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Astronomers Find Stars 7 Billion Light Years Away

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the long-trip dept.

Space 142

StArSkY writes "The Age has an article about an international team of astronomers that has discovered 14 galaxies, opening up a new era of 'galaxy hunting'. Using an infrared instrument in Chile (the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope ) — the researchers have been able to look through the glare of 20 Quasar's to identify previously obscured galaxies. 'Light from the newly found galaxies comes from the time the universe was about 6 billion years old, less than half its current age. By studying the light, the researchers have determined they are starburst galaxies that form lots of new stars -- the equivalent of 20 suns a year. Dr Murphy, who began working on the project while a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, described the results as a great leap forward. The findings have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. '"

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142 comments

?!?!?!? starburst galaxies?! (-1, Offtopic)

earlyepitaph (1154029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20647869)

OH EM GEE FIRST COMMENT!

Expansionary galaxies? (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20647871)

I remember reading about star-making galaxies and how the stresses of gravity were used to "tear" space apart and create matter from the resulting energy differential. I wonder if that's similar to these starburst galaxies.

Wouldn't it be nice to live longer than our measly 70-90 years and be able to watch the progression of our knowledge? Reading this kind of article always makes me regret that I was perhaps born this early in humanity's history.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20647945)

Wouldn't it be nice to live longer than our measly 70-90 years and be able to watch the progression of our knowledge?
personally, i think often about being able to outlive myself simply to know more about the universe as our technology progresses. its very saddening in a way.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (3, Informative)

QuantumTheologian (1155137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648009)

According to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starburst_galaxy [wikipedia.org] , starburst galaxies generally require a large amount of gas (in order to form all the new stars) and are triggered frequently by close encounters with other galaxies. It really seems unlikely that enough matter could be generated from pair production (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_production [wikipedia.org] ) to create stars, if that's what you're talking about. Perhaps you have it confused with pair instability supernovae http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_instability_supernova [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648129)

I believe it had to do with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy [wikipedia.org] or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_energy [wikipedia.org] leading to the creation of pairs of particle/anti-particles. From these energy fluctuations, whole stars were formed.

I'm not a physicist, so I'd be a better listener than an explainer.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (1)

qeveren (318805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652785)

I think they might be referring to the energy released at the end if the inflationary period being a source of new matter. That's one variation on inflation, where the universe actually started relatively cold and empty, but the energy of inflation gets converted to matter once inflation ceases.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (-1, Troll)

Max4400 (1154375) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648151)

I mean who cares about gallaxy?. i still care about paying my tomorrows bills and fuel bills and need to complete my schedule.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (0)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648789)

Yeah, so trolling slashdot is a good idea? No? Fucking numpty.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (5, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648367)

Giving up mod points in this article to reply.

I agree with you entirely.. I'm not scared of death, I'm scared of not knowing tomorrow. I'm sure glad I live in 2007 instead of 1807 but at the same time I don't have wish it was 3007. But for all we know humanity will get wiped out at the end of this decade and we're at the peak of human civilization at this moment in time.

So I see where you're coming from, but we could be the final humans just as we're likely to be the first humans who meet aliens. :)

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (4, Insightful)

motank (867244) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648773)

It sure is sad to think we won't know anything about the future or the past once we die. I guess i just expect that at some point, humanity will get to that point, where we know everything that's ever happened and have crazy cool gadgets i'll never get to use. i can't even imagine what they'll be! i just hope for the end of the world in my lifetime (hopefully like 50 or so years from now) so i can die knowing that at least i didn't miss out on any cool toys. plus, maybe aliens would end up finding MY bones and put me in a museum somewhere

how crazy is it, though, that we can look so far into the past.. if only we could communicate with someone there we could ask em to tell us what was going on here 7 billion light years ago.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648943)

Omega Point [wikipedia.org]

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (2, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649363)

This issue is precisely why reincarnation is a comfortable thought.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (1)

yoder (178161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651673)

Agreed. Although I don't believe in reincarnation, I kind of wish I did. I'd rather be reincarnated than go to some heaven or hell or just turn to dust.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652703)

"hopefully like 50 or so years from now"

I was born 2yrs after the first sputnik, even though I'm still waiting for my jet pack to arrive, the changes in technology and society since I was a kid are nothing short of startling....now get off my lawn!

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20651723)

On the largest scales, the progress of human civilization is monotonically increasing. So, everyone who has ever lived (1807, 1907, or 2007) can say that they lived during the peak of human civilization during their tenure on earth.

born this early in humanity's history. (2, Informative)

RationalRoot (746945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648647)

Have you considered that you may be born at the very end of humanities history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Clock [wikipedia.org]

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20649275)

I agree completely.

I've often thought it would be wonderful to live longer, just to see what happens. What humanity becomes.

Re:Expansionary galaxies? (1)

BJZQ8 (644168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652175)

Ever seen Idiocracy? It's closer than you think!

first tits! (-1, Offtopic)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 6 years ago | (#20647881)

boobs are a myth.

In a distant galaxy, far far away.... (4, Funny)

9Nails (634052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20647889)

Hmmm, is this far enough?

Is this farther? (-1, Redundant)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648111)

Once upon a time in a distant galaxy, far far away...

Re:Is this farther? (2, Funny)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648569)

a distant galaxy, far far away... Score: 1, Redundant- That labeling seems accurate.

Re:In a distant galaxy, far far away.... (1)

BarfBits (94167) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648709)

Think of it as 49 dog light years away.
{I dont know what the equivalent is
for Woki years, so I substituted for
another fury critter}.

Mind your manners... (1)

jdickey (1035778) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649339)

Didn't your mum ever teach you, "look but don't touch"?

Title is misleading (5, Informative)

scarpa (105251) | more than 6 years ago | (#20647895)

The point of the article is not that the galaxies were 7 billion light years away, there have been galaxies observed over 10 billion light years from us.

The real story is that these galaxies were in front of quasars and the infrared technique has now allowed observation of them.

Re:Title is misleading (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648055)

The real story is that these galaxies were in front of quasars and the infrared technique has now allowed observation of them.

But quasars cover only a very small part of the sky. It's like moving a dead cockroach that's under the couch to reveal more dust, just like the rest of the dust on the couch. But its just regular dust.
     

Re:Title is misleading (3, Funny)

Sosarian (39969) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648299)

I was going to moderate this comment, and then said to myself...how do you rate a strange analogy?

Re:Title is misleading (1)

QuantumTheologian (1155137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648471)

The point is not the distance (as the parent to your comment has pointed out), nor the galaxies themselves, but the technique used.

Re:Title is misleading (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649297)

And maybe this technique could be used on living cockroaches as well, the ramifications would be enormous.

Re:Title is misleading (1)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650997)

You need to clean your place and get out of the house more often.

Re:Title is misleading (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652337)

Now try it without moving the cockroach.

Re:Title is misleading (1)

macduffman (1087955) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651653)

By the way, [Run:Expose_my_ignorance.exe], if these stars are 7-10 billion light years away, what does this mean for the age of the universe? I'd always heard something around 6 billion years... Doesn't it mean that these stars are 7-10 billion years old?

Re:Title is misleading (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652933)

The universe is 15 billion years old. The earth is 5-6 billion years old.

Defining Distance with Time (4, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20647943)

If we are seeing them 7 billion light years away, and we are 4.5 billion light years old, that means they won't see us coming for another 2.5 billion years. Oh the poor bastards.

Re:Defining Distance with Time (4, Informative)

QuantumTheologian (1155137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20647975)

You forget that the universe is expanding, and there's no such thing as universal simultaneity.

Re:Defining Distance with Time (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648109)

If that's true, that universal simultaneity is false, then it should have no effect on us catching up to them. Not to mention I don't believe in coinicidences, there must be a reason ALL 14 of them are hiding behind quasars?

Re:Defining Distance with Time (2, Informative)

QuantumTheologian (1155137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648123)

They're actually hiding in front of quasars:

The galaxies, which are about 7 billion light years from Earth, have until now been difficult to detect, because they lie in front of bright, distant objects known as quasars.

Re:Defining Distance with Time (4, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648237)

They're actually hiding in front of quasars
They sure are bold, I've never seen a hiding strategy quite like that before, we should name it the QuantumTheologian Defense in you honor.

Re:Defining Distance with Time (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651417)

You're forgetting your air combat tactics - "hiding in (front of) the sun" was a way of getting the jump on your enemy.

Hmmmm ...

Re:Defining Distance with Time (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652139)

You're forgetting your air combat tactics - "hiding in (front of) the sun" was a way of getting the jump on your enemy.
Hmm... I guess the old saying is true, "The best offense, is a good QuantumTheologian Defense".

Re:Defining Distance with Time (2, Insightful)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648201)

If that's true, that universal simultaneity is false, then it should have no effect on us catching up to them.

It's not clear that we could catch up to them. Depending on the future expansion rate of the universe, in 7 billion years they could be moving away fast enough that we could never "catch up".

Re:Defining Distance with Time (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648803)

The coincidence was that the same astronomers looked for them in front of quasars. And they found them too.

Re:Defining Distance with Time (1, Funny)

drawfour (791912) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648143)

I'm sure that Bush and Cheney have already started making plans. :)

Re:Defining Distance with Time (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20649715)

according to the good book, these galaxies cant be more than a few thousand light years away either.

Re:Defining Distance with Time (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648159)

that means they won't see us coming for another 2.5 billion years.

Perhaps, but even if the Universe were not expanding, it will take us at least 7 billion years to get there so I'd hardly call it a surprise attack!

Re:Defining Distance with Time (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648573)

"Ah! But they don't know that we intend to attack without mercy!

Nothing in the world is more surprising than the attack without mercy!"

From the movie Little Big Man for those who don't get the reference.

Quasars vs quasar's (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648037)

Come on, Zonk, learn how to use an apostrophe.

Re:Quasars vs quasar's (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648081)

Come on, Zonk, learn how to use an apostrophe.

He can't see the screen well because there's a quasar in front of him. It appears every time he opens his pr0n.
         

Oblig. 2001: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20651467)

"Oh my God, it's full of st... stupidity!"

Zonk needs to meet Bob [angryflower.com] .

There is no ego maniac in t-e-a-m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648087)

You can see the eyes rolling the reflection of Dr. Murphy's teeth.

Sigh. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648219)

We still don't know exactly what light 'is'. We still don't exactly understand /what/ electriciy is, we still have 8 conflicting definitions of it from elementary school to college regarding that. We still don't have actual concrete proof that the red shift is what we think it is, we only assume it is that because that is our current understanding of the nature of sound (from our current understanding of it.. eg, red shift being the doppler effect, but with light.). And knowing this, we still claim to know how far something is away from us using some weak parallex sine cosine tanagents.

If this is how watered down our definition of science has become, it's less than pathetic.

'It would seem that, as used, the word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox hunting, bullfighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.' -orwell

It would seem the same can be applied to science, which used to be simply what we knew to be true from observing, testing, and reproducing. Now, instead of what has been proven we call anything 'science' that uses some form of what we /now/ call scientific research.

So, if I really wanted to, I could spend a ton of some random universities funds to research how long it takes for example, shit to fall of out my ass, and call it scientific research.

Suddently, shit falling out of my ass becomes scientific.

yay.

Not So (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648433)

Our knowledge today about what makes the universe tick is vastly beyond what you claim.

Don't take this personally, Anon. But while YOU may not know these these things, a lot of the rest of us do.

Re:Sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648463)

If this is how watered down our definition of science has become, it's less than pathetic.

Indeed science would be pretty pathetic if it was watered down to the level of your insane idiot blabberings. Thankfully it isn't.

Re:Sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20649381)

>We still don't exactly understand /what/ electriciy is

and yet we've still managed to create a world based on electronics. and these electronics are increasingly using light for faster applications despite your claims we don't understand that either.

this kind of "we don't really understand" BS is most often spread by creationists who want to imply that because we don't know EVERYTHING we can't discount "god did it" and therefore must teach christianity in science classes.

science isn't about proof, it isn't even about right or wrong, it's about developing simple but useful models. science is the art of making assumptions and approximations that you know are not or may not be true, and yet still being to make useful conclusions.

Other uses for algorithm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648277)

I wonder how long it will until 3P&DHS (perverts, pornographers, police and the Department of Homeland Security) start using this idea?

uhh... (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648327)

"Dr Murphy, who began working on the project while a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, described the results as a great leap forward."

Shouldn't that be a great leap BACKWARDS?

Re:uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648347)

"Dr Murphy, who began working on the project while a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, described the results as a great leap forward."

Shouldn't that be a great leap BACKWARDS?
What they left out is that while Dr. Murphy started working on it as a research fellow, Murphy completed working on it as a research gal.
 

Re:uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20649041)

It only seems like a great leap backwards because of the curvature of space.

Those clowns better check their data because (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648329)

I have it on good authority that the world and the heavens are 4,500 years old, give or take a few hundred.

Re:Those clowns better check their data because (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648583)

as far as i know no creationist puts the age of the earth at 4,500 years old- give or take a few hundred years.

they estimate ~6,000 years, with the flood happening ~1,500 years afterward (which is where you got your 4,500 from).

it's a decent jab at creationism but it just goes to show how little the general public knows about it.

did you know the oldest tree on the face of the planet is a bristlecone pine tree in southern california named methuselah? its estimated to be 4700-4300 years old. pretty old tree. but with the earth having 'life' for a few billion years it stands to reason there should be a much much older tree around, somewhere.
did you know the oldest coral reef formation (the great barrier reefs) were, by almost everyone, agreed to be 4500 years old? the only older dates supposed came from modern dating methods. most of these methods have an /amazing/ amount of science behind them to back them up, but their foundation usually rests on one huge assumption that really casts the end result into a dubious light. a good book on that is 'the mythology of modern dating methods'.

im not saying cast away your belief in evolution-- but what i am saying is at least do enough research into what the other side believes to from resources aside from the ones that make it their purpose not to believe such. at least the general creationist can tell you how long the evolutionists generally believe the earth has been around.

this all goes back to one major thing evolutionists see from one side. most will say 'the only reason christians believe that nonsense is that they were force fed it as children by their parents making them go to school' -- with that i agree fully. we are /told/ what to believe, growing up, but consider this. the bible believing christian got indoctrinated by a organized propaganda machine one day out of the week for maybe 2 hours a day, while everyone else gets indoctrinated by the state 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, 150+ days a year.

as for myself, i do not know for sure either way. i dont like being told what to believe. they both seem identical in their core believes.

nothing existed. then something existed. and it created us.

one says it was a supernatural being that, either always existed or created itself, then created us.
the other says it was nothing (that may have always been something, over a gradual repeating process) that created us.

i was a pure supporter of evolution from my childhood. after all, i was told as a child before i even knew how to spell my own name that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago-- the first time i heard people thought the earth was 6000 years old i almost had a panic attack. how could ANYONE be that stupid?! did they miss KINDERGARDEN?!

when i read the 'evolution cruncher' i almost had the same panic attack. how could anyone teach me as a fact, in kindergarden, something that the majority of scientists agree couldn't have happened?

life goes on. maxim fhm mtv sports scores automobile prices alcohol and every other unimportant issue takes center stage while the most important subjects for musing become boring at best.

Re:Those clowns better check their data because (1)

MLease (652529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649425)

Just a quick couple of references on coral reefs [infidels.org] and the oldest tree [infidels.org] you may find interesting.

-Mike

Re:Those clowns better check their data because (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649529)

Go feed yourself to a lion, christfag.

Re:Those clowns better check their data because (1)

antic (29198) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650191)

Was that oldest tree perhaps growing in the "kindergarden"?

Cute dig at fundamentalists, but ... (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652391)

> I have it on good authority that the world and the heavens are 4,500 years old, give or take a few hundred.

Except that you screwed it up. If the world was created in October 4004 BC (the Wilberforce solution) then it is 2007+4004=6011 years old this week (tomorrow, IIRC). Rather more than 4500. If you intend to appeal to a bad authority, get it right. Otherwise, the proper smart-aleck quality is lost.

BTW, did the good bishop ever reveal his calculations? I have the feeling that he issued a response accurate to the minute just to shut up people asking the question and demanding more precision than one gets from adding Genesis begat ages. Much like King Knute of England, Norway, and Denmark who made a big show of commanding the waves to stop to shut up his fawning courtiers when they didn't (boy, would he have been embarrassed if they did quiet down, for some reason :-)

Let's Go There! (4, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648369)

We start tomorrow.

I have only done this once before, so you will be responsible for bringing your own guns and supplies.

Re:Let's Go There! (2, Funny)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649087)

I hope safety is guaranteed...

Re:Let's Go There! (3, Funny)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649551)

I bet that my brother dies fording the river on the way to the spaceport and that we lose at least two oxen by the time we get past Alpha Centauri.

Bending of light (2, Interesting)

Vulcann (752521) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648417)

Isn't it conceivable that light coming from such a distance may not be traveling in a straight line? ESPECIALLY since there are 20 quasars between here and the place we assume the galaxies to be. Quasars would exert powerful gravitational pulls like black holes which theoretically should bend any light passing them. Is it possible these galaxies are not actually as far as 10 billion light year away after all?

Re:Bending of light (4, Informative)

QuantumTheologian (1155137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648459)

The galaxies are in front of the quasars.

The galaxies, which are about 7 billion light years from Earth, have until now been difficult to detect, because they lie in front of bright, distant objects known as quasars.
What made them tough to see was that the quasars were so bright, that they drowned out the signal of these galaxies. The thing that's interesting about this finding is that they were able to use observations in the infrared range to differentiate the signal of the galaxies from the background of the quasars.

Re:Bending of light (1)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648511)

the amount of deflection due to gravity, as I understand it, is excruciatingly small. It is only because of our great distance from these galaxies that we can see the deflection at all. in fact, due to the expansion of the universe over that timescale, the light hasn't passed through as much actual space as you might think. it in fact passed through extra space as the universe expanded (and continues to expand) around it.

For Christ's Sake, ZONK! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648427)

Enough with the Australian flag-waving, already!

We get it, you love your precious Australia and believe that every single article on Slashdot should feature that country and its people!

It was bad enough when Slashdot editors ignored any story that wasn't from-or-about the USA, but now we have to endure all these Aussie non-stories too?

Grow up. Nationalism is for childish losers.

ray ray, go away (1)

big whiffer (906132) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648429)

we are now just seeing the light, but how long has the light been... um, lighting us up? how much more can we expect to find or do we just have to wait until things start heating up?

Makes you wander... (2, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648559)

If those stars still exist... If they do, they must have changed quite a bit before we received data from them...

Hello ! this is me emitting radio signals from a 7 billion light years away planet, come and join me for dinner, what do you expect to find when you arrive, even if you could get there instantly ? ;-))

I mean, given Einstein "curving of the universe", we could even be looking at ourselves 7 billion years ago ;-)

Re:Makes you wander... (1)

dotbenjamin (1034650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649253)

Except our solar system didn't exist 7 billion years ago ;)

Re:Makes you wander... (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649457)

According to our estimations, which are far from being 100% sure I would say. So we can't rule out that possibility for sure although it is unlikely ;-)

Old News. (2, Funny)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648865)

This is old news. These stars were around 7 Billion years ago.

Re:Old News. (2, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649855)

This is old news. These stars were around 7 Billion years ago.

It's not old news, unless you can prove it by linking to the dupe story on Slashdot from 7 billion years ago.

Same ol' (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648901)

"opening up a new era of 'galaxy hunting'"

Yawn.

Nothing more annoying than a bunch of clueless journalists trying to drum up an anecdotal case as the beginning of a new grandiose trend that will possibly change our lives.

Actually the ESO made the grandiose claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20648947)

Nothing more annoying than a bunch of clueless journalists trying to drum up an anecdotal case as the beginning of a new grandiose trend that will possibly change our lives.
Um... actualy, The ESO [eso.org] Makes the claim that it makes galaxy hunting easy. The journalist just repeated it.

Re:Same ol' (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649887)

Yawn.

Nothing more annoying than a bunch of clueless journalists trying to drum up an anecdotal case as the beginning of a new grandiose trend that will possibly change our lives.


If it gets people interested in science and astronomy, who cares? At least galaxies are easier to drum up then say someone working with feces in other industries. I bet their marketing department has a stinker of a time doing PR for those jobs.

First post (1)

kyashan (919683) | more than 6 years ago | (#20648989)

I wrote this 7 billion light years ago.

Re:First post (3, Funny)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650253)

Yeah, and I suppose you can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs!

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20651067)

a light year is a measure of distance, not time....

Universe ever expanding and recreating? (1)

swehack (975617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649209)

Has anyone ever considered the theory that the universe is not only ever expanding but also ever recreating in the middle? Also shouldn't we be able to tell where the middle of the universe is by obsering in which direction we can see the farthest? I'm in no way an astronomer, i just have some personal theories.

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (4, Informative)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649301)

Has anyone ever considered the theory that the universe is not only ever expanding but also ever recreating in the middle? Also shouldn't we be able to tell where the middle of the universe is by obsering in which direction we can see the farthest?

There is no "center" of the universe. You're probably confused by the popular image of the big bang that shows a point of light in the vast darkness that explodes into the universe.

But there is no "vast darkness" outside the universe, by definition the universe is everything. There is no "outside the universe" (of course that makes it hard to do an animation of the big bang on TV).

Every point in the universe is the "center". It's just that the "center" has smeared out across the whole universe as it has expanded from the big bang. On a large scale, everything is moving away from everything else.

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (1)

swehack (975617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649429)

Yeah but that doesn't make sense to me, it has to be moving somewhere and if it's moving somewhere then it has to originate somewhere.

Do you know of any online documentation that explains this more in depth?

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (4, Informative)

kwikrick (755625) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649539)

Here's an analogy I always like to clarify how the universe expands.

Imagine that the universe is like the rubber surface of a balloon. Note that we only consider the actual space ON surface to be the universe. Now as the balloon balloon expands, the distance between any two points on the surface increases. But there is no center of the universe, i.e. no reference point ON the surface of the balloon that is special in any way. Of course, the surface of the balloon is a 2D space, and our universe is at least 3 dimensional, or perhaps 11 dimensional, according to some theories. And to describe our expanding balloon, we also needed to imagine an extra dimension... uh oh, sorry, now I'm making things complicated again. Anyway, I hope you get the picture.

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20650423)

not following. if it exists in a three dimensional space, it has a centre, regardless of whether it's expanding or shrinking. unless it's expanding in a way not explainable in a typical 3d space?

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651057)

Yeah, that's a popular analogy.

Then some use to say "but you can go INWARDS into the balloon, to its center", but since an expanded balloon is like an expanded universe, that analogy would be to going back in time. And since space and time is most definitely intertwined in the universe, that would also require going back in space. So while you can go back into the center of that balloon alright, what you would end up with would just be the (supposed, maybe not on a quantum mechanical level) singularity of the big bang.

I'm not sure if that way of thinking is entirely correct since I'm just an amateur though, but I think it suits the analogy pretty well.

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (1)

Xerxes314 (585536) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652861)

No, that's also wrong. The analogy breaks down because balloons are necessarily closed; they have to hold air inside and be made of a finite amount of material. The universe need not be finite and it need not be closed. It could just as well be flat (imagine an infinite flat rubber sheet being pulled apart) or open (saddle-shaped is the usual analogy). But if you have trouble picturing that, don't worry about it; high-dimensional curved geometry is just a tricky subject to hold inside the human brain.

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651703)

Imagine that the universe is like the rubber surface of a balloon. Note that we only consider the actual space ON surface to be the universe. Now as the balloon expands ...

Now just imagine what's going to happen if the universe slips out of God's hands while he's trying to blow it up!

(joke - I'm Agnostic)

Which reminds me, we need to come up with a word for calling whatever it is that happens when you let go of a balloon and it flies around the room ... then we could have a cult waiting for the "Cosmic (Whatever)".

(I get to be treasurer!)

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20650429)

It's amusing when some speak of the universe in certainties and facts, and tell others that they're "confused." ?? Did you consider that although our paltry little human minds perceive certain things about the "universe," that perhaps we are completely wrong? For all we know, distant stars could be pinholes in some huge black balloon. We just don't know. Time...? Distance...? Even the "universe"... these are human notions and perceptions - why do we insist on assuming we are correct?

*smacks head* ... How silly of me, I always forget that all the universe revolves around the earth, and more specifically, humans.

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (1)

CaroKann (795685) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650649)

Of course I may be completely wrong, but as I understand it, the phrase "everything is moving away from everything else" is a bit misleading. What is actually happening is that real, physical 'space' is constantly being created, and, as time goes on, there is more and more 'space' between everything and everything else. Is it 'movement' when you create space between two objects?

Simple movement, in an environment with no hard, fast point of reference like the universe, can be a hard concept to pin down. Even though 'movement' is simply the recording of changing distances between two distinct objects over time from an arbitrary point of reference, once you consider the facts that the data used to measure movement is carried by light, the fact that light does not cover distances instantaneously, and the idea that more 'space' for the light to travel through is constantly being created, then things get difficult. Are the concepts of 'a point of reference' and 'movement' artifical, and simply wrong? When such basic ideas get so messy, I wonder if there isn't a better way to think of things.

One thing I've always wondered is, how is the space created? What is it exactly? What is it made of, if anything? If it is not made of anything tangible, then how can it be created?

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (1)

rca66 (818002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651895)

What is actually happening is that real, physical 'space' is constantly being created,
No, there is no space "created". But at least you are right, that the notion of "everything is moving away from everything else" is indeed a bit misleading - although not really wrong. What changes is the metric, which measures the space, which of course affects the measured distances between objects. The model is based on the General Theory of Relativity. As you might have heard, this theory describes gravitation as curvature of the space-time (curvature meaning: change in the metric). This curvature can be described by Einstein's field equations. There is a solution to those equations describing a world, where the metric changes in a way, that the distance between the objects constantly increases - due to the change of the metric, not based on some actual movement or "creation" of space - there was never something like an explosion where things are flying away from each other.

Re:Universe ever expanding and recreating? (1)

renoX (11677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649629)

[[Has anyone ever considered the theory that the universe is not only ever expanding but also ever recreating in the middle?]]

Yes, such theory was proposed, and it was found incompatible with our observations.

[[Also shouldn't we be able to tell where the middle of the universe is by obsering in which direction we can see the farthest]]

In current 'big bang' theory, there is no middle: the best analogy is that of an infinite cake expanding (like inside an oven), it has no center, yet it grows.

Congratulations! (1)

formant (852164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649247)

You just found the mirror.

Oblig. Battlefield 2: Special Forces Quote (1)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649543)

'Starlight! Starlight!'

Impossible (1, Funny)

hey0you0guy (1003040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20649745)

We all know the universe was created 4,000 years ago. There is no way these stars are 7 billion years old.

Re:Impossible (1)

hey0you0guy (1003040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651851)

by the way, that was sarcasm...

Inflation theory? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650937)

I wonder if they'll ever "look back in time" this way enough to have at least a hint of observational evidence that cosmic inflation [wikipedia.org] really took place? That would be interesting to know, because it's such a challenged and "illogical" theory on a few levels.
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