The expansion of the universe can make galaxies invisible, says expert
The American astronomer Edwin Hubble and some others discovered in the 1920s that the universe is expanding. They showed that most galaxies retreat from the Milky Way, and the farther away they are, the faster they retreat. The fairly constant relationship between speed and distance became known as the Hubble constant.
For every extra megaparsec – a distance measurement equivalent to one million parsecs or 3.26 million light-years – of distance, Hubble found that galaxies retreated 500 kilometers per second faster.
So the Hubble constant was 500 in units of kilometers per second. megaparsek.
Over the years, astronomers have downgraded this estimate significantly as the techniques improved.
But Hubble laid the foundation for what scientists know today, with his later namesake, the Hubble Space Telescope, enabling astronomers to look down into the depths of the universe.
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It is this telescope that has enabled scientists to go one step further and observe that the universe is actually expanding.
But as Professor David Kaiser of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explained, the universe not only expands and expands.
Speaking during the BBC series, ‘Universe: Where Everything Begins and Ends’, he said: “It’s actually getting bigger, faster.”
Most observations suggest that the expansion of the universe will continue forever.
If so, a popular theory claims that the universe will cool down as it expands and eventually becomes too cold to sustain life.
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Planets like Earth could eventually be left alone, suspended in space, facing a freezing doomsday.
That was suggested by Professor Larry Gladney of Yale University during the documentary.
He said: “We can well imagine that the universe will continue to expand and become so large that the galaxies will eventually disappear.
“They will be so far away from us and move so fast that we have no hope of seeing any light from them.
“And it’s a real possibility for what might happen in the future.”
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Dark energy – the mysterious force that causes the rate of expansion of our universe to accelerate – could force the space between clusters of galaxies to grow at an increasing rate.
With this in mind, some theories suggest that a scenario called “Heat Death” might occur.
This has been hovered as the ultimate destiny of the universe, suggesting that it could evolve into a state without thermodynamic free energy and therefore would not be able to sustain processes that increase entropy – the goal of the amount of energy that does not is available to perform work.
Through things like the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have gathered a significant amount of information about the universe.
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They have used these observations, as well as previous calculations, to develop a model now known as the Big Bang to help explain the formation and evolution of the universe.
It says that about 13.8 billion years ago, all matter in the universe was concentrated in a single incredibly small point.
From this small point, the entire universe expanded outward to what exists today.
According to Professor Brian Cox, who also spoke during ‘The Universe’, there was a time before the Big Bang where no substance existed at all.
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The only thing that existed was space-time and a sea of energy, almost quiet but gently rippling.
Prof Cox said we should imagine this place as an “almost quiet sea of energy that fills the void”.
While the place had no structures, the energy affected space and caused it to stretch – an “unbelievably violent expansion” known as inflation.