Astronomy

Centre of the Universe

Centre of the Universe


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Why shouldn't the original singularity of the big bang happen to be the centre of the Universe? Assume that the universe is expanding isotropically with a constant speed.


(I can't comment)- See https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/136860/did-the-big-bang-happen-at-a-point

TLDR, The big bang happened everywhere in the universe at the same time, because it was the universe. The top answer goes more in depth.


Centre of the Universe - Astronomy

John Stanley Plaskett

John Stanley Plaskett, who conceived and designed the 1.8m telescope that bears his name, was an internationally recognized scientist and a strong proponent of public science outreach. Here are a few of his achievements.

Early life

Born on an Ontario farm in 1865, J.S. Plaskett developed an early interest in mechanical engineering and astronomy. He made his own telescope and eventually joined the Edison Company as an electrical engineer.

University & Early Career

During the 1890's, Plaskett worked as a mechanician at the University of Toronto while completing an honours degree in physics. He was hired by Chief Astronomer William King to work in Ottawa's Dominion Observatory.

In his role at the new observatory, Plaskett developed the fledging Canadian Astrophysics programme, joined the International Astronomical Union's committee on binary stars, engaged the public, and developed his dream for a 'great Canadian reflecting telescope'.

"The project for a great reflecting telescope of 72 inches aperture for the Dominion. has now crystallized into definite action as the contracts for the construction of the instrument have been awarded"

While the new Dominion Astrophysical Observatory was being constructed in Victoria, Plaskett continued his work on spectrograph design and was ready to engage on an ambitious program of binary star observations on its completion.


Further Reading

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Where is the Center of the Universe? Is it really impossible to determine?

It seems like whenever this question comes up, people say it’s not possible to find the center of the universe and then they go on to talk about dots on an expanding balloon or raisins in a rising/expanding loaf of bread. But, isn’t the universe basically like a big sphere? I know it’s not a perfect sphere, maybe it’s more like a football, but can’t we at least approximate where the center might be?

If a bomb explodes in the sky it shoots out in all directions. How is that different than the Big Bang starting at a central point and then expanding to what we see today? I realize that the bomb isn’t expanding space itself, but it sure seems as if most all of the galaxies are speeding away from us as if there had been an explosion shooting things in all directions.

We can find the center of gravity of a car or airplane. And of the solar system and our galaxy. Why not just find the center of gravity of the universe and call that the center?

Finally, at a minimum, are there places that we can say aren’t the center of the universe, like on the outermost edge?

#2 jeffreym

What physics would be at work to allow our galaxy cluster to go speeding towards the point of the Big Bang as opposed to away from it?

Given the estimated rate of expansion, how is it possible for us to get far enough away from a galaxy so that it's light would take 13B years to catch up to us?

Edited by jeffreym, 28 January 2021 - 09:54 AM.

#3 Astrojensen

We don't know the actual shape of the universe. It could be all kinds of shapes, for what we know.

What we DO know, is that there is a distance away from us, where the universe expands faster than light. We can't see beyond it, even though there's more universe farther out. It's a sort of event horizon.

The amusing thing about this event horizon is that, technically, it's centered on the OBSERVER, so each of us is actually at the very center of OUR observable universe!!

It's a bit like when we stand on the Earth. We can't see all of it, because it's a sphere, but it stretches out waaay farther than we can see. If we move a little in any given direction, we can see just that much farther in that direction, but equally less in the direction we came from, so each of us has our own, unique, centered view of the surface of the Earth, while it still doesn't have a center at all.

#4 Russell Swan

There is no center and there is no edge. It's not that matter is flying outward from an explosive point, but rather space itself is growing larger everywhere beyond gravitationally bound regions. The region of space we can detect, our observable universe, is bound by time. Nothing older than 13.77 billion light years can be detected. At that time in the past our observable universe was one Planck length across. It's now about 92 billion light years in diameter. An observer positioned 46 billion light years distant from us would see 46 billion light years opposite to us which we can not see. For all we know it goes on infinitely.

Edited by Russell Swan, 28 January 2021 - 10:04 AM.

#5 beggarly

http://curious.astro. to-intermediate . See question 2 at the center of the page.

Other questions about expansion of the universe: http://curious.astro. nd-the-big-bang

#6 Simcal

Is the Universe a Sphere - don't know

Is the Universe a Football - don't know

How 'big' is the universe - don't know

How much mass in the universe - don't know

What was before the universe - don't know

Have we seen it all - don't know

What's the Force of expansion - don't know

What is Dark matter - don't know

How does Gravity work - don't know

How does Quantum Entanglement work - don't know

How does Quantum Tunneling velocity exceed speed of light sometimes - don't know

Is reality 'real' - don't know

Is there 'Life' after death - don't know

Do I have enough saved for retirement - don't know

What's for dinner - don't know edit: Steaks! .. 'cause, ya know.. tomorrow?

Edited by Simcal, 28 January 2021 - 10:26 AM.

#7 Barlowbill

Silly question. Obviously, it is centered around me

#8 EJN

In the mathematics of general relativity, which is the best theory of the geometry of the universe we currently have, spacetime is 4-dimensional. The best 3 dimensional analogue is the surface of a sphere, a closed 2 dimensional object with intrinsic curvature embedded in a 3rd dimension, which has no center or you could consider the center as wherever you are standing. so the center of the universe is everywhere, or nowhere, at once.

#9 Astrojensen

Silly question. Obviously, it is centered around me

Well, as I pointed out, your visually observable universe IS actually centered on you.

#10 Keith Rivich

It seems like whenever this question comes up, people say it’s not possible to find the center of the universe and then they go on to talk about dots on an expanding balloon or raisins in a rising/expanding loaf of bread. But, isn’t the universe basically like a big sphere? I know it’s not a perfect sphere, maybe it’s more like a football, but can’t we at least approximate where the center might be?

If a bomb explodes in the sky it shoots out in all directions. How is that different than the Big Bang starting at a central point and then expanding to what we see today? I realize that the bomb isn’t expanding space itself, but it sure seems as if most all of the galaxies are speeding away from us as if there had been an explosion shooting things in all directions.

We can find the center of gravity of a car or airplane. And of the solar system and our galaxy. Why not just find the center of gravity of the universe and call that the center?

Finally, at a minimum, are there places that we can say aren’t the center of the universe, like on the outermost edge?

Seems to me you would need a coordinate system for your question to have any meaning. This would require reference points "outside" our universe. Perhaps if we do live in a multiverse, and other universes have left their imprint on the CMB, it may be possible to determine where we lie in the multiverse and thus a center (actually a point in the mulitverse) for our particular universe.


Centre of the Universe - Astronomy

By the discussion I was reading, being that there is 15 billion light years to either "side" of us, am I to assume that this means that earth is the center of the universe? Or was that just an example?

From our vantage point on the Earth, we infer that the observable Universe is 15 billion light-years in size in every direction that we look - in other words, we infer that we are at the center of a sphere 15 billion light-years in radius.

This does not mean, however, that we are at the centre of the Universe it just means that we are at the centre of our observable Universe. A fundamental principle in our understanding of the Universe itself, called the Cosmological Principle, states that the Universe is homogeneous and isotropic on the largest scales. That means that on the whole, the Universe as seen from any vantage point (even one that is 15 billion light-years away from us!) will measure a spherical observable Universe with a radius of 15 billion light-years.

How does this make sense? It turns out that there are a couple of possibilities. First, the Universe could be much, much bigger than the part which we actually observe. If the Universe has the geometry of a "flat sheet" that we assume everyday on Earth, then the Cosmological Principle implies that the Universe must be infinite, since every observer at every "Universe edge" must observe the same global parameters. On the other hand, it is possible that the Universe's geometry is not flat, but curved like a sphere or a saddle. In this case, the Universe would "wrap" around at the edges: just as on the surface of the Earth, you would come back to where you started if you walked in one direction for long enough. Recent observations indicate that the first scenario is most likely true - we see a piece of the infinite, flat Universe that is 15 billion light-years in radius.

About the Author

Kristine Spekkens

Kristine studies the dynamics of galaxies and what they can teach us about dark matter in the universe. She got her Ph.D from Cornell in August 2005, was a Jansky post-doctoral fellow at Rutgers University from 2005-2008, and is now a faculty member at the Royal Military College of Canada and at Queen's University.


Where is the Center of the Universe? Is it really impossible to determine?

We don't know. According to Einstein we will never know. No matter how good a telescope we have. No matter how good a spaceship we have. That part of this universe is expanding faster than the speed of light (because of inflation), and is forever inaccessible.

Well though, if the universe is infinite, then that means any physical configuration of atoms will by definition happen more than once right? So, hypothetically, if the universe is infinite, with the right ship, you're telling me I could eventually reach an Earth where the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LV?

#27 bobzeq25

Well though, if the universe is infinite, then that means any physical configuration of atoms will by definition happen more than once right? So, hypothetically, if the universe is infinite, with the right ship, you're telling me I could eventually reach an Earth where the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LV?

Noted cosmologist and author Brian Greene thinks so. <smile>

Of course, in most of the universes where KC wins, Brady won't be playing for Tampa. <smile>

In the vast majority of universes, football will not exist. KC and Tampa will not exist. The Earth will not exist. Stars will probably not exist.

Edited by bobzeq25, 08 February 2021 - 06:03 PM.

#28 Keith Rivich

If the universe can expand faster than C , then can we move faster than C , as we are inside it ?

From the viewpoint of an observer across the universe we are traveling away from them at faster then c!

#29 k.s.min

l believe that this big bang universe is just like a expanding baloon and the thin skin of it is our live whole space.

l don't know whether inside of the baloon is a vaccum space or somthing other.

Edited by k.s.min, 13 February 2021 - 04:44 PM.

#30 Voyager 3

From the viewpoint of an observer across the universe we are traveling away from them at faster then c!

Then I'm sure that they will never come to know this as we do .

#31 Voyager 3

I think we can't imagine what's going on with the expansion or what's outside our observable universe because we haven't felt ( experienced ) that in our day to day life . What do they mean by infinite universe ? How can I explain it ? So let's take an example. A popular model is the expanding balloon . Let's say that I'm blowing some air into it and inflating it . So popular belief is the universe's boundary is the rubber material . Now what's outside the balloon ( universe ) ? You will say the room ( frame of reference ) in which it's placed . But how do you explain it in universal [ no pun intended ] terms ? Remember we've said that the boundary of the universe is the rubber material of the balloon . I just can't come to terms to answer this **** thing LOL ! The catch is that we have taken the rubber boundary of the balloon is the boundary of the observable universe .

You may even say that the rubber material is the boundary of the OBSERVABLE universe , but again what's beyond observable universe ? The unobservable universe ? But then again the balloon's boundary is the boundary of the observable universe so we can say that the unobservable universe is undefined .

#32 k.s.min

There is no center and there is no edge. It's not that matter is flying outward from an explosive point, but rather space itself is growing larger everywhere beyond gravitationally bound regions. The region of space we can detect, our observable universe, is bound by time. Nothing older than 13.77 billion light years can be detected. At that time in the past our observable universe was one Planck length across. It's now about 92 billion light years in diameter. An observer positioned 46 billion light years distant from us would see 46 billion light years opposite to us which we can not see. For all we know it goes on infinitely.

Nothing older than 13.77 billion light years can be detected.

l think that if we make 100km space telescope, we can find out its age as trillion of trillion times more older.


Centre of the Universe - Astronomy

By the discussion I was reading, being that there is 15 billion light years to either "side" of us, am I to assume that this means that earth is the center of the universe? Or was that just an example?

From our vantage point on the Earth, we infer that the observable Universe is 15 billion light-years in size in every direction that we look - in other words, we infer that we are at the center of a sphere 15 billion light-years in radius.

This does not mean, however, that we are at the centre of the Universe it just means that we are at the centre of our observable Universe. A fundamental principle in our understanding of the Universe itself, called the Cosmological Principle, states that the Universe is homogeneous and isotropic on the largest scales. That means that on the whole, the Universe as seen from any vantage point (even one that is 15 billion light-years away from us!) will measure a spherical observable Universe with a radius of 15 billion light-years.

How does this make sense? It turns out that there are a couple of possibilities. First, the Universe could be much, much bigger than the part which we actually observe. If the Universe has the geometry of a "flat sheet" that we assume everyday on Earth, then the Cosmological Principle implies that the Universe must be infinite, since every observer at every "Universe edge" must observe the same global parameters. On the other hand, it is possible that the Universe's geometry is not flat, but curved like a sphere or a saddle. In this case, the Universe would "wrap" around at the edges: just as on the surface of the Earth, you would come back to where you started if you walked in one direction for long enough. Recent observations indicate that the first scenario is most likely true - we see a piece of the infinite, flat Universe that is 15 billion light-years in radius.

About the Author

Kristine Spekkens

Kristine studies the dynamics of galaxies and what they can teach us about dark matter in the universe. She got her Ph.D from Cornell in August 2005, was a Jansky post-doctoral fellow at Rutgers University from 2005-2008, and is now a faculty member at the Royal Military College of Canada and at Queen's University.


Center of the universe

Quick question: if you can measure the rate at which the universe is expanding in some areas, can you not calculate the location of the center of the universe? Where it is all expanding from?

There is no center to the universe. Expansion happens in the vast emptiness of space between objects at great distances.

Everything (at great distances) is expanding from everything.

This does not affect locally gravitationally bound objects (as gravity is stronger than dark energy) - but rather. only in deep space where gravity is weak compared to dark energy.

Here is a way to think about it. Consider the SURFACE of a balloon (not the inside, just the surface). Put some dots on it.

Now, inflate it more. all the dots move away from each other -as more 'space' (surface) has added to all of them. There is no center from the perspective of each dot.

Or rather. each dot is it's own center (just as each point in our universe is it's own center of its own observational sphere).


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