The interactive universe: From infinitesimal to the colossal

Size of the universe

Very little is known with certainty about the size of the universe. You may have a length of billions of years light or even be infinite in size. An article in 200311 says to establish a lower bound of 24 gigaparsecs (78 billion light years) to the size of the universe, but there is no reason to believe that this dimension is somehow very adjusted (see shape of the universe). but there are different size thesis; one of them is that there are multiple universes, another is that the universe is infinite

The observable (or visible) universe, which consists of all the matter and energy that could have affected since the Big Bang given the limitation of the speed of light, is certainly finite. The comoving distance from the edge of the visible universe around 46,500 million years light in all directions from the Earth. Thus, the visible universe can be considered as a perfect sphere with the Earth at the Center, and a diameter of about 93,000 million years luz.12 should be noted that many sources have published a wide variety of incorrect figures for the size of the visible universe: from 13,700 up to 180,000 million light years. (See observable universe).

The distances that separate the stars are so great that, if we would like them to express in meters, we would have to use very large numbers in the universe. As a result, is used as unit of length the year light, which corresponds to the distance that light travels in a year.

Currently, most commonly accepted universe model is proposed by Albert Einstein in his General Relativity, in which he proposed a "finite but unlimited" universe, i.e. that despite having a measurable volume has no limits, analogous to the surface of a sphere, which is measurable but unlimited.

Shape of the universe

An important open question in Cosmology is the shape of the universe. Mathematically, what variety is best the spatial part of the universe?

If the universe is spatially flat, it is unknown if the rules of Euclidean geometry will be valid on a larger scale. Currently many cosmologists believe that the observable universe is very close to be spatially flat, with local wrinkles where massive objects distort the space-time, in the same way as the surface of a lake is almost flat. This opinion was reinforced by the latest data from the WMAP, facing the "acoustic oscillations" of the temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

On the other hand, it is unknown if the universe is connected. The universe has no spatial dimensions in agreement to the standard model of the Big Bang, but however must be spatially finite (compact). This may involve using an analogy in two dimensions: the surface of a sphere has no boundary, but does not have an infinite area. It is a surface in two dimensions with a third dimension constant curvature. The 3-sphere is an equivalent in three dimensions in which three dimensions are constantly curved in a fourth.

If the universe is compact and without dimensions, it would be possible, after traveling one safe distance, return to the starting point. Thus, in the light of the stars and galaxies could pass through the observable universe more than once. If the universe is multiplemente related and sufficiently small (and perhaps complex, appropriate size) then possibly he may be once or several times around in some (or all) addresses. Although this possibility has not been ruled out, the results of the latest research of the microwave background radiation make this seem unlikely.

The scale of the universe - interactive

Flash Animation credits & Copyright:Cary & Michael Huang

Display in full screen

How is the universe on a small scale? And large scale?

Mankind is discovering that the universe is a very different place depending on the region that is scanned. For example, what we know, all the small protons are exactly the same, on the other hand, huge galaxies are different. Best-known scales, which for a human being is a small table of Crystal, for a dust mite is a plain of strange softness punctuated by Rocky cells. Not all ranges are well studied. What happens with smaller drops when it sneezes, for example, is a research topic that will surely be useful to stop the spread of the disease. This interactive animation, a modern version of the classic video powers of 10, shows many of the known scales of the universe. The diversity of sizes shown by moving the scroll bar that is at the bottom. When you click on the different elements, appears a descriptive information.   

See the original article: The interactive universe: From infinitesimal to the colossal

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