"No less a critic than C. S. Lewis has described the ravenous addiction that these magazines inspired; the same phenomenon has led me to call science fiction the only genuine consciousness-expanding drug." Arthur C. Clarke

Watching the Big Bang

A story published a couple days ago made me think about how we view time and space.  The story was about a new galaxy that had been discovered which had a mass equal to two quadrillion suns.  For context, that is:

2,000,000,000,000,000 suns.

COBE's View of the Milky Way - GPN-2002-000111

Image via Wikipedia

What it made me think about is that the story pointed out that what we see of this galaxy is only about half of the current age of the universe.   This is, of course, because the galaxy, nicknamed “El Gordo,” is nearly 7-billion light-years from Earth. The universe is about 13.7 billion years old, and the light from this galaxy has taken 7 billion years to get here, so what we are seeing is from when the universe was about half the age it is now.

So, given that the farther away from the Earth we look we are also looking farther back into the past, what happens when we see a galaxy that is 13.7 billion light-years away? Will we see the birth of the Universe?

This probably proves Einstein’s theory that time is a function of light, as well as proving the Big Bang Theory when we finally see something 14 billion light-years away.  It would also give us a good mark on how old the Universe is, as well.

This also could prove the existence of Douglas Adams Restaurant at the End of the Universe.  The restaurant, of course, is not at the physical end but the life-end of the Universe.  The after-dinner entertainment at the restaurant features the final explosion and destruction of the Universe, viewed by an audience from throughout time, since, of course, everyone has to travel through time to get to the restaurant.

The logic applies, that if we can see into the past by looking at the stars, we could also see as far back as the birth of the Universe and possibly into the future.

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