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What happens when the light from the center of the universe catches up with us?

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The origin point of our universe is bound to be pumping out a vast amount of radiant light. (Or was perhaps) Yet space appears dark to us. Presuming that the material that make up our galaxy and those around us, were flung far from the point of origin and was done so at speeds we can hardly comprehend, then at some point, we (our known universe) a part of the original light producing energy of the universe, whom are decelerating should be eventually be over lapped by (younger?) light produced by the big bang or the origin point thereafter. So what happens when it does? If this questions been asked or answered before, please point me in the direction of where I can learn about it.

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The last emitted light from the big bang has overtaken the expansion of the universe already ( universal expansion only outpaced light during the inflationary phase ). It did so about 13.4 billion years ago, but since the universe has been expanding, this light has been shifted into the microwave region of the spectrum. We now call it CMB radiation, and it is 'visible' anywhere in the observable universe.

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Adding to what ACG52 and MigL already have said above, the expansion of the Universe is no longer thought to be decelerating either, gravity managed to slow down the expansion during the first ~8 billion years but then the rate of expansion started to increase. The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics were awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess for the discovery of the accelerating expansion. Dark energy is now the most accepted hypothesis to explain the accelerated expansion.



In 1998, cosmology was shaken at its foundations as two research teams presented their findings. Headed by Saul Perlmutter, one of the teams had set to work in 1988. Brian Schmidt headed another team, launched at the end of 1994, where Adam Riess was to play a crucial role.


For almost a century, the Universe has been known to be expanding as a consequence of the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago. However, the discovery that this expansion is accelerating is astounding.



In physical cosmology and astronomy, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to accelerate the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is the most accepted hypothesis to explain observations since the 1990s that indicate that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. In the standard model of cosmology, dark energy currently accounts for 73% of the total massenergy of the universe.



Cosmologists estimate that the acceleration began roughly 5 billion years ago. Before that, it is thought that the expansion was decelerating, due to the attractive influence of dark matter and baryons.


Edited by Spyman
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sean, I'm not entering the "debate". Instread, I'm posting to say that, if you're confused, I don't blame you. Above, it's explained that


"There's no point of origin. The BB wasn't an explosion propelling matter out into space from some central point. The BB was (and is) the expansion of space between points." (March 7, 2013)


meanwhile, there's this, over at the NASA page, which agrees in part and seems to disagree in part--namely the part about "There's no point of origin."



Imagine Home | Ask an Astrophysicist |

Big Bang theory



The Question (Submitted November 08, 1997)


What is the big bang theory? What do you believe?


The Answer


The big bang theory is the theory that the universe started from a single point, and has been expanding ever since.

This has been well-established by observations, such as the apparent movement of galaxies away from us, and the cosmic microwave background radiation believed to be the leftover light from the big bang.


Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2013.
Last Updated: Thursday, 01-Dec-2005 13:58:40 EST


Imagine the Universe / Ask an Astrophysicist / Big Bang Theory


Here, I suggest something for your reading list; I'm currently reading it and I find it interesting. It's too early to say whether or how much of it I agree or disagree with. I only say that I think it's interesting and can be read by a non-specialist and I think you could find it interesting, too.


Author: SMOLIN, Lee


Title: The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next

2006, New York, Houghton Mifflin Co.




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the cmbr is the light from the surface of last scattering, about 370 000 years after the BB. it is when the universe became transparent to light.




The surface of last scattering refers to the set of points in space at the right distance from us so that we are now receiving photons originally emitted from those points at the time of photon decoupling.

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