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Universe Measured: We're 156 Billion Light-years Wide!

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by , 10-04-2010 at 06:40 PM (3843 Views)

"If you've ever wondered how big the universe is, you're not alone. Astronomers have long pondered this, too, and they've had a hard time figuring it out. Now an estimate has been made, and its a whopper.

The universe is at least 156 billion light-years wide." by By Robert Roy Britt Senior Science Writer, posted: 06:30 am ET 24 May 2004

Good article, interesting. But how is 'width' measurable in a constantly expanding universe? Hmm...

Another fascinating story and website at:
I love me a well done 'Info-tainment' show, with accompanying website, such as this.

If my favorite channels are SciFi, PBS, History, and any science or related shows, does that mean I'm a nerd? ;~>

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  1. Snozzle's Avatar
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    OK I see this comment a lot! "The Universe expanded not into space but as space. In other words, matter did not simply explode but space expanded. It grew from a dot infinitely smaller than an atom to an area billions of light years across in a mere fraction of a second." This one is from Dr. Michio Kaku. If this statement is true then wouldn't the universe be much wider than 156 Billion Light years across. This would suggest that the universe was expanding space faster than the speed of light. Just a thought!
  2. Joshua Shrode's Avatar
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    This is what occurred to me when I read it. I thought that hyperinflation caused the universe to well...hyperinflate orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light in a fraction of a fraction of a whif of a second. But the CMB shows the universe as it was when photons could decouple and being their journey through an expanding space-time. And that didn't happen until almost 400,000 years after this initial period of hyperinflation. So the only thing I can figure is that the part of the universe that contains photons is 156 billion light years wide. But the universe itself is much much much larger and we really don't know how big the universe is...That the universe expands faster than light is no problem because it is space-time itself that is expanding and not something that is travelling through space-time. Is that correct? Am I missing something?
  3. Jimmy Pelletier's Avatar
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    From what I know, the observable universe, or the part that contains photons, is about 48 billion lightyears across (larger than the expected 13.7 bly thanks to the lovely cosmological constant, 72 m/s/km), while the part of the universe that is farther than 48 bly (or, moving away from us faster than the speed of light) stretches on to 156 bly. These scientists probably "measured" the width of the rest of the universe using the age of the universe and the rate it is expanding, not with astronomical tools.
  4. Steve's Avatar
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    Any way you measure it, the universe apparently is incredibly fat. Fat is not socially acceptable, so the universe is not well liked. This probably accounts for the reason why people on the planet earth leave so much trash lying around and seem angry so much.