Is there no end to it? [The Universe]
Musings on the enormity of the Cosmos
It all began with the “singularity”
The origins of all, packed into one
A point in” space-time” when gravity
caused matter to have infinite density
but at that same time, to have zero volume
This the initial state of the Universe at the
very beginning of the Big Bang!
From that moment onwards
All that was, and all that was to be
kept on expanding, outwards and onwards
That explosive initiation was a long time ago
Indeed the current view is that
It was 13.77 billion years ago
Measured by checking the temperature!
And with the help of the ‘hiss’ from
the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Scientists have worked out the cooling time
of the Universe since the Big Bang.
Thus we can measure the expansion rate of the universe
And by a deft process of extrapolating backwards
Lo and behold – we have its age!
Then we have our Solar System
The planets orbiting round our star the Sun
You know them all I’m sure
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars,
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
[forget little Pluto now!]
And Neptune is 2,795,084,000 miles from the Sun!
Now we have to wrestle with this cosmological behemoth
How do you get to grips with its vastness?
Well if we shrink the distance from the
Earth to the Sun to equal one inch
(It is actually 93,000,000 miles!)
Then the nearest Star would be 4.3 miles away!
And there are about 200 billion stars in the Milky Way
Stretching beyond the spiral arms of our Milky Way
Thanks to the legacy of Edwin Hubble
We can detect infinite galaxies each populated
By a never ending number of stars each progressing through
Their life cycle from Stellar Nebula through Red Giant
to Planetary Nebula to White Dwarf and perhaps even Black Hole
How many Galaxies in the Universe we ask?
The Hubble Space Telescope seeks out the
very edge of the Observable Universe – light that has
had a chance to reach us within 13.77 billion years
And by extrapolating from a sample we come up
With the almost magic number of – wait for it –
225 billion Galaxies in the cosmos
So what is the whole thing made of?
The CMBR helps us to quantify the content of the universe
And the result is rather mind-boggling
atoms, all the things we perceive, accounts for only 5%
24% is Cold Dark Matter – sub atomic particles
And most of the universe (71%) is labelled as
Dark Energy – with its gravitationally repulsive effect
And thanks to this Dark Energy the universe still
hangs together despite continuous inflation
The Universe is homogeneous and isotropic
It is the same and looks the same in every direction
This is sometimes called the Cosmological Principle
Which means that viewed on a large enough scale
“The Universe looks the same whoever and wherever you are.”
Ken Fisher – with information from a wide variety of sources.
Map of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation