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identityless
2006-Mar-19, 03:04 AM
When you look through a telescope to see the sun, you are viewing the light source from it right? Since light takes about 6 mins. from the sun to earth, you are seeing the sun 6 mins. ago. With the Hubble telescope, lens got bigger and stronger and thus able to see farther. The galaxy that formed millions of years ago can be seen with a telescope. However, the galaxy we see existed million of years ago.

Now, what if we could built a telescope so powerful that it could see over trillions and trillion years ago before the Big Bang? What if NASA in the far future developed a telescope on the moon, the size of Russia, with lens covering the diameter of the size of USA. This Ultra-Powerful telescope have the ability to see 10^30000000000 light years away. A time before the Big Bang even occur?

What are the possibilities that we could see from this powerful telescope?

The past-universe? If we subscribe to theory of expanding-collapsing universe, then the universe that which we live in now is just one of the many expanding-collapsing cycle. In which case, looking through the telescope we could see another huge different universe?

God? An Intelligent Designer? What about seeing the pre-Big Bang? What if we could see the ID planning the whole Big Bang and designing it trillions and trillions of light years away? We could even see the process the ID did to conceive the Big Bang.

Discuss.

Tensor
2006-Mar-19, 03:18 AM
When you look through a telescope to see the sun, you are viewing the light source from it right? Since light takes about 6 mins. from the sun to earth, you are seeing the sun 6 mins. ago. With the Hubble
God? An Intelligent Designer? What about seeing the pre-Big Bang? What if we could see the ID planning the whole Big Bang and designing it trillions and trillions of light years away? We could even see the process the ID did to conceive the Big Bang.

Discuss.

Read the FAQ first.

johntsang
2006-Mar-19, 03:27 AM
No matter how big a scope, it cannot see whatever IS happening "N + delta light sec" away, in "N light sec".
In the Sense of Time -Space, it's a prision, regardless the size of the telescope .... limited , short changed, blindfolded, handicapped ...

Fortune cookie ... see HIM in your mind, see HIM everywhere !!

Wolverine
2006-Mar-19, 04:39 AM
Welcome to the forum, identityless.

As Tensor notes above, you should familiarize yourself with our forum rules (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845#post564845). First and foremost, this message board is dedicated to science. We have very strict guidelines concerning the discussion of religion.

In terms of the Big Bang, there is no "before" in the model. There's a related discussion here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=36526) you may find helpful (also see here (http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=364)).

Moved from ATM to Q & A.

Ken G
2006-Mar-19, 09:11 AM
Also, there are two problems with seeing that far back in time:

1) you have to have sources. Stars/galaxies formed about 13 billion years ago, so there's no galaxy light to see before that. All you have is the cosmic background radiation, and we are seeing that already!

2) you have to have a transparent medium to look through. The very early universe was dense and ionized, so not transparent at all. Again, no matter how big your telescope, you'll never see past that, only the formation of the cosmic background radiation at a time about 400,000 years after the Beginning. That's what WMAP was all about-- been there, done that. All that is left now is to see the very first stars, 13+ billion years ago, and to more carefully study everything since.

astromark
2006-Mar-19, 11:28 AM
This is going to sound like gobbeldi-gook, ( rubbish ) and could well be so.
We can not see what has not yet happened. Thats clear enough, All things of the future are still in the future. They could be predicted on most probable outcome of known parameters., but generally we can not see what has not yet happened.
As for the past. What we 'see' when looking into deepest distances is the light photons that have reached us from that point. Yes it has taken the light photons 13.5 billions of years to reach your telescope. We can not and do not see the past. Just the light image that reaches us from that distant place has taken so long to get here. If you don't like this idea think of film as a way of capturing light image. Saving it and viewing it later. We do not see the past. we see a record of what happened. And yes it has been proven that the background radiation seen beyond this 13.5 billion years is the remnants of the great expansion. Your talk of telescopes the size of half the Moon, seeing farther. No, not possible. Seeing clearer, and with more detail, maybe.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-19, 12:39 PM
When you look through a telescope to see the sun, you are viewing the light source from it right? Since light takes about 6 mins. from the sun to earth, you are seeing the sun 6 mins. ago.

You've gotten some good answers already. I liked Astromark's note that you can only see what there is a record of.

Here's a few things about your post that I think need to be answered.
1. You don't need a telescope to see the Sun. If you have a dark place to look from and fairly good eyes, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy about 2 million light years away.
2. It takes light a little over eight minutes to get here from the Sun. I'm not being critical of your writing, but I don't want someone to copy your statement above as an unchallenged fact.
3. The galaxy that formed millions of years ago can be seen with a telescope. All galaxies formed billions of years ago, including ours.
4. Now, what if we could built a telescope so powerful that it could see over trillions and trillion years ago before the Big Bang? This is the point that most people have covered so far. There is not a linear relationship between telescope size and how far back it can see. As far as optical light goes, Hubble can see just about all the way back. As Astromark says, you won't see further back, just clearer (and may I add, you'll get your images faster).
5. It's already been said, but I'm repeating because it is important. You are welcome here, but we cannot address your final topics because they are out of bounds for us, and for you in any future post. No religion. No attempt to provoke religious discussion.

Fun topic: What could a telescope that size see?

You asked what a telescope with a lens (mirror actually) the size of the United States could see. Just for the record, a telescope as wide as the US wouldn't fit on the moon. The moon is 2160 miles wide, and the US (not counting Alaska, Hawaii, or any protectorates) is about 3000 miles wide, but lets say that such a telescope was built and floating in space the same way Hubble does (just further from the Earth, so it doesn't eclipse the Sun for ground observers).

This telescope would be about 5 million meters wide. It sees light with a wavelength of about half of one millionth of a meter long. The ratio of width to wavelength is about 10 trillion. Using the diffraction formula we get that the angle in radians we can resolve with such a telescope is about 1 over 8 trillion. This is about 0.000000025 arc seconds (25 nano arcseconds). With such a telescope we could see:

- The surface of Pluto with a resolution of 266 pixels per meter (very detailed).
- The surface of any object in the Alpha Centauri system with a resolution of 5 kilometers per pixel
- Things in the center of our galaxy (that aren't blocked by dust) at about 40,000 kilometers per pixel (a little bigger than Earth-sized planets). If we can use this telescope to see in the medium infrared to see through some of the dust, perhaps we could see things half a million kilometers per pixel as they fall into our central super-massive black hole.
- We could NOT resolve the surface of Geminga (one of the closest known neutron stars), or see the event horizon of the nearest known stellar mass black hole.
- In galaxies 13 billion light years away, we could resolve down to about a thousandth of a light-year, which is roughly the diameter of Pluto's orbit, so we could, at the limit, perhaps see planetary disks forming in the first galaxies.

In short this would be an incredible instrument. I won't address what it would cost to build, or how much it would weigh. It would be collosal.

Ken G
2006-Mar-19, 03:58 PM
We can not and do not see the past.
Actually, I would argue that it is the present that we do not see, nor perceive in any fashion. All information takes time to transmit and process, so we are forever playing "catch-up" with reality. It's only a heck of a lot more obvious with cosmological observations!

eburacum45
2006-Mar-19, 07:19 PM
We do not see the present; that is very true.

One interesting comment I once read was that photographers (especially sports photographers) photograph the future.
The tiny period between the action of pressing the button and the shutter operating can mean that a fast-moving subject has moved a considerable distance before the image is captured. So a sports photographer has to anticipate where the subject will be a fraction of a second into the future.
The present is a vanishingly small instant, and probably doesn't exist except as an abstract concept.

astromark
2006-Mar-19, 07:23 PM
Hmmm. . . . I agree with that. Note that I had not mentioned the 'now'.

eburacum45
2006-Mar-19, 07:28 PM
The biggest obstacle to seeing beyond the big bang is surely the opaqueness of the early universe.
If any stray photons came into the universe from before the big bang (assuming anything existed then) they would not be able to get through the opaque, superhot, superdense material thet existed in the first few thousand years after the bang. So we will never know.

identityless
2006-Mar-20, 08:19 AM
Good replies guys!

What I don't get is, are we zooming/blowing up an image when looking a powerful telescope? Meaning like that we're taking a picture and just expanding the size to see more details? Or, does it actually try to get closer to things?

astromark
2006-Mar-20, 09:24 AM
Identityless., The affective use of a telescope does both. The human eye is only 4.5 to 6mm wide when in the dark. Unfortunately age decreases the eyes ability to open the pupil to its youthful maximums. The ability of the human eye to collect faint light is restricted to just that light that reaches your pupil. On a clear dark sky sight thats a magnitude 6 star, for most of us.
The large size of your modern telescope. Up to 10.5 metres across its mirror, can see ( that might be collect ) much more of the light and then focuses it for you to your much smaller eye. Down to magnitude 14 is not unusual. Yes the eye piece does magnify the image significantly. This is adjustable as eye pieces are changed to achieve this. From wide angle eye pieces for the larger galaxies or nebula's. Right up to 3 or 4 hundred times magnification of smaller brighter but distant objects. My experience has been that for lunar and planet observations a refractive type seems to give best results. We have a 24cm refractor and enjoy splendid views of planets and the moon. The much larger reflector type telescopes we use are best for deep sky objects. I would be interested to here of other views on this. Thanks, Identity.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-20, 12:58 PM
Identityless., The affective use of a telescope does both.

Astromark, your paragraph following this about magnification and light gathering power is alright, but this first statement doesn't seem right in light of his question asking if telescopes try to actually get you closer to the object. They don't.

01101001
2006-Mar-20, 06:18 PM
No closeness involved. But, it can seem like it.

Say you're some distance from a lawn sprinkler and you want to learn about the water. You can stand there with your coffee cup and gather some, maybe a couple drops a minute. Too slow to learn much.

You can move closer to the sprinkler and gather maybe a couple of drops a second. All right!

Or you can get a coffee cup 60 times larger in area, stay where you were originally, and capture a couple of drops a second.

Using a telescope to gather light is like getting a larger cup.

astromark
2006-Mar-20, 07:24 PM
Astromark, your paragraph following this about magnification and light gathering power is alright, but this first statement doesn't seem right in light of his question asking if telescopes try to actually get you closer to the object. They don't.


Anton; I will commend you for your comments, Thank you. If enlarging the image by magnification and gathering massive amounts of light is not trying to get closer then what is it? The question is about our different perception of the word closer. For me a telescope does try to get you closer. From where you stand, I may well be wrong. I can live with that.

astromark
2006-Mar-21, 06:31 AM
Oops, ! Thats a bit strong. didn't want to jump that hard. Sorry all. I must not understand as well as I should.

My point is a little lost. What I am attempting to convey is that the very fact that we use a telescope at all is because we are trying to see better. Brighter, sharper, Bigger. Please note that closer is not there. So the answer to the question is 'No' Telescopes do not try to get us closer at all. just a clearer picture.

joema
2006-Mar-22, 04:49 AM
...In short this would be an incredible instrument. I won't address what it would cost to build, or how much it would weigh. It would be collosal.
It actually wouldn't be impossible, although admittedly far beyond our current capability.

You'd build a free-flying optical space interferometer, not a monolithic telescope. It wouldn't be easy making free-flying "outrigger" mirrors stabilized to to nanometer position, but it's not impossible. The same concept on a much smaller scale is planned for TPF: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpf_technology.cfm

It is conceivable within 100 years we could build a free-flying space optical interferometer with millions of km diameter -- potentially the diameter of earth's orbit -- about 300 million km.

Such an instrument would have an angular resolution of 4.16E-13 arc seconds (41.6 pico arc seconds). If my calculations are right, the linear resolution for an object on Pluto would be about 1 micron -- yes it would make a good microscope at 4.8 billion km.

For Alpha Centauri, linear resolution would be about 8 cm. Hey, let's build one tomorrow!

But even this incredible instrument is insufficient for extragalactic objects. For planets in Andromeda galaxy, linear resolution would be about 42 km. Still not too bad, about like looking at the moon with a small dime-store telescope.

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Mar-22, 06:57 AM
And we could use a billion of them.
That's the problem with high-resolution telescopes.
They image only a tiny part of the sky at the time.

The Saint
2006-Mar-23, 12:22 AM
The OT says "No man shall see Me and live". But there's a tradition that although God may not be seen in this life, three letters of the Tetragrammaton are "carved" on the core of the Sun. What would be the effect if we had cameras that could see the core, and these these Hebrew letters were actually seen?

Roy Batty
2006-Mar-23, 01:02 AM
Sigh.. they'd translate as 'We apologise for the inconvenience' of course:rolleyes:
The Saint, i'm sure you've read the FAQ, right?

antoniseb
2006-Mar-23, 02:25 AM
I am closing this thread. I have banned a user for three days. Note that in post #7 of this thread I cautioned people about violating the No Religion rule. We are serious about this. Please don't post about religion anywhere on this forum.