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Guest Disposable Heroes

The Vastness Of The Universe.

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Guest DisposableHeroes

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.

The universe is at least 156 billion light-years wide.

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.

First, let's see why the size is a number you've never heard of before.

Stretching reality

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.

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.

"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."

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."

All the pieces add up to 78 billion-light-years. The light has not traveled that far, but "the starting point of a photon reaching us today after travelling for 13.7 billion years is now 78 billion light-years away," Cornish said. That would be the radius of the universe, and twice that -- 156 billion light-years -- is the diameter. That's based on a view going 90 percent of the way back in time, so it might be slightly larger.

"It can be thought of as a spherical diameter is the usual sense," Cornish added comfortingly.

(You might have heard the universe is almost surely flat, not spherical. The flatness refers to its geometry being "normal," like what is taught in school; two parallel lines can never cross.)

Considering this vastness, there must be some real HOT alien totty out there.

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Guest DisposableHeroes
And that's just the one we can see :ph34r:

Invisible totty; or are you saying you've actually copulated with an extra terrestrial piece of hot totty?

If you have, what are it's vital statistics.

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Guest X-QUORK
Try this for a visual representation of relative sizes and the mind boggling vastness of the Universe!

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/2706/spaceb.jpg

The Hubble pic of that tiny segment of space is a complete headf*ck. In some ways it's a bit misleading in that all those galaxies are now far more widely dispersed...but again that just underlines the vastness of the universe.

Amazing that the Hubble can see so far back in space/time...not bad for a bunch of advanced apes.

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Guest DisposableHeroes
The Hubble pic of that tiny segment of space is a complete headf*ck. In some ways it's a bit misleading in that all those galaxies are now far more widely dispersed...but again that just underlines the vastness of the universe.

Amazing that the Hubble can see so far back in space/time...not bad for a bunch of advanced apes.

It's incredible to think there must be other life out there. As a kid I never could understand how space can go on forever (there must be an ending). I know scientist give explanations (it's similar to a doughnut shape), personally I still can't see an ending to it.

The Hubble telescope is an incredible piece on engineering.

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Guest X-QUORK
It's too big to fit into my browser. Have you got a smaller one?

Any self respecting chav will have a TV screen measured in light years these days.

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Any self respecting chav will have a TV screen measured in light years these days.

But then the light from the edges will arrive much later than the light from the centre...

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Guest X-QUORK
But then the light from the edges will arrive much later than the light from the centre...

Back to the drawing board.

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Back to the drawing board.

I suppose you could catch up on last week's episode by turning your chair round and getting the binoculars out. You'd have to learn to lip-read though, because the sound would take about 17,000 years to arrive.

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Guest Skinty
It's too big to fit into my browser. Have you got a smaller one?

I saved it as a file and opened it up in gimp (or photoshop) and reduced the size and scrolled down.

I love that photo from the hubble. In the last place I worked, we shared the building with the astrophysics department. They had it blown up as a print and hanging on the wall. It was fascinating to study.

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Guest Skinty
But then the light from the edges will arrive much later than the light from the centre...

Not to mention that they will be watching football in high definition (Why??) so that they will hear the cheering from the next door neighbour's set a second before they receive it :)

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I saved it as a file and opened it up in gimp (or photoshop) and reduced the size and scrolled down.

I was just being ironic because the universe is too big to fit into my browser.

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Guest Skinty
I was just being ironic because the universe is too big to fit into my browser.

Oops sorry. Brain not working properly today. Not sure what's wrong with it. I think it's the weather.

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Oops sorry. Brain not working properly today. Not sure what's wrong with it. I think it's the weather.

I'm waiting for the rain to go off so I can go outside. Looks like it's gonna be a long wait. It is a bit better than it was earlier, though that's not saying much.

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I wonder if another planet in the universe has an HPC forum?

If the universe is large enough then there's a good chance that there's a planet where Quantitative Easing solved all the problems and HPI is back on again. What if that planet is Earth?

[Exercise: note that this argument works regardless of the actual size of the universe. What does that tell us?]

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But what's on the other side of where the edge of the universe is? (or is going to be)

There is no "edge" as it folds in on itself. Arguably there is a multiverse. Every new event creating a new universe.

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Guest DisposableHeroes
There is no "edge" as it folds in on itself. Arguably there is a multiverse. Every new event creating a new universe.

So say like a doughnut. I still think there is no end to it though.

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Guest anorthosite
Read all about it here:

guidetowomen.jpg

This thread has potential!

blue-women-of-star-trek.jpg

2141880326_93b5ca4509_o.jpg

showgirls.jpg

1896394004_2be05f4be3.jpg

fig44-18.jpg

new_tosr046_12.jpg

Kelinda.jpg

And lets not forget Marlena "Oiling my traps darling" Moreau:

mirrormirrooutfit3.JPG

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Guest DisposableHeroes
This thread has potential!

blue-women-of-star-trek.jpg

2141880326_93b5ca4509_o.jpg

showgirls.jpg

1896394004_2be05f4be3.jpg

fig44-18.jpg

new_tosr046_12.jpg

Kelinda.jpg

And lets not forget Marlena "Oiling my traps darling" Moreau:

mirrormirrooutfit3.JPG

Alien totty, ooohhhh my Lord.

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