The Cosmic Egg -
by Hugh Fathers
After the BIG BANG . . . Over the last couple of
decades that curious species the homo sapiens sapiens, has been
peering further and further back in time. A number of experiments
have been conducted to record and analyse the background radiation
of the Universe. At one stage this radiation was seen as homogenous
but that was only because of the sensitivity of the instruments used
for measurement. Subsequent measurements initially from the COBE
investigation and confirmed by WMAP, show minute fluctuations in the
background radiation, these fluctuations which have been described
as the seeds from which the galaxies evolved.
Not just a wild story… experiments have shown that the galaxies
would not have formed but for fluctuations in the “stuff” of the
Giant Bang ~ oh yes, and Dark Energy as well. But no one at present
has a clue to what it is!)
Cosmic Egg & The Big Bang
Georges Lemaître (1894-1966), a Belgian priest,
introduced his primeval “cosmic egg” in the 1920s. In 1948 the
American Ralph Alpher (1921-2007) together with the Ukrainian-born
American physicist George Gamow (1904-1968) outlined a theory of how
the first elements formed in the early universe (Big Bang
nucleosynthesis). Later that year, collaborating with scientist
Robert Herman (1914-1997), an American-born son of a Russian Jewish
immigrant just like Alpher himself, Alpher predicted the existence
of a cosmic background radiation resulting from the Big Bang. Two
individuals who didn’t realize what they had found in the 1960s
stumbled across evidence of this radiation and received the 1978
Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery. The contributions of
Alpher and Herman were overlooked. A Nobel Prize cannot be shared by
more than three individuals, nor can it be awarded posthumously.
This Big Bang model was modified in the 1980s with the introduction
of the concept of an early period of cosmic inflation by the
American cosmologist Alan Guth (born 1947) and the Russian-born
physicist Andrei Linde (born 1948). Alpher’s contributions have
unquestionably helped shape the way we currently look at the
universe, yet he is not mentioned in Murray’s Human Accomplishment
and is entirely overlooked in a number of other works on scientific
history. By contrast, Aristotle’s physical ideas have all been
discredited centuries ago, yet most educated people have heard of
Aristotle. Does that mean that Aristotle is overrated and is
primarily famous for being wrong? Not quite so. His biological works
have stood the test of time, and his personal contributions to the
development of scientific logic are profound.
Simulation of the large-scale
structure of the cosmos. The image spans about 400 million light
years across. –
The Cosmic Web
The Known Universe by AMNH (
The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas
through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow
of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is
possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map
of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and
updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural
History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an
exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an
Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics has created an unprecedented 3-D map of galaxies that
are hundreds of millions of light-years away
The Known Universe - NOW IN 3D!!
Astronomers from the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Nerd Alert!) have
unveiled a new 3D map of the entire known universe. Sadly, only
Operating Thetan VIII's will be able to view THIS image in actual
Map of the Universe - National
Full size Photo and
other High Resolution Quality Photos:
The Observable Universe
In Big Bang cosmology, the observable universe consists of the
galaxies and other matter that we can in principle observe from
Earth in the present day, because light (or other signals) from
those objects has had time to reach us since the beginning of the
cosmological expansion. Assuming the universe is isotropic, the
distance to the edge of the observable universe is roughly the same
in every direction—that is, the observable universe is a spherical
volume (a ball) centered on the observer, regardless of the shape of
the universe as a whole. Every location in the universe has its own
observable universe which may or may not overlap with the one
centered on the Earth.
The word observable used in this sense does not depend on whether
modern technology actually permits detection of radiation from an
object in this region (or indeed on whether there is any radiation
to detect). It simply indicates that it is possible in principle for
light or other signals from the object to reach an observer on
Earth. In practice, we can see light only from as far back as the
time of photon decoupling in the recombination epoch, which is when
particles were first able to emit photons that were not quickly
re-absorbed by other particles, before which the Universe was filled
with a plasma opaque to photons….
Visualization of the 93 billion light
year – or 28 billion parsec – three-dimensional observable universe.
The scale is such that the fine grains of light represent
collections of large numbers of superclusters. The Virgo
Supercluster – home of Milky Way – is marked at the center, but is
too small to be seen in the image.
"Panoramic view of the entire
near-infrared sky reveals the distribution of galaxies beyond the
Milky Way. The image is derived from the 2MASS Extended Source
Catalog (XSC)—more than 1.5 million galaxies, and the Point Source
Catalog (PSC)--nearly 0.5 billion Milky Way stars. The galaxies are
color coded by 'redshift' obtained from the UGC, CfA, Tully NBGC,
LCRS, 2dF, 6dFGS, and SDSS surveys (and from various observations
compiled by the NASA Extragalactic Database), or photo-metrically
deduced from the K band (2.2 um). Blue are the nearest sources (z <
0.01); green are at moderate distances (0.01 < z < 0.04) and red are
the most distant sources that 2MASS resolves (0.04 < z < 0.1). The
map is projected with an equal area Aitoff in the Galactic system
(Milky Way at center)
Diagram of our Location in the Observable Universe
Larger Original Image:
The Known Universe Scientifically Rendered For
All to See (by AMNH) ( 6 mins)
The Known Universe takes viewers from the
Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to
the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar
seen in the film is possible because of the world's most
complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital
Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists
at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created
by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos:
From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin
Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.
Map of the CMB fluctuations
George Fitzgerald Smoot III
George Smoot – Nobel Prize
George Fitzgerald Smoot III (born February 20, 1945) is an American
astrophysicist, cosmologist, Nobel laureate, and $1 million TV quiz
show prize winner (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?). He won the
Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on COBE with John C.
Mather that led to the measurement "of the black body form and
anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation."
George Smoot: The Design of
the Universe ( 19 mins)
At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new
images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the
cosmos -- with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping
voids -- got built this way.
- That the estimated Galaxies in the Universe is over 100 Billion
Galaxies- and that our own Milky Way Galaxy may have 100 Billion
Stars, some- or most – with Planets !!!!!
How Many Galaxies in the Universe ?
Our Earth feels like all there is, but we know that it’s just a tiny
planet in a vast Solar System. And our Solar System is just one
member of a vast Milky Way galaxy with 200 to 400 billion stars. But
how many galaxies are there in the entire Universe?
This is a difficult number to know for certain, since we can only
see a fraction of the Universe, even with our most powerful
instruments. The most current estimates guess that there are 100 to
200 billion galaxies in the Universe, each of which has hundreds of
billions of stars. - A recent German supercomputer simulation put
that number even higher: 500 billion. In other words, there could be
a galaxy out there for every star in the Milky Way.
As mentioned, these numbers are considered rough estimates. In order
to create these estimates, astronomers use a powerful telescope,
like the Hubble Space Telescope, to deeply study a region of the
sky. By gathering light for hundreds of hours, Hubble is able to see
more deeply than any Earth-based telescope could ever hope to look.
Astronomers count up the number of galaxies in the cone of space
that makes up the deep image, and then use this as an average for
the rest of the sky. Even though they’re really only observed a tiny
fraction of the sky at that depth, they can estimate the rest.
Most of the galaxies in the Universe are probably tiny dwarf
galaxies. For example, in our Local Group of galaxies there are only
3 large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, and the
Triangulum Galaxy. The rest are dwarf and irregular galaxies.
We have written many articles about galaxies for Universe Today.
Here’s an article about the number of stars in the Milky Way, and
here’s another about the number of stars in the whole Universe.
If you’d like more info on galaxies, check out Hubblesite’s News
Releases on Galaxies, and here’s NASA’s Science Page on Galaxies.
Cosmic Journeys: How Large is
the Universe? ( 20 mins)
The mind-blowing answer comes from a theory describing the birth of
the universe in the first instant of time. The universe has long
captivated us with its immense scales of distance and time.
How far does it stretch? Where does it end... and what lies beyond
its star fields... and streams of galaxies extending as far as
telescopes can see?
These questions are beginning to yield to a series of extraordinary
new lines of investigation... and technologies that are letting us
to peer into the most distant realms of the cosmos...But also at the
behavior of matter and energy on the smallest of scales. Remarkably,
our growing understanding of this kingdom of the ultra-tiny, inside
the nuclei of atoms, permits us to glimpse the largest vistas of
space and time.
In ancient times, most observers saw the stars as a sphere
surrounding the earth, often the home of deities. The Greeks were
the first to see celestial events as phenomena, subject to human
investigation... rather than the fickle whims of the Gods. One
sky-watcher, for example, suggested that meteors are made of
materials found on Earth... and might have even come from the Earth.
Those early astronomers built the foundations of modern science. But
they would be shocked to see the discoveries made by their
The stars and planets that once harbored the gods are now seen as
infinitesimal parts of a vast scaffolding of matter and energy
extending far out into space.
Just how far... began to emerge in the 1920s. Working at the huge
new 100-inch Hooker Telescope on California's Mt. Wilson, astronomer
Edwin Hubble, along with his assistant named Milt Humason, analyzed
the light of fuzzy patches of sky... known then as nebulae. They
showed that these were actually distant galaxies far beyond our own.
Hubble and Humason discovered that most of them are moving away from
us. The farther out they looked, the faster they were receding. This
fact, now known as Hubble's law, suggests that there must have been
a time when the matter in all these galaxies was together in one
That time... when our universe sprung forth... has come to be called
the Big Bang. How large the cosmos has gotten since then depends on
how long its been growing... and its expansion rate. Recent
precision measurements gathered by the Hubble space telescope and
other instruments have brought a consensus...
That the universe dates back 13.7 billion years. Its radius, then,
is the distance a beam of light would have traveled in that time ...
13.7 billion light years. That works out to about 1.3 quadrillion
kilometers. In fact, it's even bigger.... Much bigger. How it got so
large, so fast, was until recently a deep mystery. That the universe
could expand had been predicted back in 1917 by Albert Einstein,
except that Einstein himself didn't believe it... until he saw
Hubble and Humason's evidence.
Einstein's general theory of relativity suggested that galaxies
could be moving apart because space itself is expanding. So when a
photon gets blasted out from a distant star, it moves through a
cosmic landscape that is getting larger and larger, increasing the
distance it must travel to reach us. In 1995, the orbiting telescope
named for Edwin Hubble began to take the measure of the universe...
by looking for the most distant galaxies it could see.
Taking the expansion of the universe into account, the space
telescope found galaxies that are now almost 46 billion light years
away from us in each direction... and almost 92 billion light years
from each other. And that would be the whole universe... according
to a straightforward model of the big bang. But remarkably, that
might be a mere speck within the universe as a whole, according to a
dramatic new theory that describes the origins of the cosmos. It's
based on the discovery that energy is constantly welling up from the
vacuum of space in the form of particles of opposite charge...
matter and anti-matter.
Cosmic Journeys: Is the Universe
Infinite? ( 24 mins)
Explore the biggest question of all... in 1080p. How far do the
stars stretch out into space? And what's beyond them? In modern
times, we built giant telescopes that have allowed us to cast our
gaze deep into the universe. Astronomers have been able to look back
to near the time of its birth. They've reconstructed the course of
cosmic history in astonishing detail.
From intensive computer modeling, and myriad close observations,
they've uncovered important clues to its ongoing evolution. Many now
conclude that what we can see, the stars and galaxies that stretch
out to the limits of our vision, represent only a small fraction of
all there is.
Does the universe go on forever? Where do we fit within it? And how
would the great thinkers have wrapped their brains around the
far-out ideas on today's cutting edge?
For those who find infinity hard to grasp, even troubling, you're
not alone. It's a concept that has long tormented even the best
Journey to the Edge of the Universe -
Documentary - DVD
( 1Hr:30 mins)
National Geographic presents the first
accurate non-stop voyage from Earth to the edge of the Universe
using a single, unbroken shot through the use of spectacular CGI
(Computer-Generated Imagery) technology. - Building on images
taken from the Hubble telescope, Journey to the Edge of the Universe
explores the science and history behind the distant celestial bodies
in the solar system. This spectacular, epic voyage across the
cosmos, takes us from the Earth, past the Moon and our neighboring
planets, out of our Solar System, to the nearest stars, nebulae and
galaxies and beyond - right to the edge of the Universe itself.
Strangest Things In The
Universe - Full Documentary ( 44 mins)
Dark Matter Movie from the Bolshoi Simulation
& Bolshoi Simulation of the Universe & more…