Visualizing infinity Is the universe infinite?


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Visualizing infinity Is the universe infinite?

Visualizing infinity Is the universe infinite?

In fact, the universe is bigger than even what our most powerful telescopes can see. How big is the universe in terms of numbers? And in fact, could it be infinite? Is there any way we can even begin to visualize what infinity is?

At 1 quadrillion meters, We will be passing by the Oort cloud which is thought be a spherical shell consisting of up to 2 trillion comets that surround the solar system. This spherical cloud starts about 1 trillion kilometers away from the sun and ends about 15 trillion km away from the sun. This also forms the outer boundary of our solar system, where the gravitational influence of the sun is minimal to non-existent.

The Milky Way galaxy is about 106,000 light years across, or almost exactly 1 quintillion kilometers, containing up to 400 billion stars. There is nothing particularly remarkable about our galaxy. It is a typical spiral galaxy. There are billions of others like it in the universe. Our neighbor the Andromeda galaxy is larger, containing 1 trillion stars.

Data from the WMAP as well as Planck spacecraft, however, indicates that the universe is flat, or nearly flat with an error of 0.4%. A flat universe would be an infinite universe. But if the error is taken into account, then it is possible that the universe could have a slightly positive curvatire. In that case it would be finite, but would have to have a radius at least 250 times larger than the part that we can see. This would be a minimum size of (250 x 46.5==11.6) 11.6 trillion light years in radius or about 23 trillion light years in diameter, instead of the 93 billion that we can see.

 


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