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About DanielC

  • Birthday November 4

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  • Location
    Lund, Sweden
  • Interests
    Exoplanet research
    High energy astrophysics
    Computer modelling
  • College Major/Degree
    Math and Physics
  • Favorite Area of Science
  • Occupation
    Masters student - Astrophysics

DanielC's Achievements


Meson (3/13)



  1. You started insulting me after I took a lot of time from my work to help you. But you are, and you don't even seem to realize it. And if you are going to basically claim that modern astrophysics is wrong, you should at least know enough to realize that planets are not held up in space by pressure, and a few other elementary facts about physics. Read a textbook. Then make a coherent argument. But you are not exploring anything critically. You are taking vague concepts that you heard somewhere on faith, without wanting to know how they work, and using that to develop your hypotheses. Instead of calling you an idiot, I very patiently explained a lot of elementary physics concepts like the fact that pressure is not the reason planets are in orbit. And then you accused me of taking formulas on faith. Don't you realize what you did? I have gone through the derivation of just about every key formula in astrophysics, because I want to understand at a deep level. On the other hand, you have a vague notion of things like pressure, which you take on faith, without knowing how they work. I did not insult you for that, but tried to explain, and in turn you accused me of taking things on faith. Between the two of us, you are the one who takes things on faith. You think you are thinking critically, while you just take vague physical notions on faith as if they were magic. How did you expect me to react? I think I deserve an apology. (1) As I've said before, you don't measure distance in astronomy by looking at sizes. (2) Being underwater does not make it look like objects in the air are moving radially away from you at various velocities following a power law. But water does *not* finely-tune its distortions to make it look like they follow some other set of physical laws. For example, it does not cause rocks that are geologically younger to look further away, or to look like they are moving faster than rocks that are geologically older. The distortion that water makes looks exactly the way you would expect from refraction. The bending of light that water causes does not discriminate between different types of rock on the sea floor. Think about all the other things we use to tell the age of a galaxy: Young galaxies are bluer because they have more star formation. Young galaxies have a lower portion of heavy elements than old galaxies. Quasars are the brightest objects in the universe, and they only occur at extremely high redshifts. At the earliest universe, the youngest galaxies don't have definitive shapes like the Milky Way, you can see that they are just forming. Now try to imagine how the Milky Way could generate some sort of lensing effect that could discriminate these things to fool us. And then you have to explain why these independent measures of age are correlated (e.g. why stars with the highest star formation also have fewer heavy elements). You'll need to define the words "similar" and "galactic scale". Being inside the Milky Way will not make supernovae look like they follow a power law. I do not rely on faith, and I don't take GR as the be-all and the end-all. But to claim that it is wrong, you has to provide supporting evidence that is commensurate with the nature of the claim. For example, saying that GR is incomplete because it conflicts with quantum mechanics and it gives infinities inside a black hole is entirely reasonable. But if you were to claim (for example) that gravity doesn't make time dilate, you'd have to explain the results of many experiments that show that it does. And if you are going to claim that the expansion of the universe is not real, you will really have to explain all the experimental data that we have that tells us that it is, from the distance-dependent speed of galaxies, to the cosmic microwave background. No response?!!! You asked if we had other ways to measure mass (you didn't say "star or planet") and I told you about the mass-luminosity relationship that we can derive from basic physics, the mass-colour (i.e. effective temperature) relationship, and about using light to count the number of stars in the galaxy. I also told you about tests of GR that do not involve the inverse square law, like tests based on time dilation, and how you can derive Newton's inverse square law from GR. Also, Newton's inverse square law was never an article of faith, even before GR. Astronomical observations taken by Tycho Brahe, later studied by Johannes Kepler, indicated that planets move in elliptical orbits, following Kepler's laws. Then Newtonian gravity was able to explain these observations. Newton showed how you could derive all of Kepler's laws from an inverse square law. Then came GR, which made a whole set of new predictions, such as the precession of the periphelion of Mercury, the bending of light, the existence of white dwarfs, the existence of neutron stars, the expansion of the universe, the cosmic microwave background, and time dilation by gravitational fields. Please listen, this is an important point: These were all predictions. None of these things had been observed before Einstein. The GR equations predicted these things, and when physicists went to look for them, they found them, in exactly the way that GR predicted, to a very high accuracy. This gives us a great deal of confidence that GR is an apt description of gravity. Doppler shift makes light look redder or bluer. The light curve of a Type Ia supernova has nothing to do with colour. A Type Ia SN gets very bright very quickly, and then gradually decays in intensity over a period of about 100 days or so. If you plot the intensity of the light against time, you get a curve with a particular shape. All Type Ia supernovae already have more or less the same luminosity, but by looking at the shape of this curve, you can figure out, within something like 2% error, what the luminosity of the supernova was. Another way to measure distance is using Cepheid variables. This is a type of star that pulsates, so its luminosity goes up and down. The period of pulsation tells you its luminosity. Again, since Doppler shift only makes things bluer or redder, it cannot make the pulsation period look different. Cepheid variables and Type Ia supernovae are known as "standard candles". These are the things we use to measure the distance to far-away galaxies. Doppler shift happens to every wavelength. We focus on visible light and radio because those frequencies are easier to observe. Gamma rays and x-rays don't penetrate Earth's atmosphere, so you need space telescopes for those. So you only use those frequencies for things that you really cannot investigate otherwise.
  2. Time does not have 3 dimensions. It never does. If there is no light, time continues to exist. I don't think I understood your first question.
  3. No. Wormholes are unrelated to "Dark Energy". Dark Energy is just a weird name that astronomers give to something they don't fully understand: Why is the universe expansion accelerating?
  4. If you get on a rocket, travel close to the speed of light, turn around and come back to earth close to the speed of light, you will have aged less than people on earth. This is the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory. It is not a scientific fact, and it is not something you can prove. It is just an idea that some people have. Btw, it is best to not use the word "dimensions" to mean "parallel universe". Dimensions are just a mathematical concept and it is best not to mix it up with sci-fi ideas, otherwise you can get more confused.
  5. Lemur, You have spent the last week or two basically arguing that you can overthrow the last 80 years of astrophysics progress without even bothering to grab a physics book and learn how anything works. Instead of calling you an idiot, I have taken a lot of time out of my astrophysics work to explain to you a lot of elementary physics, like pressure, orbits, electromagnetic force, nuclear burning, and so on. These are all things that I understand very deeply. When I pointed out one area where I am not entirely knowledgeable, you proceeded to insult me, saying that I just take equations on faith, while ignoring the dozen times where you just blindly took a vague physical notion on faith and tried to apply it in an inapplicable context. Btw, I do know the derivation of electron degeneracy pressure, but I can still say that I don't know the subject as deeply as the others. Nobody is an expert on everything. I am very busy doing astrophysics. I've taken some time to come to this forum to help people who want to ask an astrophysicist how something works. I think that the time I've spent with you was wasted. No, I never had that impression. You were proposing that the Milky Way somehow caused a really weird type of gravitational lensing that somehow (1) made things look further way, (2) made things look like they are moving, and above all, (4) did all these things in a finely-tuned way that was direction dependent, causing one galaxy appear to move much faster than one standing right next to it in our field of view, and do this billions and billions of times, in a way that is precisely tuned so as to make us believe that the universe expansion follows a pattern of deceleration, followed by constant expansion, followed by deceleration, in a way that just happens to fit the effects of a gravitational constant. Oh, and lets not forget that this magical gravitational field must also be intelligent enough to make the galaxies that are less evolved, an show less metallicity, and greater star formation, also appear to correspond to the galaxies that are further away and receeding faster. Lastly, let's not forget that seeing galaxies move apart is just ONE piece of evidence that the universe is expanding. There is also the fact that GR (which is well tested) predicts that the universe should be expanding or contracting, and that the cosmic microwave background provides a key piece of evidence for the Big Bang theory. Thus, by proposing that the universe is not actually expanding, you are implying that GR is wrong. Trying to prove that you have a better theory than GR would be a bit of a challenge. You don't think astronomers use math? Let me show you a very simplified data set, and I'd like you to try to explain it using your magical-gravity theory. You don't have to give me the answer. Just think about it and try to explain it mathematically with pencil and paper: You observe four galaxies, all next to each other. In each one you see a Type Ia supernova with identical light curves. Those supernovae have luminosities of 1.0, 0.25, 0.11 and 0.06, in some appropriate luminosity scale. You use the Doppler shift tof these galaxies to get their speed relative to you. They are 2 km/s, 3.5 km/s, 5 km/s and 6.5 km/s respectively. I'll show you how you could explain this in simple terms: The Type Ia supernovae have identical light curves, so we know that their inherent brightness is the same. So we can use the inverse luminosity square law to find the relative distance of these galaxies: sqrt(1/1.00) = 1.00 D sqrt(1/0.25) = 2.00 D sqrt(1/0.11) = 3.01 D sqrt(1/0.06) = 4.08 D Where D is some unit of distance. So that's how we estimate their distances. Now we look at the radial speeds we got from the redshifts: 2 km/s, 3.5 km/s, 5 km/s and 6.5 km/s. We notice that galaxies farther away seem to move faster. We make this more precise by estimating the relationship between distance and speed: v = 1.5 (km/s)/D This is the equivalent of the Hubble constant in the real universe. Now we combine this with General Relativity, and specifically the Friedmann equations[/b] to determine the expansion of the universe. This simplified example is the most basic bit of cosmology that your theory needs to explain. I have not introduced complications like dark energy. You need to think about how you would explain these observations quantitatively in a universe that works the way you propose. I did much more than that. You just happen to ignore stuff you don't want to hear. I said that there were various effects that were far more important than friction from the interstellar medium, and I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to explain this very elementary concept because you don't want to understand how anything works. See? You don't listen. That is not what they said. I said that the sun losing mass will not cause them to drift away. But there are other things in the universe that might. For example, planet-planet interactions can cause planets to be ejected, and so can close encounters with other stars. I think that your problem is that you want a simplistic explanation that considers only one factor and ignores everything else. The universe rarely works that way. The sun losing mass will cause planet orbits to expand. Chaotic gravitational interactions can cause planets to come closer, or be ejected. Yes. You can look at the luminosity of a galaxy to figure out how many stars it has, you can look at the colour of stars, which also gives you an indication of how much mass they have. We also have many tests that confirm General relativity: Pulsar timings, gravitational lensing near the sun, and GPS satellites (which wouldn't work if general relativity was wrong). GR has been confirmed to work to extremely accurate levels of precision, and you can derive Newton's inverse square law as a low-gravity approximation to GR. Don't you realize that all your arguments are based on ignorance? I'm tired of this. I've spent way too much time being polite to you while you try to convince me that you can overthrow astrophysics without knowing the difference between an object in orbit and a light gas floating by waving your hands in the air and saying that it's all just energy that ultimately came from the Big Bang.
  6. I'm sure you are right. The end-state of the universe is not my area of astrophysics. I'm more familiar with things like stars, white dwarfs and neutron stars. I want to go into exoplanet research. I know GR, but the things you normally learn when you study GR are mainly the Big Bang and lack holes. I don't think the terms "Heat Death" or "Big Rip" ever came up in class. So let's see, in that case the end of the universe will be a bunch of massive objects flying around in big empty space (planets, white dwarfs, neutron stars, BHs). Eventually the BHs evaporate, but other than that I can't think of anything interesting happening in the universe as it slides toward increasing entropy.
  7. I am pretty sure that this is the case. I cannot imagine any way that a longer exposure improves resolution, it just gathers more light (allowing you to see fainter objects). To improve the resolution you need a larger aperture (assuming the telescope is in space, or you have adaptive optics). Technically, this is correct, but instead of a rocket telescope you can just make your telescope wider and get the same result. Basically, the resolution limit of a telescope is equal to wavelength divided by telescope width. In principle, I guess that a rocket telescope travelling close to the speed of light would get an advantage with the wavelength, but it is much easier to spend your money making the telescope larger instead.
  8. I don't think it would. The picture quality depends on the size of your telescope. The wave nature of light causes a distortion pattern called an Airy disk, which is the maximum resolution a telescope can have, and it depends on the size of the telescope. Moving the telescope very fast would not change this. It would collect photons faster, but by the time the rocket telescope gets back to earth, all those photons would have arrived here anyway, so we would have gotten the same picture by just leaving the telescope camera on the whole time. Why does red-shifting make things harder to see? It just moves the light to a different part of the spectrum...
  9. The expansion of the universe is accelerating. Over time it becomes significant at smaller distances. No. And astronomers are not so stupid as to be fooled by something as lame as gravitational lensing. Second, notice that you keep invoking more and more magical forms of "gravitational lensing" without actually knowing how it works, in an attempt to force your hypothesis. Gravitational lensing will not give the appearance of an expanding universe unless the astronomer can't do basic math. For one, gravitational lensing will not cause some galaxies to appear to move at different speeds from others, and it certainly will not cause the complex distance/speed relationship that indicates a universe that initially slowed down and later began to accelerate. I'm sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. You just keep cobbling words together without thinking and I am getting frustrated that you can't be bothered to understand how gravitational lensing actually works, but you continue to insists that for 30 years astronomers have been unable to do math. You are wrong, of course. You have not the faintest clue how gravitational redshift works. No, gravity does not change the speed of light, (which is a lower-case "c" btw), it makes photons lose energy causing their frequency to shift toward the red (hence the term "red-shift"). Try for a second to understand the absurdity of what you are suggesting. You are proposing that gravitational lensing does something that it does not do (make light go slower) while constantly changing, in an incredibly fine-tune way so as to make a further way galaxy appear to be receding 10 times faster than another nearby galaxy sitting right next to it on the sky. With billions and billions of galaxies observed, you propose some weird magical gravitational lens with billions and billions of lumps, just exactly located to match the locations of these galaxies, to give the impression of a universe that in earlier times was slowing down, and in more recent times began speeding up, in a way that just happens to fit into a form compatible with Einsteins theory of relativity, which has been tested to an incredible level of precision. In other words, you are proposing that the universe has an incredibly complex and weird set of physical laws, which are finely tuned with the very specific effect of making humans on earth think that the universe actually has a completely different, very precisely measured, set of physical laws. With your line of argument you would be better off saying that the universe appeared last week and that it looks the way it does because God made it look that way. Electrons and protons don't lose their charge. That doesn't mean that electrons have anything to do with nuclear fusion. Again, you have no idea what you are talking about, and in your ignorance you keep repeating things that make no sense because you cannot accept it when someone who actually studied the subject tells you that electrons are not relevant for the process of nuclear fusion... Did I mention that I'm frustrated? Nobody nows everything, and between the two of us, I have gone a lot more deeply into the physical processes than you have, since my field is astrophysics. I bet that I am more familiar with the experimental evidence for particle physics than you are. So don't try to lecture me about understanding physical mechanisms. In this discussion you have shown yourself unwilling to grab a physics textbook to learn anything about how physics works, like how planets stay in orbit, the density of the interstellar medium, the process of nuclear reactions, or the behaviour of gravitational lensing, while I have spent a lot more time than you deserve explaining how all these physical processes work and doing various calculations when appropriate, while you continue to close your mind and insist that whatever half-baked idea just crossed your mind must be correct. It sure must be very easy for you to not feel the burden to prove any of your hypotheses. I did not say that when the sun loses mass it will cause planets to drift into interstellar space. Furthermore, fusion on itself does not cause mass loss. The mass loss is caused by stronger stellar winds during the red giant phase, and the result is that the orbits expand, but not that planets drift off into space. It looks like you haven't actually bothered to read much of the explanations I gave. It looks like I've wasted my time trying to explain science to you. I should spend my time with people who actually came to this forum to learn about science. You don't measure the mass of almost anything with gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing is far too weak for that. The way you measure mass depends on the object in question. For planets in the solar system, and for stars in binary systems, you can measure the size and period of some orbits (e.g. the moons of Jupiter allow you to measure Jupiter's mass). Similarly, the rotational speed of galaxies tells you how much mass they have and how it is distributed. You can also derive equations of state for a ball of gas, which allow you to establish a mass-luminosity relationship for stars. Combined with measurements of the mass of the sun, and stars in binary systems, we can effectively deduce the mass of other stars as well. Etc etc.
  10. A simple plot of earth's biodiversity against time will show a steady drop ever since the earliest hunters began killing all the mega-fauna in almost every continent thousands of years ago, and continuing through the modern era through massive deforestation, pollution, over-fishing, and so on. No one has predicted water as far as I know. I read the paper and they found a good signal for a planet smack in the middle of the Goldilocks zone. We don't know what the planet is made off, except that its mass is consistent with a rocky planet. The Goldilocks zone is defined as the region around the star where it is possible for liquid water to exist. That is all that I've said. Nothing more, nothing less.
  11. No, he wouldn't, unless he was not a very smart observer. Incidentally, we do not measure the expansion of the universe by seeing stuff shrink. We use various techniques such as Type Ia supernovae, Cepheid variables and Doppler shift to measure distances and speed. Second, galaxies are not shrinking, and gravitational lensing would not make it look like they are. The best analogy I can think of is: If you put a magnifying lens in front of an object, it might make the object look bigger and brighter, but it will not make the object look like it's moving. It does neither. The speed of light is a universal constant. Light is not accelerated or decelerated by gravitational fields. Gravitational fields can bend light, but they do not change the speed of light. This is wrong for a few reasons: (1) We do not (and cannot) use the angular size of galaxies to determine their distance or speed. (2) Even if we did, and even if the galaxy's gravitational field changed their apparent size the way you suggest (it doesn't), that would not make us get the speed wrong, unless this strange gravitational lensing that you propose was also changing in time. (3) And even if we did have this magical, time-changing, gravitational field you propose, it would not make objects further away look like they are moving faster than those nearby. (4) And even if we did have this super-magical gravitational lensing that somehow could discriminate distance to make further-away objects look like they are moving faster, that still would not fit observations because the expansion rate that we measure is not a simple acceleration curve. What we observe is that the very young universe was decelerating, as you would expect in a matter-dominated universe, while the older, more recent universe is accelerating away, and the shift between the two matches that of a universe that is initially matter dominated, and as it expands, the cosmological constant becomes more significant. I'm sorry, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Electrons are not at all involved in the process of fusion, and they have no effect whatsoever on the ability of protons inside a stellar core to come close enough for the strong force to work. I should mention that I am not an expert in quantum mechanics. The Heisenberg principle does not compress particles. It says that when you compress particles, their momentum becomes less certain. And through some calculations that I only more-or-less follow, you can show that this gives you a source of pressure that is independent of temperature. No. Lighter gases do not rise in a gravity well when heated. This is the sort of thinking that is based on your experience here on earth, sounds intuitive, but has no reality in the near vacuum of space. On earth, and on the sun, lighter gases float. But this cannot be extended to orbiting objects in a solar system. But to make you feel better, lets suppose that if you turned off the solar wind, the interstellar gas would condense around the sun the way you suggest. The pressure from this gas would not be greater than the pressure that earth already feels from the solar wind, right? (otherwise, the solar wind would not be pushing it). So let's take the entire pressure from the solar wind, and instead of being random, lets assume that you put all that energy into slowing down the earth, with perfect 100% efficiency. How long would it take for this pressure to make the earth fall onto the sun? I did a calculation, and the answer was 222,000 times the present age of the universe. Do you now believe me that the friction from the interstellar medium is negligible compared to other factors? This is not true. This is not simply a supposition that we just make for simplicity, it is something that you can prove by integrating the gravitational force of every infinitesimal mass from a spherically symmetric volume. Look, if there is one thing astronomers should understand, it's gravity, because that is the force that dominates everything in the universe. Astronomers don't just hypothesize about how gravity might work. We have very precise theories of gravity that have been experimentally verified to incredible levels of accuracy. You can derive this fact from what I said in my previous post. I told you that if you are inside the earth, the gravitational attraction corresponds to the mass in the sphere below you. So as you go down, the gravity you feel drops. Gravity does not extend further from denser bodies. If it did, astronomical observations would have revealed that long ago. We have a wide range of both very light and very dense bodies with which to test our theories of gravity, and all tests match our existing theories. Einstein's equations are perfectly general. They work just fine for observers inside the galaxy. They can also tell you what an observer entering a black hole would see, or what an observer in an accelerating rocket would see, etc.
  12. They don't. Remember that the universe is expanding. If the universe was static, we could conclude that sooner or later they would hit something. But as the universe expands, space just gets emptier and emptier. If you imagine a lone white dwarf that has been ejected from the Milky Way, in theory there is some galaxy "in front", some huge distance ahead. But that galaxy is moving away too, as the universe expands. So as time goes by, the Milky Way is further and further behind, and the galaxy in front is further and further away too, and the white dwarf just gets more and more isolated. It would just be a few white dwarfs that just happen to be flung in the direction of a nearby galaxy that is not receding away. Correct. Incorrect. We are talking about protons getting close to each other. Electrons are not involved. The sun's core is a ball of ionized gas where basically the electrons and protons are not bound to each other. What we have to overcome is the repulsive force of two protons, because they both have a positive charge and they repel. Keep in mind that I am a graduate student in astrophysics. I try to explain things clearly and politely. I am in this forum in the hope that I can help people understand astrophysics better. I am not here in order to insult people, but if you say something that is wrong in this forum, I imagine that it is acceptable for me to say so. I try to say it politely, but I also try to give enough details that you understand why the universe works the way it does. I hope that you will not take my explanations as an insult. Would you really be happier if I simply said that you are wrong and didn't try to give more details? A (core collapse) supernova explosion is a hugely energetic process where atoms nuclei can be banged together with enough force to make them fuse, even if that reaction consumes energy. In a (core-collapse) supernova, a lot of things happen that actually consume energy. For example, at the high energies of the explosion, photons have enough energy that they can actually break apart iron nuclei into smaller pieces, essentially running fusion backward, even though this reaction consumes a lot of energy. The energy source of a core collapse supernova is gravitational potential, which is about 100 times greater than the nuclear energy, so there is plenty of energy to go around to force matter to things that actually consume nuclear energy. As one point of clarity: A core-collapse supernova is one type of supernova. Basically, a "type Ia" supernova is something else, and every other type is ultimately a core-collapse. Quantum mechanics models particles as points or waves, not as objects with a definite volume. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle says that a particle's position and its momentum are not definitive quantities that can be known exactly. Let "dx" be the uncertainty in the position of a particle. Let "dp" be the uncertainty in a particle's momentum. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle says that "dx * dp > h" where h is Planck's constant, which is a very small number. For most things in life this relation doesn't say anything interesting. In a white dwarf, electrons are confined within a very small space, of a size comparable to "h", and as they are more compressed, their momentum must be more uncertain, which means that it spans a greater range of values. The main point is not that it moves slowly, but that it is very thin. The interstellar medium is practically empty. The scale of the interstellar medium having any effect on planets is many magnitudes longer than other effects such as planet-planet interactions or a close encounter with another star causing planets to move out. Here is a persistent problem with your thinking: You keep imagining stuff just has a natural tendency to fall toward the sun and that stuff is held "up" by some form of pressure. This is not the case. The galaxy is full of forces, with multiple stellar winds, as well as everything orbiting the galaxy in their own orbits. The heliopause is the point where the solar wind becomes comparable with these other forces. It is wrong to think of the heliopause as some cloud of gas that is stuck with the sun and is just waiting to come down when the sun turns off. The heliopause is where the sun's influence becomes no greater than the other normal effects that you get from other stars, or from each particle having its own orbit around the galaxy. As a way of example: You are sitting on earth. You are not very far from earth. The gravity that you feel is basically indistinguishable from the gravity that you would feel if all of earth's mass was concentrated at a single point at the centre of the earth. Now imagine that you are 3,000 km down into the earth. Now the gravity that you feel is different. Basically you only feel the gravity of the mass that is below you, but as long as you have spherical symmetry, the gravity that you feel is indistinguishable from what you'd feel if all the mass below you was concentrated at a single point at the centre of the sphere. In a similar way, it is not the same thing being in the middle of a globular cluster with 1 million stars, versus being next to a 1 million solar mass black hole. A black hole would give you things like an event horizon. But notice that most of what you have been talking about in your posts have been references to distant observers. For example, look at the following: This is a reference to what distant observers will see. You are an observing some distant object, and its light could pass through a gravity well formed by either a single huge black hole, or by large number of small stars. To the best of my knowledge, the bending of light would be the same in either case. We can see a heck of a lot of universe. Gravitational lensing has been observed many times, always in accordance to Einstein's field equations. Gravitational lensing is a fairly well understood phenomenon. It is worth highlighting that our understanding of gravitational lensing comes from Einstein's field equations, which have been tested very throughly. Some people have this image of physicists looking up at the sky and assuming that whatever they haven't seen yet must not exist. This isn't how we work. We form a model of the universe, and we test it throughly. It is worth noting that gravitational lensing was predicted by Einstein's field equations, and once physicists saw the prediction, they went to look for it (and they saw it).
  13. Cosmology is not my field, but I certainly haven't hear anything about mass gain in the universe, other than the Steady State theory, which suggested that there was no Big Bang, but instead as the universe expands new matter is constantly create to fill up the empty space, so the universe always looks more or less the same. But that theory was debunked a very long time ago with the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, which is predicted by the Big Bang, and cannot be explained by the steady state.
  14. No, we wouldn't see any further. Any picture that the rocket telescope could bring us would be a picture that we ourselves produced years before. Because the rocket travels slower than the speed of light, the light that it captures is travelling faster than the rocket, and that light would get to earth sooner than the rocket can. Let's make up some numbers to make the point clear: Imagine that 13 billion years ago there is a supernova explosion in some distant galaxy. The rocket is 1000 light years closer to that galaxy than the earth is, so it sees the explosion 1000 years before we do. Then that rocket travels at 0.99c toward earth, and so it takes 1010 years to get to earth. By the time the rocket gets back, our astronomers would have seen that explosion 10 years prior. In principle, I guess the image would be less red-shifted.
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