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Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster Found

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the deeper-field dept.

Space 246

The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomers are reporting that they have detected the most distant cluster of galaxies ever seen: a mind-smashing 9.6 billion light years away, 400 million light years more distant than the previous record holder. The cluster, handily named SXDF-XCLJ0218-0510, was seen in infrared images by the giant Subaru telescope, and confirmed with spectroscopy and the X-ray detection of million-degree gas (a smoking gun of clusters). Every time astronomers push back the record for clusters, they learn more about the early conditions of the universe, so this cluster will provide insight into how the universe itself changed over the first few billion years after the Big Bang."

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Fascinating! (4, Funny)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157564)

Is this the new "Beowulf cluster?"

Re:Fascinating! (4, Funny)

DevConcepts (1194347) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157652)

Nope! Ping time to long @ 9.6 Billion light years.

Re:Fascinating! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157952)

Nope

19.2 + (not counting expansion of the Universe over 19.6 billion years, my maths don't go that high) :-)

Re:Fascinating! (3, Interesting)

DevConcepts (1194347) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158172)

FTA (Shock I read it!) - Might want to RTFA before you try to bring a joke down with math.

But there’s more. Because clusters are so big and bright, they can be seen really far away. In space, distance means time; the farther away we see an object, the younger the Universe was when the light left that object. In the case of this newly found cluster, the light we see left it 9.6 billion years ago — making it 400 million light years farther away than the next-most distant cluster ever seen. The Universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old, so we’re seeing this structure as it was not too long after it formed.

Re:Fascinating! (2, Funny)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158322)

The Universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old

and yet we still are looking for the expiration date..

Re:Fascinating! (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158690)

and yet we still are looking for the expiration date..

I'm just guessing here, but you probably don't need to worry about it ....

Re:Fascinating! (1, Offtopic)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158398)

I find it pretty hard to believe that we are that close to reaching the 'edge' of the universe. What will these materialists do when we discover a galaxy that is further away in light years than the universe is old? Either they will have to adjust the value for the age of the universe (as they normally do) or they will have to accept that the current method for determining age is flawed (i.e., that the universe appears older than it actually is).

Re:Fascinating! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158486)

Why do you assume that the inflation of the universe is limited to the speed of light?

Re:Fascinating! (5, Interesting)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158654)

Current models suggest that the initial inflationary period of the univerise after the big bang was well in excess of the speed of light. WAY in excess actually.

Yes, this implies that there may be galaxies further away than we can see, outside of our horizon of cause or effect. Heady stuff.

Re:Fascinating! (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159388)

Yes, this implies that there may be galaxies further away than we can see, outside of our horizon of cause or effect. Heady stuff.

More like headache stuff, as in "Ow! Thinking about that makes my head hurt!

Re:Fascinating! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158890)

Why do you assume that the universe is not bounded and that a hack such as inflation is a necessary part of a model?

Re:Fascinating! (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158726)

False dichotomy, they'd do both. (though they'll check and triple check everything as they go along)

Re:Fascinating! (1)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159046)

They should be pretty darn near doing both already. Chances are the diameter/age of the universe is at least twice the currently observed value.

The whole thing is a lie from the Devil anyway. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32159006)

The universe is only 10,000 years old.

Re:Fascinating! (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159344)

Why do you assume that the bubble we know as "the Universe" as we've defined it is the only thing in existence?

Re:Fascinating! (1)

insnprsn (1202137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159392)

I RTA, but I havent read all the comments so I am sorry if this is out of context, but why do you say "we are that close to reaching the 'edge' of the universe" Just because we found something, reportedly, 9.6 billion light years away and the universe is 13.7 billion years old, does not mean we are nearing the edge, rather we would be nearing the center right?

Re:Fascinating! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158408)

The Universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old,

Current scientific studies point to the universe being 13.7 billion years old and
while there are currently no ways known of proving otherwise I still think its
quite possible that its much older and that the background radiation will be explainable
another way.

Re:Fascinating! (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158672)

how much older are you looking for?

Re:Fascinating! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158926)

Much much older would be nice. Granted that would mean a lot of our other assumptions are probably
wrong (amount of matter in the universe, what it was like for the first few moments/million of years,
if there even was a big bang and so on) but it would also mean we have a lot more to discover.
It might even be that the universe is a lot bigger than we think and something affected the speed of
light in the early universe. Scientific theories are often proved wrong and it usually leads to greater
things.

If light is a vibration of strings, maybe those vibrations changed over time and only settled down once
something else had happened.

Re:Fascinating! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32159070)

how much older are you looking for?

Yo mamma.

Re:Fascinating! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158544)

The point he was making was that ping time is the time to send a packet and receive a response, hence twice 9.2billion years. I fail to see what relevance the age of the university has to this calculation.

Besides, he wasn't trying to bring down the joke. He was just going along with it, hence the smiley.

Re:Fascinating! (1)

DevConcepts (1194347) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158838)

OOPS! My bad. I have a one sided network here and ping time is one way.

Re:Fascinating! (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159022)

More than twice. 9.2 Billion LY distance. During that time the target will move relative to us further away taking longer to get there. Then on its way back we will still be travelling further apart. Over the 18.4 billion years we may travel quite far. Of course if there is too much mass in the universe we may spend some of that time contracting. Either way though. Ping time will be significantly different from 18.4 billion years.

Re:Fascinating! (3, Informative)

The Bad Astronomer (563217) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158832)

Heh. Well, I was careful to state that *the light we see from the cluster left 9.6 billion years ago*. When you start talking about the age "now" and distance traveled and all that, things get sticky quickly. Relativity makes a mess of our sense of "now".

Re:Fascinating! (1)

strayant (789108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159420)

Well, is that really true? I mean, if two bodies are moving away from a central point at roughly equal speeds, than this actually puts this cluster at about less than the half-way point in the age of the universe. This assumes no deviations in trajectory or speed, which I think is not fully the case... Just a thought. :)

Re:Fascinating! (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157660)

What a terrible joke!

Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle is a BABE!!! (0, Offtopic)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158146)


As science geekettes go, Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle is teh hawt [mpe.mpg.de] !!!

The scriptwriters thank you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157646)

Now we know which galaxy Destiny is headed towards, although I can't wait to see Robert Carlyle trying to pronounce that mouthful when they arrive.

Re:The scriptwriters thank you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157744)

What we see is about 9 billion years old. Older galaxies had more of the larger mass stars
that dont live as long so it'll probably look quite different now. Also.. the aliens who
created the star & planet with the big obelisk obviously created this galaxy. The ancients
saw it and decided to go for a look.

Which begs the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157672)

"Do they have oil?"

Re:Which begs the question: (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157708)

It may raise the question, but it doesn't beg the question [begthequestion.info] .

Re:Which begs the question: (5, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157878)

I raise to differ!

Re:Which begs the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32159106)

actually loled.

Re:Which begs the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158454)

Beg is a synonym of ask.

Re:Which begs the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158900)

I ask your pardon?

Sounds fucking retarded, doesn't it? Spasmo.

Re:Which begs the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32159240)

The phrase "begs the question" has two meanings, depending on context.

Or did you really think the OP was saying "Which is a circular argument, do they have oil?"

ass goat (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157690)

Tis galaszy is the BOMG!! It has galoxes ad it is awsome with it, becuz87 THE THE THE THE yap yap yappppps!!@!@!@@@24$

Really Star-tling (0)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157696)

Indeed, this is great to get away from all the navel gazing on Earth. I live in the desert and this kind of expansive discoveryis inspiring

Re:Really Star-tling ... navel gazing on Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157826)

Could part of this cluster be Earth? 9.6 billion years ago the universe was smaller. Does anyone know of an estimate for the distance/time needed to spiral back to looking at ourselves? If the big bang happened a little over 13 billion years ago ... this has got to be getting close.

Re:Really Star-tling ... navel gazing on Earth (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158164)

You, sir, are an idiot*.

*unless you know of a way for matter, or indeed light, to travel faster than light.

Re:Really Star-tling ... navel gazing on Earth (1)

Jake Griffin (1153451) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158878)

That's not necessary. All that is necessary is for there to be a giant mirror 9.6/2 = 4.8 billion light years away, which would make it appear as if there were a cluster 9.6 billion light years away when in fact that cluster is... us! :)

Re:Really Star-tling ... navel gazing on Earth (2, Interesting)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158272)

Well problem 1 with that is the fact that the Earth is only 4.5 billion years old, and thus looking at a galaxy that is 9.6 billion years ago we can't see anything that would have formed in the last 4.5 bilion years.

Problem 2 is that you are proposing that the universe (in this case space) is finite, but has no boundries... and wraps around on itself. While you are not the first to propose this theory, to the best of my knowledge we currently have no evidence that this may be the case, nor any mathmatical model on why it should be the case.

Re:Really Star-tling ... navel gazing on Earth (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158512)

The mathematical model is General Relativity, which postulates that gravity warps the universe back upon itself like the surface of a 4 dimensional sphere. So you could fly off into space and arrive at the same point 14 billion years later from the other direction, or a bit later if you weren't traveling at light speed ;-)
Personally I think it's a bit silly, but that puts me way out of line with mainstream cosmology.

Re:Really Star-tling ... navel gazing on Earth (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158736)

Can you point me to some papers on this? To my knowledge general realativity breaks down on what the "edge of the galaxy" looks like, and you needed quantum mechanics and "imaginary time" to start begining to explain it.

Either that or Stephen Hawking's explanation of this topic was above my head, which is possible.

Ob (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157716)

How many parsecs is that? Er, wait ... [head asplode]

Re:Ob (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157830)

Re:Ob (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158872)

But what is that in Libraries of Congress?

Re:Ob (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159162)

Wrong units. To convert to distance, it would need to be Library of Congresses per Punch-Tape Spool.

Re:Ob (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159348)

Interesting.. According to Bing [bing.com] it's 2.9433732 x 10^9 Parsecs. I wonder what the cause for the variance is.

Here's a quick rundown of various sites that I would use for reference.
Google [google.com] : 1 light years = 0.30659458 Parsecs
Bing [bing.com] : 1 Light year = 0.30660137 Parsecs
Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] : 1 parsec = 3.26156 light years
                      1 light year = .306601 parsecs
Wolfram Alpha [wolframalpha.com] : 1 light year = .306601393805 parsecs

Since Bing uses Wolfram Alpha, I figured they'd match up, but I checked anyway. Interestingly not even those two match after 8 digits.

Re:Ob (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159284)

How many parsecs is that? Er, wait ... [head asplode]

More important still, how many beard seconds is that [google.ca] ?

it IS mind-smashing (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157718)

i tried to consider what 9.6 billion light years was like in terms of distance. i mean, really, really tried to get a mental grasp on that scale of size

and i couldn't do it, and now there's a trickle of blood leading out of my nose

thanks a lot, slashdot

i'll just go back to the simply mind-bending effort of trying to imagine the amount of indexed pages in google in terms of library of congress units

Re:it IS mind-smashing (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158300)

What I always think when I read these kinds of number is: but it's probably not there anymore.

I mean it took billion years for that light to get here, but who knows what could have happend in the meantime. I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't exist anymore or was 'way over there' instead of where 'we' have last seen it.

Re:it IS mind-smashing (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158468)

To the best of my knowledge, the only thing that's really going to change the general makeup of a galaxy is coliding with another galaxy.

Even give or take a few hundred thousand supernovas that seed the galaxy with heavier elements, It's still going to look pretty similar to us from this distance (assuming we were capable of looking at it at different periods in time, which we can not really do). The dense parts are still going to be dense. the sparse parts are still going to be sparse, etc.

Unless of course it's got a Type III civilization in it. That's a whole other ball of wax.

Re:it IS mind-smashing (2, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158772)

I mean it took billion years for that light to get here, but who knows what could have happend in the meantime.

Given a known mass, we can predict how long a star will burn. A star with a mass roughly that of the sun will burn for about 10 billion years [astronomynotes.com] . So any young suns in this cluster will have burned out by now. Anything less massive will burn more slowly, and anything more massive will burn much faster.

Putting it in Star Trek terms... (5, Interesting)

ElVee (208723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158834)

If I did my maths right (and that's always doubtful), it's 3.14(+/-) million years away at warp 9.9.

You might want to pack some extra snacks for that trip.

Re:Putting it in Star Trek terms... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159134)

Pi! Hmmm, there's probably some mathematically mystical explanation for that.

Re:it IS mind-smashing (1)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158980)

it IS mind-smashing

My first thought:

Not surprising for those grumpy old people still thinking in naked arrays.

Sorry, I'll show myself out.

Just relax (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159030)

and try to visualize the sound of one hand clapping. Or with the clap. Or something like that.

Re:it IS mind-smashing (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159462)

i tried to consider what 9.6 billion light years was like in terms of distance

Not that hard to conceptualize - it's about 10% of Everything (if the current numbers for the Observable Universe are to be believed).

Hubble UDF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157736)

a mind-smashing 9.6 billion light years away, 400 million light years more distant than the previous record holder.

Or not. [wikipedia.org]
It is the deepest image of the universe ever taken by humans, looking back approximately 13 billion years (between 400 and 800 million years after the Big Bang), and it will be used to search for galaxies that existed at that time.

Um yeah (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158080)

A bunch of galaxies in an image != galaxy cluster.

But hey, links to the Hubble UDF are always enjoyed. :)

Re:Um yeah (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158198)

Enjoyed... yes, in a somewhat numinous way. The UDF photo is the closest thing to a Total Perspective Vortex I have seen so far.

Re:Um yeah (3, Informative)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158376)

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space.

Re:Hubble UDF (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158230)

Where there does it say that they found a "galaxy cluster" in that set of data?

Re:Hubble UDF (2, Interesting)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158668)

AFAIK, the HUDF does not image any clusters. If it does, your PhD may be ready...

-l

Huge cluster? (-1, Redundant)

tuxish (1022783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157750)

Can we configure it as a beowulf?

How is this distance measured? (3, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157844)

How far apart do your measuring points need to be to accurately triangulate the position of something 9.6 billion light years away?

Re:How is this distance measured? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157902)

You triangulate to find a location from two known vectors that cross that point. You don't triangulate to measure the distance between two points.

Re:How is this distance measured? (1)

tendrousbeastie (961038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159498)

You triangulate to measure location/position (synonyms) from the two know points, referenced either from each individual known point or from the centre point between the two. Location or position both imply a known distance from the reference point/s.

The further apart your two known points are, the more accurate your triangulation. This is why there are often efforts to put radio telescopes into space so pairs of them can be separate by a greater distance than eart based array allow.

Re:How is this distance measured? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158038)

In theory, it could be any distance. In application, I have no idea how accurate our technolgy is.

Re:How is this distance measured? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158156)

We can only use Earth's orbital parallax to accurately measure distances out to 800 light years or so. Beyond that, we have to rely on various yardsticks such as Cepheid variables.

Re: How is this distance measured? (5, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158184)

How far apart do your measuring points need to be to accurately triangulate the position of something 9.6 billion light years away?

It's probably measured by its red shift. The red shift can be calibrated by standard candles such as Cephid variables. The nearest of those are calibrated by parallax, or "triangulation" as you call it.

Wikipedia has an article on the extragalactic distance scale [wikipedia.org] , which may interest you.

Clusters? (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157910)

Do these clusters sometimes merge together to give birth to entirely new galaxies, and if so, what would that merging process be called?

Re: Clusters? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158266)

Do these clusters sometimes merge together to give birth to entirely new galaxies, and if so, what would that merging process be called?

Clusterbation?

Re:Clusters? (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158286)

In a bizarre and ironic twist, they are called weekly meetings.

Re:Clusters? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158356)

Galaxy Bang! Ooooh, so messy.

Re:Clusters? (2, Informative)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158708)

Either people are avoiding the obvious or maybe it's not so obvious ...
It would be called a cluster f*ck.

Sorry - after "clusterbation" and "galaxy bang" ... I had to jump in to prevent any further tangents.

ummmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158720)

clusterfuck???

Intriguing. (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32157940)

Pushing galaxy formation earlier isn't merely a case of getting a more obscene number. It's giving the models we use to analyze galaxies a serious work-out. Same with spotting ever-earlier stars. In the case of stars, we're pushing the limits of what existing models permit for star formation. If we go much further back there, then the models have an error. Which is good. Science gets booooring when the models are correct and everything matches predictions. Adventure, Excitement and Really Wild Things are only possible when the old models fail and have to either be re-tuned or replaced.

(This is why the failure to detect Dark Matter was so important. Dark Matter is absolutely mandatory for certain models to predict correctly how the universe works. Failure in science is not a bad thing, it is an extraordinarily GOOD thing, as it requires people to revisit past assumptions and past data, to see why the discrepancy exists. It also requires scientists to develop new ideas of what to look for. Some things, we don't know what scale we should be looking at. The Higg's Boson is an example. We've a good idea the LHC will see evidence of it, provided all the numbers are right, but we can't be sure. Gravity waves are tougher - we really should be seeing those by now but aren't. However, all modern gravity wave detectors are merely oversized Michelson-Morley experiments, which Einstein demonstrated could never observe the theorized medium of the ether, no matter how accurate they were. It is therefore possible that gravity waves aren't detectable because the experiments are the wrong ones. It is also possible that they aren't detectable because they aren't there. What isn't possible is for both theory and experiment to be correct.

The ideal in science is to find things that break the current model, but not by too much. Just enough to do interesting work, but not enough that they have to dodge apples falling upwards.

Record Breaking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157982)

Oooh, the MPAA/RIAA isn't gonna like that.
Not. one. damn. bit.

That's a coincidence... (2, Funny)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158126)

The aliens that inhabit SXDF-XCLJ0218-0510 recently discovered the Milky Way, and decided to call it SXDF-XCLJ0218-0510. This is going to get confusing.

Re:That's a coincidence... (3, Funny)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158346)

luckily they called it SXDF-XCLJ0218-0510 in their own, alien, langugage, which means that when we first encounter them, we'll just pick something that sounds vaguely, but not really all that close, to what they're saying.

Like, say, Peking.

My mind was smashed as soon as I read (2, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158258)

the first sentence. Felt like a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.

Mind Smashing? (1)

motorhead (82353) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158274)

feh

Subaru Telescope (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158328)

I wonder if it can be modded to drift..

Re:Subaru Telescope (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159122)

I wonder if it can be modded to drift..

We* prefer to think of it as "slewing."

*Subaru telescope operator, but wasn't working those nights - just got checked out on MOIRCS last month.

collapse at any minute? (1)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158354)

If we're looking at the light source from something that was emitted 9 billion light years ago, how do we know the universe is still expanding? Isn't it possible the universe quit expanding and has been shrinking for the last few billion years? Would we even know about it if it was shrinking at the speed of light? What abou... [no carrier]

Re:collapse at any minute? (1)

wanerious (712877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158470)

We'd know, because then objects that are 4 billion ly away would show a blue-shift.

Re:collapse at any minute? (1)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158558)

You'd see a blue shift even if the universe was collapsing at the speed of light?

Re:collapse at any minute? (1)

wanerious (712877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159276)

I'm having a hard time understanding the question. The universe expands at different speeds that depend on the distance from us. If you're asking about a collapse where all the objects are moving towards us at the exact same speed, and if that speed were the speed of light, then we wouldn't see them until they were right on top of us. But the physical model for that is difficult to imagine.

Re:collapse at any minute? (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159114)

We measure the expansion of the universe, by the red shift of the late from galaxies. If we look at nearby galaxies (but outside our supercluster), we find there are still moving away, so the universe is still expanding. If fact the results of detailed measurements of galaxies red shifts and distances, show that the in fact the universe if not only still expanding, but that the expansion is speeding up despite the attraction of gravity. Sciencist have had to investigate the mysterious substance called dark energy, which is causing this acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

---

Big Bang [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:collapse at any minute? (1)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159196)

but if you're seeing red shift on stuff that took 9 billion years to reach you, isn't it possible for the universe to have expanded for 8 billion years, then now it's collapsing at the speed of light - and you wouldn't have any way of telling it's reversed course?

Enabling package 'wax poetic' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158374)

A mind-smashing 9.6 billion light years away

Our sun is, what, 5 billion years old? And our galaxy, like 10 billion years old?

It blows my mind that we're able to observe light that was around from when our solar system was but a twinkle in the pool of eternity.

An easy way to visualize... (1)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158516)

Some people have trouble coming up with a mental conception of a distance as large as 9.6 billion light-years. I have a simple trick I use.

Imagine a (chocolate) birthday cake that is 12 inches tall.

Stack 5,280 of those on top of each other.

Then, take the mega-cake and slice it 5.87849981 × 10^12 times. Stack each slice on top of the previous one.

Then, reslice the stacked slice another 9.6 billion times, adding each subsequent micro-slice to the stack.

And there you have it.

Re:An easy way to visualize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158706)

the cake is a lie!

Oblig (-1, Redundant)

kybur (1002682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158770)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

Toyota (1, Offtopic)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32158788)

Just be glad they didn't use the Toyota telescope otherwise it would still be going...

Re:Toyota (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32158826)

As opposed to, say, costing WAY more than it's worth, and not working the way its supposed to when it gets there?

so wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32159510)

So we can only travel to the future (according to Stephen Hawking), but we can see in to the past. I think my head is going to explode.

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