Questions tagged [universe]

Questions regarding all of time and space and its contents.

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57
votes
4answers
16k views

Does the Milky Way move through space?

Does our galaxy moves through space? Or does it stay in a single location? If it does move, what causes it to move?
48
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5answers
9k views

Is there a star over my head?

Say I'm standing up straight, and I draw a straight line from my core through the top of my head (perpendicular to the ground). What is the probability that that line intersects with a star? EDIT: I'...
43
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2answers
11k views

How can 'HD 140283' be older than the universe?

Scientists have known about the star HD 140283, informally nicknamed the Methuselah star, for more than 100 years, since it cruises across the sky at a relatively rapid clip. The star moves at about ...
41
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8answers
5k views

What is in the center of the universe?

If the universe has formed & originated by a Big Bang Explosion, then there must be empty space left in the center of the explosion site, as all the matter is travelling at tremendous speeds away ...
32
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5answers
20k views

What's the fastest moving object in the universe?

We know that nothing can have proper velocities larger than the speed of light in vacuum. But are there any objects in space that get close to it? Any comets, or other objects thrown by gravity or ...
26
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1answer
7k views

Are there more stars in the universe than grains of sand in the Earth?

My ten year old daughter asked me this question at breakfast and I initially said yes, but on second thought I was also puzzled.
25
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2answers
4k views

Age of the universe and time dilation

Given our knowledge and the standard cosmological model, we estimate that the age of the universe is about 13.7 billion years old. How much sense does it make to talk about the age of the universe as ...
22
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3answers
7k views

What would happen to a polished marble statue left in space for a million years?

Consider it doesn't collide with any other objects. Would it be preserved perfectly in the vacuum or would its surface be damaged by anything like UV rays, radiation, gas, space dust, etc?
22
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4answers
5k views

Why is the observable Universe larger than its age would suggest?

The age of the Universe is estimated at 13.8 billion years, and current theory states nothing can exceed the speed of light, which can lead to the incorrect conclusion that the universe can't have a ...
20
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1answer
3k views

Does the recent news of “ten times more galaxies” imply that there is correspondingly less dark matter?

Nature: Universe has ten times more galaxies than researchers thought NASA feature: Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought Headlines sometimes ...
19
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3answers
1k views

Why does a planet rotate and revolve?

Why do planets rotate and revolve in the universe?
18
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3answers
4k views

What exactly is the “paradox” in Olber's Paradox?

To the extent of my understanding, Olber’s paradox states that if the universe was static and homogeneous, we should see a star at every point in the night sky and therefore the night sky should be ...
18
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1answer
479 views

Are there any alternative explanations for the gravitational force we attribute to dark matter?

It always seemed counter-intuitive to me that we observed an measured a gravitational force and since the universe has not enough mass to account for it, the conclusion was to say there's a different ...
17
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3answers
2k views

How can the 13.8 billion years old universe have a radius of 46 billion light years? [duplicate]

The universe is about 13.8 billion years old. Assume at the big-bang it starts from a small region and the maximum possible speed according Einstein is the speed of light how can the universe got a ...
17
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1answer
11k views

How many sun-like stars are there in the universe?

After yesterday's announcement of the Kepler telescope finding a huge amount of newly observed exoplanets, i saw a headline claiming that as much as 22% of sun like stars in the universe have planets ...
16
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9answers
2k views

Is there any practical use for astronomy?

Although astronomy is very cool and the things we are learning are awesome, is there really any practical use to knowing the things we know about the universe? Do other fields of science draw from ...
16
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1answer
596 views

On what scale does the universe expand?

According to the theory (or my understanding of it), the universe is not only expanding, but speeding up. If the galaxies are moving apart, are the solar systems within them also moving apart from ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Explaining Dark Matter and Dark Energy to layman

With my little knowledge, I know this: Dark Matter The center of a galaxy controls/attracts its objects (stars, planets, comets etc.) towards itself because of gravity. But the mass of the center of ...
14
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1answer
3k views

What is the most dense object in the universe?

Inspired by this answer to the question, Why is the Sun's density less than the inner planets?, what is the most dense object in the universe?
14
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3answers
563 views

Do parallel universes exist?

Do other universes like ours exist? If they exist, how do we know that they exist when we have even not seen the ends of our own universe?
12
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1answer
1k views

Layout of the universe

I've been working on a space game in my spare time, and lately I've been thinking on how to lay out the universe. Though I've searched around and found it hard to get a good view of what the universe ...
12
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5answers
6k views

How can the universe be infinite?

I've heard from renowned astrophysicists that we don't yet know whether or not the Universe is infinite. How is that possible regarding the big bang theory is accepted (as they all do)? Are they ...
12
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2answers
3k views

How exactly is our universe mapped?

Watching this youtube video shows that our planet is nothing more than dust in the wind. At the 2:50 mark in the video, you will see a view of the whole Milky Way. At the bottom you will see this ...
12
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2answers
836 views

How are Galaxy Super Clusters Generated

I have seen pictures of clusters of galaxies, usually used in regards to theories of dark matter and galaxy formations. One of the most famous ones has the perceived shape of a stick-figure. If I am ...
12
votes
1answer
407 views

Where is all the antimatter?

The universe supposedly started off with equal parts matter and antimatter and they are said to annihilate each other. Also, nature is famous for it's balance between everything. So all we see is ...
11
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10answers
3k views

What's the largest non-spherical astronomical object in the universe?

Some asteroids and comets are non-spherical. But is the nature of big things and gravity so that large things in the universe are always spherical? What is the biggest astronomical object in terms of ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Is the earth bombarded equally in all directions by neutrinos?

Perhaps it is hard to known for sure because neutrinos are very difficult to detect, although they do go through the earth in very large numbers. But are they passing through the earth equally from ...
10
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3answers
847 views

How does light affect the universe?

When light is emitted by for example a star, that star loses energy - which causes it to reduce its gravity. Then that energy begins a journey for potentially billions of years, until it reaches some ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Is there any difference between parallel universes and multiverse?

Nowadays we come across with these two terms - parallel universes and multiverse. I wonder if this is the same thing or its two entirely different principles because the names are a bit confusing to ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Why black holes are extremely cold?

"The most massive black holes in the Universe, the supermassive black holes with millions of times the math [sic] of the Sun will have a temperature of 1.4 x $10^{-14}$ Kelvin. That's low. Almost ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Is the age of the universe relative to an observer's location in that universe?

According to Wiki the age of the universe is 13 billion years old, and I was taught that background radiation made the universe uniform in all directions. Doesn't this define a sphere of space in the ...
8
votes
2answers
459 views

How does the concept of a universe with no center work?

I understand basically that the universe is homogenous (looks the same from every point) and I was told in my astro class that it's supposed to have no center, but how that works boggles my mind. I ...
8
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3answers
460 views

Is there a natural process by which hydrogen is generated from heavier elements in the cosmos?

we know that stars fuse hydrogen into helium starting at 3 MK; 13 MK in the Sun's core; carbon fusion starts at above 500 million K, and silicon fusion starts at over 2700 million K for comparison; ...
8
votes
1answer
144 views

How do we know so many details about Big Bang, but we do not know if Universe is finite/infinite?

I understand that this question may be too vague, but I am confused about the following: On one hand we know a lot of "details" about Big Bang, like really precise details, evolution of universe, age ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the physical, geometric shape of the universe?

I'm not asking about theoretical ball, vs saddle, vs flat surface which is just a metaphor with 2D space. It's hard to say as we see very little of it, and we see them in the past because light ...
8
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1answer
161 views

Does the CMB pattern evolve in a human lifetime?

I was thinking, as CMB is a snapshot of a slice of the Universe during recombination, how much the cmb is changing with time ? I mean as we progress in time we look a CMB a bit more faraway each time, ...
8
votes
2answers
331 views

Is the diameter of the observable universe a relative quantity?

The diameter of my observable universe is 90 billion ly measured in proper distance. But isn't lenght a relative quantity in the theory of Relativity? Could an observer moving at a different velocity ...
8
votes
1answer
207 views

What it would look like to observe people with a different time flows?

As I learned, that the bigger gravity source you are influenced by the more slow time ticks for you, the farther away you are from a gravity source the faster times ticks. So Imagine two different ...
8
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1answer
2k views

is there any theory or observational evidence that our universe is electrically neutral or not?

It seems our universe is neutral in large scale. There is CP violationwiki problem about matter and dark matter. Similarly is there any theory about whether our universe is electrically neutral? ...
8
votes
4answers
739 views

Why does it make sense to say the universe has no centre?

If we suppose we and everything in the universe is perfectly flat. That is, we have width and depth, but no height. And we are situated on the surface of a balloon blowing up with air and expanding "...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the mass of the observable universe ever change?

First do we have anyway to even estimate the mass of the entire observable universe? And then is there any data that shows mass being gained or lost? Would we ever know if someone was playing with ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Will we start seeing galaxies disappear due to Universe expansion? [duplicate]

Does the fact that universe is currently expanding at an accelerating rate means that far far away objects (FAO) might start disappearing with time, set aside the "red shift"? I'm saying this ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

When the universe expands does it create new space, matter, or something else?

I am wondering what exactly is meant when it is said the universe expands. Does it simply create new space for matter to fill, does it also create new matter/dark matter to fill that space, or am I ...
7
votes
2answers
477 views

Is the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field image representative of the entire sky?

The Hubble ultra-deep field image is a photograph of an area of sky equivalent to a 1mm x 1mm piece of paper held a metre away from the eye (one thirteen millionth of the entire sky). It contains an ...
7
votes
1answer
308 views

Age of the universe vs. its contents

A couple of decades ago I read an article (could have been either Astronomy, Space, or Science News) that suggested the contents of the universe may be older than the universe itself. Of course, that ...
7
votes
1answer
583 views

Does our universe have to be embedded in a higher dimensional space?

I've heard that our universe may be open or closed. If it's closed it might have a toroid shape. If this is the case, would that imply that our 3 spatial dimensions have to be embedded in a higher ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Relation between black hole mass and radius, and our universe's [duplicate]

Is there a graph of known black holes, with their estimated mass in the X axis and their estimated radius in the Y axis? If so, where can we find it? I would like to know if a black whole with the ...
6
votes
2answers
376 views

Outside of a Universe and its origin

Per the Big Bang Theory, the universe was formed from a dense singular point which existed 13 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. This suggests that the point should have existed ...
6
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3answers
258 views

Can there be a 2nd possibility deduced from the fact that galaxies are moving away from us?

I just read that according to the BBT the universe is expanding. This is evident from the fact that distant stars (and galaxies) are moving away from us. But it could also happen that the universe is ...
6
votes
3answers
223 views

Is the whole universe is rotating on an axis?

Most of the celestial bodies we know are rotating or spinning on its axis.Is there any chance for the universe to rotate on its axis?