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How far can we go in the universe?

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2012-10-01 14:12:22
2012-10-01 14:12:22

Answer (1) There are many theories, and as you can imagine, they are not easily tested. The above answer is generally the inevitable conclusion. But some of the theories are quite fun. Think for a minute about the surface of a globe, like the earth. If you had a super powerful UFO taxi, you could start traveling along the earth's surface, and you could just keep going, as long as you wanted. You would never ever hit any kind of wall. You could go in a straight line (as straight as you can manage on a globe) or twist and turn. You would never reach a point where you are forced to stop. (You'd go up to avoid inconventient things like mountains and skyscrapers). Now you could find yourself back where you started, and you would often cross a path that you traveled before. But nothing would stop you from moving ahead. So we can say that the surface of the globe is finite, there is only so much area on the earth, but it is unbounded. No fences or weird walls that force you to stop. Now think about space. Because of various kinds of curvature of space, some people think of space itself as being finite, there is only so much, but the amount is beyond imagining-- and it is also unbounded. You can just keep going and going. Although, if you could survive the trip, you might eventually find yourself back where you started, without ever hitting any kind of obstacle at all! Because there is no outside. No end, no outside, yet finite and unbounded. Answer (2) There may be many theories that space is infinite. But since there is a starting point , then there may be an endpoint. Someday we may find that endpoint. Answer (3) The universe goes on in infinite space and time, and we are just intelligent living organisms trying to find answers about it. Answer (4) We can travel as far as our 'horizon', which depends on our size and how long we live. Fortunately, the closer to the speed of light we travel, the longer we live in the universe's time frame. The longer we survive, (individually and as a species), the farther we can get.
Answer (5) We may never know. The universe is apparently constantly expanding. One theory is that the universe will be expanding forever. Another theory is that the universe will stop expanding, and gravity will pull the matter back into one big superdense and super hot singularity. Before the 20th century, astronomers believed the Milky Way galaxy was the entire universe and only 100,000 light years in width. But in the 1920's Edwin Hubble discovered that the farther a Galaxy is from Earth, the faster it appears to be moving. This indicated that the universe was constantly expanding. And perhaps the edge of our universe is a wormhole to a parallel dimension. The universe can be considered infinite.

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