The Flat Universe Society.

Time for a brain teaser.

This image, the best map ever of the Universe, shows the oldest light in the universe. This glow, left over from the beginning of the cosmos called the cosmic microwave background, shows tiny changes in temperature represented by color. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration.

Every image of the universe seems to show a nice neat circle.  So where is the edge (or center) of the universe?

Turns out, there isn’t one. There are no ends to the Universe, and all points within it are equal.

What?  Then why do all the images look like they have an edge and a center.  The reason that we can see and image distant galaxies is because of the time it takes for light from them to reach us.  We are actually looking back in time and are observing the light as it  appeared 13.5 billions years ago.

It seems that if you are on the edge of a sphere, no matter where you look, everything is equally distant from you.  If there is an edge, we don’t have the technology to see it, and then what exactly would you see?  There wouldn’t be any space-time beyond the edge of…well…space-time.  Also, since you are on an expanding sphere, which way would you go?

So don’t think of the Big Bang as a typical explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a center into space, it is more like  the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places at the same time.

So, no center and no edge.  Just a lot a matter, most of which we can’t see, flying away from every other object in the universe equally.

If your brain hasn’t exploded yet, its time for coffee.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +