Seeing Earliest Galaxies, Speed of Light, Distance
Date: April 2011
If Earth is now seeing light from early galaxies born 13 billion years ago, and we all came from the same Big Bang, how did Earth beat the speed of light to get to present location so quickly?
Unfortunately, because we do not, as yet, have the technology to
replicate the energies and densities involved in a Big Bang, we can
only extrapolate to what conditions must have existed in the very
first tiny fraction of a second of the Big Bang. However, much of
our math and data suggest that the Big Bang indeed resulted in the
expansion of the universe - BUT what was expanding in that first
fraction of a second, was not galaxies and planets, but rather
subatomic particles and elementary particles. In effect, our theory
states, that in that first fraction of a second, the universe grew
exponentially and was filled with subatomic particles. Still within
a tiny fraction of a second, these subatomic particles combined to
form matter. A few minutes after the Big Bang lighter nuclei and
years later electrons and nuclei started forming atoms. After a
really long period of time, these atoms started forming larger
masses (due to gravitational effects). So by the time stars,
planets, galaxies formed, the universe is pretty much as large as it
is now - the sudden expansion had slowed down really dramatically.
So when we say that we are only now beginning to see light from
across the galaxy, it is because that light did indeed not start
until the universe was already very much expanded.
Greg (Roberto Gregorius)
Earth did not beat the speed of light. Galaxies 13 billion
years old are easily visible from Earth using powerful telescopes,
especially the Hubble. We do not, however, see all the way back to
the moment of the Universe's birth, since that was too long ago.
David H. Levy
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Update: June 2012