The age of the universe

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,727
Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The closest galaxy to us is four light years away, a vast distance already, and that's just a stone's throw compared to the other galaxies way the hell out there.
In fact, it's hard to describe just how far out they really are. Add to that, it's not just in one direction either, it's in all three-dimensional directions.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
4,309
That is, assuming that there are "only" 3-dimensions,
and not ~6 more that we just can't perceive with our very limited eyes.
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BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
9,288
That is, assuming that there are "only" 3-dimensions,
and not ~6 more that we just can't perceive with our very limited eyes.
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.
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The 7 extra dimensions required by superstring theory are thought to have extents smaller than subatomic particles, so they would not change any distance measurement in any significant way.
 

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,727
Since some of the most distant places in the universe are something over 40 billion light years away, traveling at 100mph it would take hundreds of thousands of trillions of years to get there (something like 270000 trillion years). That would be around the speed of a fast moving car. Too bad if you do not have your driver's license yet, walking will take a lot longer. If we could travel at 10000 mph we might make it there in 2700 trillion years. Even then you are going to have to pack a LOT of beer.
2700 trillion years is about 39 to 78 trillion generations.
As they say in the movies all time, "Just forget about it" :)
 

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,727
<dark background music>

Ohhhhhh :)

Lukily the end of the universe is not something we have to be concerned about, even in the slightest. That's unless we discover immortality in our lifetimes.

We just had a 4.8 earthquake here the other day complete with aftershocks. The house shook so badly that it felt almost like the end of the universe. We didn't usually get earthquakes here in NJ it's always been more or less calm. We had one very mild one about 10 years back but the house barely nudged a little. This time it was a full on ground moving quake, which rattled the house for a good 30 seconds, which seems longer when it was happening. At first I thought a truck hit the house or something as we had a truck hit the power lines one time and it knocked out all the power, and it shook the house slightly.

Anyway, this is a wake up to how dependent we are on the stability of the planet. We assume that it's going to go on this way for years and years, driving to and from work, walking on the sidewalk, grocery shopping, sleeping, waking, eating, etc. But when we consider the tremendous forces that exist everywhere in the universe, it's as wonder we are still here at all.
 
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