15 Responses to “Big Ol’ Numbers”

  1. Chris 6 December 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    I love how they just say all of this stuff and there is no explanation as to how they know it. Like, how do they KNOW that we aren’t traveling faster than the speed of light, and lots of those “other” galaxies aren’t just past versions of our galaxy that the light emmitted by it is just now “catching up” with us (like, we are intercepting the light from when we shone it billions/trillions of years ago and thinking we are looking at other galaxies, when it is really just our galaxy).

    To illustrate this theory further, pretend you are superman. You decide to go from your house to the garage. You go as fast as you can, which happens to be 200x the speed of light. When you get there you turn around (and your brain is still functioning faster than light) and you see yourself standing at the door about to come to the garage. You think it is a clone of you (when really you are seeing you). It starts coming towards you so you run to the tree and turn around. At this point you see a version of you at the garage, and another version of you stepping out of the house towards the garage. The version of you at the garage begins to come towards the tree as the version of you at the house moves towards the garage, so you run further and further, each time the light you reflected/displaced at the previous spot catching up with you at the further spot, “creating” more and more supermans, when really they are all just you, and you think you are being chased by tons of supermans, when really if you just were able to STOP for a few minutes they would eventually all catch up with and merge with you.

    Did that make any sense (as long as we are assuming faster than light travel is possible that is)?

  2. B 6 December 2007 at 2:46 pm #

    Whoa that would be a scary nightmare. Like that scene on Matrix 2 with all the Smiths. I pictured our old garage on Hiatt street and that tree we made the forts in during your example.

    I believe as you approach the speed of light your mass approaches infinity, which isn’t possible, so it would have to be another method – like black holes or whatever. But how do they know we aren’t just looking through a bunch of black holes and seeing our own galaxy if that’s the case?

  3. Chris 6 December 2007 at 2:47 pm #

    Oh, and before you say that you know how fast we are going and that it’s not faster than light, you don’t. There is no way for us to tell how fast anything is moving because speed is a subjective measurement. If you get in a plane and fly the opposite way the earth is rotating at 1000/mph then you are really SITTING STILL because that’s how fast the earth rotates. So even if we are moving a certain speed in relation to the rest of our solar system, or galaxy, or universe, since it is impossible to look outside of our universe, we have no clue as to whether our universe is moving F.T.L., or sitting still, or if our universe makes up the nucleous of an atom embedded in a yo-yo that God does the cradle with all day long…

  4. Chris 6 December 2007 at 2:48 pm #

    Hey, that could be true too. Or what about giant crystaline prysms that float around trapping/releasing light over billions of years…

    No, I’ve NOT been smoking crack, why do you ask?

  5. Chris 6 December 2007 at 3:23 pm #

    Oh, oh, wait, what about random instantaneous teleportation? I mean, if Jesus could do that while he was on earth (I seem to recall several times when he disappeared from the midst of crowds, and I don’t remember anything about ninja smoke bombs so I’m assuming teleportation was used) then why couldn’t space have some sort of mechanism coded into it that caused similar teleportation to happen at random? If that were the case then the earth could simply be teleporting itself billions of lightyears away from itself and thus no ftl travel is required. And who’s to say that ftl travel is impossibly anyways? I’d like to see the studies where people going faster than the speed of sound “aquire” more mass…

  6. Phil 7 December 2007 at 7:40 am #

    Any number that I can’t count to is really beyond my comprehension. I usually give up when I hit my age. So, 50 billion trillion is a whole lot more than I can comprehend.

    That video is awesome! When it spans out, it almost makes me think that our galaxy is just a DNA strand in the whole scheme of things. It looks like a simple one cell organism in a big pond.

    When I stand on my hands (don’t laugh), I feel like I’m holding the universe in my hands…or at least the whole world. Now I realize that’s not really possible, but somehow I can contain It in my heart?

    I’m happy that I got engaged before the news about this diamond came out…I wonder how many girls heard the size of this diamond and immediately looked down at their finger in disappointment.

  7. B 7 December 2007 at 7:50 am #

    When you said don’t laugh I have to admit that I did anyway. Everything starts to look the same when you “zoom out”. When you zoom out of our galaxy it looks to me exactly the same as when you zoom out of the entire Local Group, which looks like one big galaxy, even though it’s composed of trillions of galaxies. Each galaxy looks like a star. What if there were multiple universes? What does that even mean?

  8. B 7 December 2007 at 8:36 am #

    Maybe Jesus used one of the two ways of going around the speed of light: an Alcubierre drive or a traversable wormhole. Of course, he couldn’t have because the technology hasn’t been built yet.

    And who’s to say that ftl travel is impossibly anyways?

    Einstein does in his Special Theory of Relativity.

    Regarding your plane flying over the Earth analogy, an airplane has to accelerate from a subluminal velocity to a superluminal velocity if it wants to go faster than the speed of light. This is not possible, and the reason is the key word “accelerate”.

    Special relativity does not forbid the existence of particles that travel faster than light at all times. Maybe that can apply to our entire galaxy traveling faster than the speed of light, in which case we can keep up our speculating. Yay!

  9. Chris 7 December 2007 at 2:46 pm #

    What if you *decelerated* until you were stopped, and then the universe around you would be moving as fast as however fast the universe moves. Then if you move in the opposite direction… maybe if you go half the speed of light in the opposite direction that the universe is traveling half the speed of light in, you would be relatively to the universe going the speed of light. LOL that was just stupid…

    Someday people may just look and laugh at us wanting to go the speed of light. They’ll be like, why would you want to do that, when you could just blip into the other place. Like, seriously, when you are reading my comments on anything, why would you ever read through the whole thing when you could just scroll down to the end? Just because you want to get somewhere doesn’t mean you have to travel over every inch of space to get there. There’s got to be a way to just adjust your focus to the place you want to go, and *blip* you’re there.

    I’m betting the problem there is that you have to have been to the place you want to go because otherwise you can’t get your focus there. Or you have to have a tool that knows the precise coordinates of that place. Like, the scroll bar knows about the bottom of my comment (you’re still reading?) so it can just go there. The reason there is no time travel yet is because we haven’t created it yet, so there is no scroll bar that goes back here. Anyways, you need coordinates to get to a place, and without the proper equipment to calculate the precise coordinates, it’s just not possible.

    Won’t it be weird? It will be like, iTravel will be released by apple. The first year, you can only go through that year. They’ll launch one into space and then in a few months you can warp to the moon (once it gets there). Then in a few years they’ll come out with iTravelToo, and then iTravel3, and the third one won’t be compatible with the first one, and people will be all like, “aw man, I catalogued my 2057 trip to hawaii in the first one, and now I’m not going to be able to go back past 2060 with the third one. That sucks.” And I’ll make fun of them, and say that I knew it would happen.

    You can stop scrolling now, I’m done rambling. See that? You got from the beginning of my comment to the end without reading the whole thing. Almost like you traveled FTL even though you didn’t have to cover all the ground to get here. I suppose to do this though you would have to be able to separate from space and time… Hrm… that’s a tricky one…


  10. B 10 December 2007 at 8:56 am #

    iTravelToo – LOL

    “and the third one won’t be compatible with the first one” OMG ROFL

    That makes sense, we just need to find short cuts. As long as there is at least one singularity in our universe I will believe in superluminol travel. As far as I know, there is a multitude of them everywhere: black holes.

    Basically what I’m saying is as long as we realize that we haven’t realized everything yet and we don’t know all the rules of physics, or at least what happens when they break down (i.e. black holes), then there’s hope.

  11. unsane1 18 December 2007 at 1:50 pm #

    While researching a post i came across yours. Hate to break it to you, but the edge of the observable universe is 46.5 billion light years away. And how far the edge of our entire universe is is unknown. :D


  12. The Gimcracker 18 December 2007 at 2:32 pm #

    Where did you get your facts? I just came up with 8.5 billion by my own calculations of dividing 50 billion trillion by the number of miles in a light year, but I didn’t actually look up the number

    It would appear that I was very close in my calculations, as most sources say the edge is around 10 billion light years away (I was a mere 2.5 billion light years off).

    I would love to hear where you got your figures from though. I read the information from the link you posted but I don’t see anything explaining it. Could you give me a link to more info? I’m really interested in this kind of stuff!

  13. The Gimcracker 19 December 2007 at 6:21 am #

    Nevermind, I didn’t see that little “W” link that takes you to the Wikipedia article. Wikipedia says the diameter of the observable universe is in fact 93 billion light years. Wow, don’t watch that video – it’s wrong!

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