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What would it have been like to witness the beginning of the universe?

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What would it have been like to witness the beginning of the universe?

Post by Dragon on Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:14 pm

Something wonderful happened about 13.8 billion years ago. Everything in the universe was created in an instant as an infinitesimally small point of energy: the Big Bang. We know that this event happened, as the universe is constantly expanding and galaxies are moving away from us. The more we peer into the past, the smaller it gets – that's how we know it must have once been infinitesimally small, and that there must have been a beginning.

But of course there weren't any humans around to see how it all started. What would it have been like – what would we have seen and felt? Now new research posted on the open science repository ArXiv, has investigated the amount of light available in the newborn universe to offer some clues.

The universe may seem dark and cold now, but there is a lot of light around. Humans can see some of this, but there's also light at frequencies that we can't see. The night sky, for example, appears dark but in fact glows at a frequency of light invisible to human eyes. Still, we can see this light using microwave detectors and it is a light that fills space and is practically exactly the same wherever we look.

The light that fills space now only warms the universe to on average 2.7 degrees above absolute zero – or -270°C. In the future, as the universe continues to expand at an ever-increasing rate, the light will dilute away and the cosmic weather forecast predicts that the temperature will slowly approach the coldest possible temperature of -273°C.

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Re: What would it have been like to witness the beginning of the universe?

Post by Dragon on Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:16 pm


Credit: NASA

Timeline of the universe.

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Re: What would it have been like to witness the beginning of the universe?

Post by Dragon on Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:17 pm



The night sky in microwaves. COBE Satellite view of the current microwave sky, in false colour and uncorrected for the motion of the sun about our galaxy.

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Re: What would it have been like to witness the beginning of the universe?

Post by Dragon on Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:18 pm



Artist's interpretation of the Big Bang, with representations of the early universe and its expansion.

 
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