How big is our universe? A question that had plagued the minds of men for generations. Astronomers have measured the age of the universe to be approximately 13.8 billion years old. Because of the connection between distance and the speed of light, this means they can look at a region of space that lies 13.8 billion light-years away. Like a ship in the empty ocean, astronomers on Earth can turn their telescopes to peer 13.8 billion light-years in every direction, which puts Earth inside of an observable sphere with a radius of 13.8 billion light-years. The word “observable” is key; the sphere limits what scientists can see but not what is there. But though the sphere appears almost 28 billion light-years in diameter, it is far larger. Scientists know that the universe is expanding. Thus, while scientists might see a spot that lay 13.8 billion light-years from Earth at the time of the Big Bang, the universe has continued to expand over its lifetime. Today, that same spot is 46 billion light-years away, making the diameter of the observable universe a sphere around 92 billion light-years.
What we understand right now is very limited by our technology and resources. The universe is probably infinitely more complicated then we could ever imagine. However through science we slowly understand ourselves, the planet and the universe. And in the next 50 years we would probably know a lot more than what we know now.
To truly understand the size of the universe and the infinite potential for all that exists, think of this: they say in our universe there are billions of galaxies. Planet earth is in a galaxy known as “the milky way galaxy,” and the closest galaxy to ours is the Andromeda galaxy, which is approximately 2.5 million light years away. A light year is the time it takes for a beam of light to travel in one year, a beam of light travels at roughly 300 000 km per second. A light year therefore is equivalent to roughly 9 461 000 000 000 km or 5 878 000 000 000 miles. Planet earth is also in a solar system, and in our galaxy there are thousands of possible solar systems, all with planets. Now they also have a theory that every galaxy has at least one super massive black hole, and inside every super massive black hole is another universe with more galaxies and more black holes. Our universe is probably inside the black hole of a mother universe, and that mother universe could be inside another black hole of another mother universe. Unfortunately, this has not been proven, but it is a theory among esteemed scientists such as Steven Hawking. So if the universe is infinitely large, it is highly unlikely that earth is the only place in that infinity that supports life. And more importantly intelligent life.
Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently—instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole. See the link for a handy video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Ia3kcQydc
This theory suggests that space is just an illusion that gives us the idea that there is separation between objects, and in fact, everything in the universe is connected down to the smallest atom, since everything was entangled at the moment of the big bang. It is thus the universe that is expanding creating more “space”, but without that expansion time would not exist and all possibilities of all events to have ever taken place would all happen at once and never. If the universe were to contract however, time would flow backwards and thus events in the past might be subject to change.
We might never know exactly how large our universe is, but we do know that it is infinitely large for the human mind to comprehend, and it is going to get larger as it expands and objects within the universe continue to move away from one another. What is out there remains a mystery and can only be left to our imaginations, for now.
– Agencies & News24
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