While reading a science journal, it mentioned, several times, “the edge of the Universe.” Since I had no idea that the Universe had a known edge and being ignorant is my least favorite thing I decided to look into it and found this awesome article published by Forbes today 09/23/21. What are the odds of that happening? The article long and very worthy of our attention, so this will be part one.
The writer is gifted in flying us through the Universe while looking closely at both ends of time. Today, for the first time I have time travelled. Are you listening Gareth?
WHAT IS THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE?
“But one thing we are certain about is that the Universe has an edge; not in space, but in time. Because the hot Big Bang occurred a known, finite time in the past- 13.8 billion years ago, with an uncertainty of less than 1% – there’s an edge to how far away we can see. Even at the speed of light, the ultimate cosmic speed limit, there’s a fundamental limit to how far back we can see. The farther away we look, the farther back in time we are able to see.
Today we see the Universe as it exists 13.8 billion years after the hot Big Bang. Most of the galaxies we see are clumped together in galactic groups ( like the Local Group) and rich clusters ( like the Virgo Cluster), separated by enormous regions of mostly empty space known as cosmic void. The galaxies within these voids are a mix of spirals and ellipticals, where the typical Milky Way – like galaxy forms an average of about 1 new Sun – like star per year.
But as we look farther and farther away, we start to see how the Universe grew up to be this way. As we look to great distances, we find that the Universe is slightly less clumpy and slightly more uniform, particularly on larger scales. We see the galaxies are lower in mass and less evolved, there are more spirals and fewer elliptical galaxies. On average, there are greater proportions of bluer stars, and the star formation rate was higher in the past. There is less space between galaxies, on average, but the overall massed of groups and clusters is smaller at earlier times.
It paints a picture of a Universe where today’s modern galaxies were created by smaller, lower – mass galaxies merging together over cosmic timescales, building themselves up to become modern – day behemoths we see all around us. “
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