Secrets of the Universe
by Jonathan Gomez
When you look up, you see the sun; at night the stars and the moon fill the sky. But, you know nothing of what’s past our solar system.
According to astronomers, the universe is a gazillion years old (13.8 billion years), so there is definitely a whole lot of stuff that we don’t know about it. When the birth of the universe happened, everything we’ve ever known of was created, actually, everything to ever exist was created. The universe began expanding and a recent study in February of this year gave us new information about how quickly the universe is expanding and it is a lot quicker than we ever expected. With the expansion of the universe, scientist wonder, what is the universe expanding into? It seems that the simplest questions are the most difficult to answer, and if you’re confused, so are the scientists. So don’t worry!
General relativity tells us that the universe is infinite, meaning it doesn’t end. But, scientists aren’t too sure if our universe is finite or infinite, however, since we cannot interact with the universe, meaning we can never test it, we can only theorize that upon reaching the so-called “edge” or the end of the observable universe. We will only find more of the universe. We don’t receive any signals or light from beyond that point. This doesn’t exactly mean that the universe is infinite, the universe could just simply have no edge. For illustration, take an A4 piece of paper If you were to roll the paper into a cylinder, the edges would just connect; this theory applies to the universe. Keep in mind that the scientist’s definition of flat is different, when they say flat, they actually mean “Euclidean,” meaning that parallel lines always run parallel to the sum of the angles of a triangle. This is where it gets interesting, more so because it’s a little easier to understand. If the universe is flat then that means (if the universe was smaller) you could walk in a straight line an end up in the same place you started. This is because a flat plane can also be a cylindrical shape. The universe could even be in the shape of a torus (the shape of a donut) all due to a flat surface. Therefore, the universe wouldn’t have an edge. Like the earth, there’s no edge, there may just be a limited volume.
To answer that question, if the universe is expanding, what it is expanding into? Based on all research, we can only theorize that the universe isn’t expanding into anything, It simply has no edge. Still, this is only a theory meaning that it’s not possible to prove through the scientific method. But, at least this makes more sense than the flat earth theory. So astronomers have come along way!