Sunday, September 09, 2007

Great void in the universe

So, here's the deal. Science has disputed the age of the universe for a long time now. The current consensus is that it's about 12 Billion years so or, +/- a billion years (depending upon methodology). This comes from the previous observations that when looking into deep space, the farthest objects are about 12 billion light years away, in every direction.
When I was much younger, this interpretation of observations of the Universe got me thinking. How do we know the Universe is only as old as the number of light years away we can see? The only way to equate seeing the farthest objects with the age of the Universe is if we can also see one or both of the following: the center of the Universe; the edge of the Universe. Here's the problem. No one has claimed to observe either. Without this frame of reference, there is no way to determine the Universe's size. Without knowing how big the Universe is, we can't really know its age, unless by some magical fluke, we are at the center of the Universe. OK, so a general idea of the age of the Universe can be determined by the objects we observe at it's visible edge (Quasars), but we don't know if this visible edge is really the actual extent of the Universe. At most, we only know that galaxies of some sort began forming at that point in time, 12 billion years ago.
What does this hafta do with the vast void recently discovered in the Universe? The void is estimated as 1 billion light years across. That's 24th the size of the known Universe. That's like looking at a two foot long rulers and spacing them 1 inch apart by length. What would cause this big of a hole in the Universe? Could it be the middle of the Universe. Is it the void left as matter accelerates outward? Or is it the actual edge of the Universe? The notions being put forth by astrophysicist right now is some sort of dark energy explanation. But why does it have to be so exotic? OK, so I don't think it's the edge of the Universe because I believe astronomers do see deep objects past this void. So, hey, why couldn't it be the center of the Universe left void from matter expanding outward? One way to test this is to examine redshifts of the objects between us and this void to see if there are subtly less than objects in every other direction, using Hubble's Law. If the void is the center of the Universe, the age of the Universe could be judged with extreme accuracy because we'd no longer have to relay on objects 12 billion light years away. We'd only need to observe our distance from the center, then calculate the mass based on the shape of the Universe and the fact that the Universe looks the same in every direction.
This is all just an idea. I don't know much more than the press story. Heck, for all I know, this void could be where god lives. lol Just some fun to call up my old thoughts about the Universe.

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