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karateman
2009-May-15, 10:08 PM
Hi,
If we could stand outside our universe and effectively look down from the outside would it be possible to determine where the centre of the big bang took place? If everything radiated from this point can we not discover where it is, in relation to our current universe. I would assume before it happened there wouldn't be a place, because there would be nothing around to compare it to. But can we not trace back the path of the moving galaxy's or stars. Or is it like a balloon with all the current matter on the outside surface and the centre being where it all started, but nothing actually there now.
I was thinking somewhere on the lines of...eg Somewhere between the Andromeda galaxy and maybe the Orion Nebulae, where one would be on one side of the universe and the other on the opposite side...or is that theory too simple...like me......
Also if the universe did eventually contract, would it go back to the same start point?

Answers as simple as possible please in words of one syllable for a novice .....lol

Phil

pzkpfw
2009-May-15, 10:16 PM
Yes, we do know.

You are where the big bang took place, and you are the centre of the Universe.

But don't get too happy about that, because so am I.

The Big Bang was not an explosion that occured at some point in empty space that threw everything else away from that point.

The big bang was an expansion of the Universe. Everything expanded away from everything else. No one point was any kind of centre.

Have a search around, this question has been asked before. (I'd do it for you, but have to get my Son to soccer...)

---

Now, the balloon model is useful in this. But you need to think of the Universe being the surface of the balloon. Don't think about what is "inside" the ballon, or what the ballon itself is "in". Just the skin itself.

Look at dots on the surface of that balloon as it expands. All of those dots are getting further away from each other, but none of them is the centre. (Or instead of dots, think of ants - that are sometimes attracted to each other. So while in general they do all get further and further apart, a few of them sometimes get closer).

(This is just an illustration of expansion with no centre. Don't take the "balloon idea" too far.)

alainprice
2009-May-15, 10:57 PM
Here's one:
http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/84823-location-big-bang.html

A good answer has already been provided, though.

robross
2009-May-15, 11:05 PM
Hi,
If we could stand outside our universe and effectively look down from the outside would it be possible to determine where the centre of the big bang took place? If everything radiated from this point can we not discover where it is, in relation to our current universe. I would assume before it happened there wouldn't be a place, because there would be nothing around to compare it to. But can we not trace back the path of the moving galaxy's or stars. Or is it like a balloon with all the current matter on the outside surface and the centre being where it all started, but nothing actually there now.
I was thinking somewhere on the lines of...eg Somewhere between the Andromeda galaxy and maybe the Orion Nebulae, where one would be on one side of the universe and the other on the opposite side...or is that theory too simple...like me......
Also if the universe did eventually contract, would it go back to the same start point?

Answers as simple as possible please in words of one syllable for a novice .....lol

Phil

Frazier and Pamela covered this exact question in the Astronomy Cast episode "Where is the center of the universe?":

http://www.astronomycast.com/astronomy/ep-77-where-is-the-centre-of-the-universe/

Rob

Gandalf223
2009-May-16, 01:09 AM
The Big Bang took place in my living room, under the west end of the coffee table.

(Snarky answer provided because the question has already been covered pretty well.)

DrRocket
2009-May-16, 01:42 AM
Yes, we do know.

You are where the big bang took place, and you are the centre of the Universe.



Somehow, politicians and CEOs seem to know this instinctively. :shifty:

01101001
2009-May-16, 01:52 AM
Article in topic Resources On The Web (http://www.bautforum.com/932829-post41.html)


Current FAQ questions:


What is the universe expanding into?
Are distant galaxies moving faster than the speed of light? Wouldn't that violate relativity?
Does the universe have a center?
Could we detect the expansion of the universe by trying to measure the expansion of the solar system?
Is the universe finite or infinite? Will it recollapse or expand forever?
Is space flat or curved? I've heard both.
Is energy conserved in an expanding universe?
What is the difference between dark matter and dark energy?
Will we ever be able to detect dark matter or dark energy directly?
Isn't "dark energy" just like the older concept of the "ether"?
How do you know that dark matter isn't just ordinary matter that we can't see?
Could the inferred existence of dark matter and dark energy be due to a modified behavior of gravity?
Is inflation testable?
What came before the Big Bang?
Is our universe the only one, or are there others?

How can we make this stuff more visible? If members could get the answers to frequently asked questions from world-famous cosmologists, then we could spend more time answering the really hard questions -- as if we could.

Spaceman Spiff
2009-May-16, 02:39 AM
Yeah, I've noticed that there are certain questions that are posted which appear again and again....It might be nice to have a highly visible and succinct FAQ section on cosmology (and possibly other topics) that newbies could go to before asking their questions (or that forum users could point to in helping someone out).

In addition to the links you gave at the site you listed (http://www.bautforum.com/932829-post41.html), Ned Wright answers a fair fraction of these, here (http://www.astro.ucla.edu/%7Ewright/cosmology_faq.html). Conservation of energy issues are discussed here (http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/energy_gr.html) (although it's not easy slogging for the uninitiated). And for the uninitiated, this article (http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/%7Echarley/papers/LineweaverDavisSciAm.pdf) is still probably the best in setting straight common misunderstandings of the big bang theory (which you've also linked to).

01101001
2009-May-16, 03:24 AM
Look. The topic name just changed: ** FAQs ** Resources On The Web (http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/22865-faqs-resources-web.html)

Maybe a brighter lure will catch more fish.

Centaur
2009-May-16, 04:33 AM
If we could stand outside our universe and effectively look down from the outside would it be possible to determine where the centre of the big bang took place?


The term Big Bang is misleading. It was coined in 1949 by Fred Hoyle who meant it to be derisive, since he did not subscribe to the theory. It creates a false impression in people’s minds of an explosion from a center. The beginning of the universe occurred everywhere at once. There is no absolute center. All observers appear to be near what they might consider to be a center. What is theorized to be expanding is simply space, i.e. the coordinate system in which matter is embedded. It could alternatively be considered that the length of a meter is shrinking.

mugaliens
2009-May-16, 05:02 AM
Agreed, Centaur - I'd have to say it took place everywhere, as everything there was, the very existance of all, was present.