13 billion years old? I would think the maximum distance, assuming diametrically opposed points in the universe could be around 26 billion...

what gives?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29


Read it, didn't get it...

if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?
 
2013-10-23 10:53:13 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: How does a galaxy that old, when the whole universe was new, have a high metallicity?


Maybe our guestimates of what happened billions of years before our planet even existed are, and you'll excuse me if this is too wild for you, not 100% accurate.
 
2013-10-23 10:55:55 PM

sgnilward: Quantum Apostrophe: sgnilward: Astronerds out there... How could something be 30 billion light years away if the universe is only 13 billion years old? I would think the maximum distance, assuming diametrically opposed points in the universe could be around 26 billion...

what gives?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29

Read it, didn't get it...

if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?


The speed of light isn't the fastest speed there is, it's the fastest energy can travel through space. The fastest things are instantaneous. If you don't waste time going through B-Y, A gets to Z pretty damn quickly.
 
2013-10-23 11:02:07 PM
My first act after getting my spaceship will be to leave a giant dookie on Europa.
 
2013-10-23 11:18:48 PM

sgnilward: if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?


Okay, first of all it's important to understand what the Universe is doing when it expands. I explained this in the other thread:

Think of it like this: The Big Bang wasn't an explosion but rather an expansion of space-time. The galaxies aren't moving away from each other or from some central point. Rather, the space between the galaxies is filling up with more space. Because of this, the things furthest away from us are moving away faster than things closer to us. Basically, the more space that exists between us and a distant object, the more space there is that can fill up, so the gap gets bigger faster.

Moreover, wherever you are in the Universe, you will observe this exact same phenomenon, so it looks like you are the center with everything moving away from you, and the farthest things moving away the fastest.

Here's a 2D example to show what that looks like:

img.fark.net

In other words, there is no center of the Universe because everywhere is the center.

Secondly, you must understand that there is no such thing as any objective standard time. Time is relative and predicated on gravity and velocity. Things move at different rates in relation to other things, so while we say that the Universe is 13.72 billion years old, that is a metric that only means something to us, from our vantage point. That is not a Universal Standard Time index. The Universe doesn't have one. So light only travels at light-speed in relation to things not traveling at light-speed. Things behave very strange at relativistic speeds. If you were traveling at the speed of light, you could traverse the entire Universe in about 56 years. But the Universe itself will age 13.72 billion years during that time. And it will be much bigger.

If you don't understand any of this, don't worry about it. The Universe is a very weird place. It's not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine.
 
2013-10-23 11:19:44 PM

sgnilward: if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?


You're looking at it from a fixed frame of reference, which doesn't apply in this case. Individual galaxies are moving away from each other at a small fraction of the speed...about 1000 km per second in the case of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. At the same time space itself is inflating at all scales, from the quantum to the intergalactic, so that galaxies at the edge of visibility are much further away after 13 billion years than can be explained by our relative motions, even though they are not moving faster than light.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)
 
2013-10-23 11:22:55 PM
56 seconds...shakes tiny fist! ;^)
 
2013-10-23 11:32:19 PM
Isn't space expanding faster than the speed of light?
 
2013-10-23 11:35:35 PM

simplicimus: Ishkur: simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.

Age and distance are two separate things when it comes to the speed of light, despite the fact that the same unit is used for each.

so "away" doesn't refer to distance all the time?


I'm about five years away from offing myself. er... five years away from getting married.
see, not always distance.
 
2013-10-23 11:39:25 PM

doglover: Now when astronomers discover their asses, get off them, and get a manned Mars flight or ten going, that will be cool.


I'm pretty sure that's not in the job description.
 
2013-10-23 11:44:48 PM

simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.


Right? I noticed that too. The numbers here make no sense.
 
2013-10-23 11:45:52 PM

doglover: Also stars are the least cool things in existence because fusion. So even if you're into deep field stuff, it's still hot, hot, HOT.

But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?


"What part of 'attempt no landings' do you not understand?"
 - God
 
2013-10-23 11:59:20 PM

Thunderboy: doglover: Now when astronomers discover their asses, get off them, and get a manned Mars flight or ten going, that will be cool.

I'm pretty sure that's not in the job description.


Doglover is a bit ... naive ... to be polite.
 
2013-10-24 12:33:23 AM
There are some days I think I'm smart, then there are others like today when I read threads like this and can't even start to comprehend the basics of this stuff.
 
2013-10-24 01:05:00 AM
Ishkur, that was an awesome explanation!
 
2013-10-24 01:46:10 AM

simplicimus: grokca: simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.

6000 light years away.
FIFY

Huh? Article says:
To confirm its distance, which is now at a jaw-dropping 30 billion light-years away, astronomers took a look at its redshift value - a wavelength signature indicating the rate at which light-emitting objects are moving away from us."


You didn't get the joke.

/ I'm actually surprised I got it.
 
2013-10-24 02:03:58 AM

dobro: simplicimus: And I'm not going to start on the 30 billion light years away.

Right? I noticed that too. The numbers here make no sense.


Great question! It does make no sense. But the Universe expanded really, really, unimaginably fast.

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=387
How can the Universe expand faster than the speed of light during inflation?
Some sources indicate that the big bang caused an expansion which traveled faster than the speed of light. How can this be?

You ask a good question, one whose answer lies in the subtle difference between expansion that is faster than the speed of light and the propagation of information that is faster than the speed of light. The latter is forbidden by fundamental physical laws, but the former is allowed; that is, as long as you are not transmitting any information (like a light pulse), you can make something happen at a speed that is faster than that of light. The expansion of the Universe is a "growth" of the spacetime itself; this spacetime may move faster than the speed of light relative to some other location, as long as the two locations can't communicate with each other (or, in terms of light rays, these two parts of the Universe can't see each other). According to the theory of inflation, the Universe grew by a factor of 10 to the sixtieth power in less than 10 to the negative thirty seconds, so the "edges" of the Universe were expanding away from each other faster than the speed of light; however, as long as those edges can't see each other (which is what we always assume), there is no physical law that forbids it.
 
2013-10-24 02:28:32 AM
Last Contact, a short story by Stephen Baxter, based on the Big Rip. This is the scariest thing I've read in a long time.
 
2013-10-24 05:09:42 AM
Oh, one day we will get to these astoundingly distant galaxies. We just need to get around to building one of these www.geekenfreude.com
 
2013-10-24 05:12:17 AM
TFA was evidently written by a journalism major.
 
2013-10-24 05:26:25 AM

sgnilward: if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?


Light is the fastest thing through space. But space does not travel through space when it expands. Space can expand faster than light can travel through space. As a result, in the end, nobody will be able to see anything because it will be too far away.

In other words, astronomers have no farking idea what they are doing, and this fudge factor will finally be revealed for the charade it is when people come up with a paradigm that shows the error in current thinking.

And all of this is exactly as predicted by the computer models and included in the IPCC report in diagram 5.
 
2013-10-24 05:42:36 AM

SevenizGud: sgnilward: if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?

Light is the fastest thing through space. But space does not travel through space when it expands. Space can expand faster than light can travel through space. As a result, in the end, nobody will be able to see anything because it will be too far away.


That makes sense, thanks. Other than Wiki, any recommendations of places to look for similar information for someone that can handle the concepts, but who's O Level maths isn't up to the squiggly bits?
 
2013-10-24 06:50:54 AM

Kerr Avon: That makes sense, thanks. Other than Wiki, any recommendations of places to look for similar information for someone that can handle the concepts, but who's O Level maths isn't up to the squiggly bits?


I keep promising myself I'll write a book (or blog or whatever) called Physics for Smarties -- all the science for people smart enough to handle the concepts, but expressed in ways that make sense to someone with a humanities or arts education. Would there be a market for that?
 
2013-10-24 07:02:25 AM

simplicimus: Sentences like this drive me crazy: "It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists. " No, it was producing stars 13.1 billion years ago. We have no idea what's happening there now.


I wonder if it made the Sun.
 
2013-10-24 07:32:38 AM
so we say the universe is X billion years old because we found something that's X light years away, wouldn't it have gotten MUCH farther away in the billions of years it took for that light to reach us?  wouldn't that make the universe quite a bit older?
 
2013-10-24 07:44:00 AM
It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists.

...

It has a mass of one billion suns, which is 40 to 50 billion times less than the Milky Way.


Well, 40-50 billion times less is less than 2%. Nice job, article.
 
2013-10-24 07:48:24 AM

Dibikad: Oh, one day we will get to these astoundingly distant galaxies. We just need to get around to building one of these


We already did.

upload.wikimedia.org

Welcome to the future.
 
2013-10-24 09:01:54 AM

sxacho: It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists.

...

It has a mass of one billion suns, which is 40 to 50 billion times less than the Milky Way.

Well, 40-50 billion times less is less than 2%. Nice job, article.


If the mods insist on greening links to "science" stories on io9, that's the quality of article you're going to get.
 
2013-10-24 09:46:40 AM

simplicimus: Sentences like this drive me crazy: "It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists. " No, it was producing stars 13.1 billion years ago. We have no idea what's happening there now.


I thought the same thing when I read it.
 
2013-10-24 10:04:58 AM

Ishkur: sgnilward: if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?

Okay, first of all it's important to understand what the Universe is doing when it expands. I explained this in the other thread:

Think of it like this: The Big Bang wasn't an explosion but rather an expansion of space-time. The galaxies aren't moving away from each other or from some central point. Rather, the space between the galaxies is filling up with more space. Because of this, the things furthest away from us are moving away faster than things closer to us. Basically, the more space that exists between us and a distant object, the more space there is that can fill up, so the gap gets bigger faster.

Moreover, wherever you are in the Universe, you will observe this exact same phenomenon, so it looks like you are the center with everything moving away from you, and the farthest things moving away the fastest.

Here's a 2D example to show what that looks like:



In other words, there is no center of the Universe because everywhere is the center.

Secondly, you must understand that there is no such thing as any objective standard time. Time is relative and predicated on gravity and velocity. Things move at different rates in relation to other things, so while we say that the Universe is 13.72 billion years old, that is a metric that only means something to us, from our vantage point. That is not a Universal Standard Time index. The Universe doesn't have one. So light only travels at light-speed in relation to things not traveling at light-speed. Things behave very strange at relativistic speeds. If you were traveling at the speed of light, you could traverse the entire Universe in about 56 years. But the Universe itself will age 13.72 billion years during that time. And it will be much bigger.

If you don't understand any of this, don't worry about it. The Universe is a very weird place. It's not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine.


I think an expansion of space-time just occurred inside my head creating what is known as the "mind blown" effect.
 
2013-10-24 10:13:19 AM

czetie: Kerr Avon: That makes sense, thanks. Other than Wiki, any recommendations of places to look for similar information for someone that can handle the concepts, but who's O Level maths isn't up to the squiggly bits?

I keep promising myself I'll write a book (or blog or whatever) called Physics for Smarties -- all the science for people smart enough to handle the concepts, but expressed in ways that make sense to someone with a humanities or arts education. Would there be a market for that?


A Brief History of Time seemed to work well based on the same premise, even for someone with no degree in anything at all.
 
2013-10-24 10:14:59 AM

czetie: Kerr Avon: That makes sense, thanks. Other than Wiki, any recommendations of places to look for similar information for someone that can handle the concepts, but who's O Level maths isn't up to the squiggly bits?

I keep promising myself I'll write a book (or blog or whatever) called Physics for Smarties -- all the science for people smart enough to handle the concepts, but expressed in ways that make sense to someone with a humanities or arts education. Would there be a market for that?


Color me in!
 
2013-10-24 11:48:46 AM

simplicimus: To confirm its distance, which is now at a jaw-dropping 30 billion light-years away, astronomers took a look at its redshift value - a wavelength signature indicating the rate at which light-emitting objects are moving away from us."


yeah I was like

i521.photobucket.com
 
2013-10-24 12:08:47 PM

Kerr Avon: SevenizGud: sgnilward: if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?

Light is the fastest thing through space. But space does not travel through space when it expands. Space can expand faster than light can travel through space. As a result, in the end, nobody will be able to see anything because it will be too far away.

That makes sense, thanks. Other than Wiki, any recommendations of places to look for similar information for someone that can handle the concepts, but who's O Level maths isn't up to the squiggly bits?


Much recommended, a very good read with minimal reliance on math.  There are a few equations but the concepts are simply yet brilliantly explained.

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-10-24 12:21:34 PM
So, what's the current thinking on how the universe ends? Or does it?
 
2013-10-24 01:19:41 PM

Kerr Avon: czetie: Kerr Avon: That makes sense, thanks. Other than Wiki, any recommendations of places to look for similar information for someone that can handle the concepts, but who's O Level maths isn't up to the squiggly bits?

I keep promising myself I'll write a book (or blog or whatever) called Physics for Smarties -- all the science for people smart enough to handle the concepts, but expressed in ways that make sense to someone with a humanities or arts education. Would there be a market for that?

A Brief History of Time seemed to work well based on the same premise, even for someone with no degree in anything at all.


Yes it did, but I'd like to go further. In one text, I'd like to tackle relativity, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics -- the often-neglected third leg of physics. I'd also like to weave in lots of analogies to music and art (e.g. how the basis of quantum uncertainly is like a Pointilistic painting: stand back and you see regions of continuous color, look too closely and all you see are individual discretely colored dots).

And all this from somebody who has no name or reputation to speak of in the scientific world. Not that I'm overambitious or anything, you understand.
 
2013-10-24 01:46:40 PM

simplicimus: So, what's the current thinking on how the universe ends? Or does it?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

are the current leading candidates.
 
2013-10-24 01:55:04 PM

BKITU: simplicimus: So, what's the current thinking on how the universe ends? Or does it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

are the current leading candidates.


I like the Big Rip. Sets the stage for another Big Bang, maybe?
 
2013-10-24 01:55:31 PM

simplicimus: So, what's the current thinking on how the universe ends? Or does it?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COlXVNjklVM
 
2013-10-24 01:58:02 PM

simplicimus: BKITU: simplicimus: So, what's the current thinking on how the universe ends? Or does it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

are the current leading candidates.

I like the Big Rip. Sets the stage for another Big Bang, maybe?


As best we can tell, there's always a stage set for another Big Bang. Universes just happen, sometimes.
 
2013-10-24 02:31:53 PM

simplicimus: Sentences like this drive me crazy: "It's less than 2% the mass of the Milky Way, but it's producing stars at a rate that's confounding scientists. " No, it was producing stars 13.1 billion years ago. We have no idea what's happening there now.


Verb tenses don't even get close to light speed. In the local "now" of that galaxy are probably a six-pack of brown dwarf stars. Who's got marshmallows?
 
2013-10-24 03:10:18 PM

Frozboz: There are some days I think I'm smart, then there are others like today when I read threads like this and can't even start to comprehend the basics of this stuff.


Yeah, this is pretty much my experience every time I read something dealing with cosmology. The worst part is that I occasionally experience moments of clarity where it makes sense. It doesn't last very long and may actually be hallucinations.
 
2013-10-24 10:47:26 PM

simplicimus: So, what's the current thinking on how the universe ends?



He fixes her cable, then right after he leaves, the pizza guy delivers a pepperoni-and-cheese and she gives him a $5 tip.  Then she watches some crap on SyFy while the credits roll.
 
2013-10-24 11:11:15 PM

doglover: Shostie: doglover: But seriously, why is Europa not teeming with probes already?

ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
EUROPA
ATTEMPT NO
LANDING THERE

fark you, I'm not just attempting. We're colonizing that biatch. Soon as we cure up to 500 rads daily radiation dose or so..


Lol. Was just about to post the same "fark you!" message. What are you gonna do, huh? Print messages on my screen some more? Pfft...
 
2013-10-24 11:15:43 PM

Ishkur: sgnilward: if light speed is the fastest speed there is, how can a galaxy outpace it?

Okay, first of all it's important to understand what the Universe is doing when it expands. I explained this in the other thread:

Think of it like this: The Big Bang wasn't an explosion but rather an expansion of space-time. The galaxies aren't moving away from each other or from some central point. Rather, the space between the galaxies is filling up with more space. Because of this, the things furthest away from us are moving away faster than things closer to us. Basically, the more space that exists between us and a distant object, the more space there is that can fill up, so the gap gets bigger faster.

Moreover, wherever you are in the Universe, you will observe this exact same phenomenon, so it looks like you are the center with everything moving away from you, and the farthest things moving away the fastest.

Here's a 2D example to show what that looks like:



In other words, there is no center of the Universe because everywhere is the center.

Secondly, you must understand that there is no such thing as any objective standard time. Time is relative and predicated on gravity and velocity. Things move at different rates in relation to other things, so while we say that the Universe is 13.72 billion years old, that is a metric that only means something to us, from our vantage point. That is not a Universal Standard Time index. The Universe doesn't have one. So light only travels at light-speed in relation to things not traveling at light-speed. Things behave very strange at relativistic speeds. If you were traveling at the speed of light, you could traverse the entire Universe in about 56 years. But the Universe itself will age 13.72 billion years during that time. And it will be much bigger.

If you don't understand any of this, don't worry about it. The Universe is a very weird place. It's not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine.


I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit.
 
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