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Are we at the center of the observable universe?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by basskidd, Jun 27, 2012.


  1. basskidd

    basskidd

    Jul 25, 2011
    Chicago
    This question has been bugging me lately... I'm by no means well endowed with math-fu, but the theoretical side of this stuff is really cool to me.

    Basically, given the background radiation that we can observe in the sky, we think that the universe is roughly 14.6 billion years old. Now, from what google tells me, the Milky Way Galaxy is about 13.2 billion years old.

    Given that the big bang started from an infinitely small point (but a point nonetheless) shouldn't we be slightly off from the center of our observable universe? I mean, we'd have about 1.4 billion more years worth of light to look at in one 'direction' as opposed to the other...

    However, the research I've done puts the Milky Way (more specifically the Virgo Supercluster) at the center of the observable universe... Am I completely misunderstanding something? :confused:
     
  2. The observable universe is a bubble centered on the observer. That's us, today, here at this spot in space. Not a hypothetical observer back then, wherever the Milky Way was when it formed. Back then the observable universe would have been much smaller, only 1.4 billion light years, because the objects emitting the earliest light were no older than that at the time in the past when the Milky Way formed.

    I'm a little rusty, that may not be entirely correct in the details.
     
  3. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    This may be a stupid thing to say, but...

    Given that the universe is infinite (and expanding), Couldn't any point be considered the center?

    Plus you mention observable universe. This makes us the center since we are observing from our prospective outwards, no?
     
  4. BigOkie

    BigOkie

    Nov 28, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    I love this thread. But, really, are we just avoiding a discussion about the best bass for metal?
     
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    String theory, obviously.
     
  6. given humanities previous assumptions about being the center of something else. im gonna say only if the world is indeed flat!
     
  7. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy

    Mar 8, 2009
    California
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    The answer is in the question.
     
  8. ErebusBass

    ErebusBass

    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    We are at the center of the observable universe. We can only see (observe) so far through telescopes, so we are always going to be in the center of the "observable" universe, regardless of where the center of the universe may actually be.
     
  9. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Exactly. Imagine what someone on the extreme of our observable sees on his opposite extreme. And so on, and so on.
     
  10. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

    Jan 2, 2008
    This sounds like a job for INFINITE IMPROBABILITY MAN !
     
  11. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    What if C-A-T really spelled dog
     
  12. rr5025

    rr5025

    Nov 12, 2008
    What if your hands could touch anything but themselves?
     
  13. He who says he knows, does not know. He who knows that he does not know, knows.

    And that is Zen.
     
  14. 1SHOT1HIT

    1SHOT1HIT

    Feb 17, 2012
    USA
    Even worse, what if your hands could NOT touch anything but themselves?

    What if you didn't have hands at all?

    What if hands were your feet and your feet were your hands and you still could only stand on your knees?
     
  15. VitalSigns

    VitalSigns

    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    I'm laughing. Hard.
     
  16. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    From what little I can grasp, all points are the center.

    I can forsee this thread expanding into a nebula of thoughts and opinions where every poster sees themself as the center. :D
     
  17. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    philosoraptoruniverse.
     
  18. Simo98

    Simo98

    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    Seeing that we are the ones observing, then yes.

    Are you at the centre of my observable universe? No. I am.
     
  19. ^This
     
  20. none of you are at the centre........you're all people who only exist in my laptop, in my kitchen........so, my kitchen is the centre of YOUR universe!
    all cleared up now? good:meh:
     

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