Archive for the ‘Space’ Category

how many fingers am i holding up?

Last night, me and the boy were watching a show on National Geographic called “Known Universe“.  This particular episode was all about the infinite nature of the universe and the possible existence of the multiverse.

It reminded me of a conversation we had driving down the road a week or so ago:

The Boy:  “Hey daddy, how many fingers am I holding up?”

Me: “3?” (knowing it was a trick question somehow)

The Boy:  “Nope, 2!  The other one is a thumb!”

Me:  “Hey ‘the boy’, how many fingers am I holding up?”

The Boy: “I don’t know, I can’t see your hands.”

Me:  “Well assuming that there are infinite universes, that our universe is infinitely big, there exists infinite numbers of parallel dimensions, or any combination of the above … I, and all of the infinite other me’s, are possibly holding up an infinite number of fingers … Regardless of the fact that the ‘me’ currently occupying this portion of time/space is only hold up a single finger.”

The Boy:  {silence}

The Wife:  “I have a single finger for you…”

cub scouts in space

Last night in our weekly den meeting, we worked on our astronomy belt loop. I was pleasantly surprised at our discussion, and a have a [slightly] renewed faith in our public education system.

It’s very encouraging to listen to 3rd graders talk intelligently about black holes, stars, pulsars, galaxies, planets, etc. We had a debate about Pluto’s planetary status, and we drew models of the solar system (some included Pluto in their model and some didn’t). The discussion even drifted into Star Trek for a bit … AWESOME!

I think the highlight of the night for the boys was when we got the telescope out. It was super clear and we had a great view of Jupiter and the Galilean moons. It was an experience that most of the boys had never had before, and I was super honored to facilitate.


Check this out:

It’s a little post about different modern telescopes and how far away observable objects are.  It mentions the James Web Telescope that will allow us to see objects 13.5 billion light years away; that’s scary close to the time of the big bang.

So, the question was posed:

“I wonder if we will ever be able to get to the point of watching the Big Bang itself.”

It got me wondering if such a thing would even be possible?  If our entire universe was once condensed into an infinitely small space and then instantaneously began to expand, I’m not sure there would be an observable flash point.  I’m thinking that any such phenomenon would be on the leading edge of the expansion.  Seeing as we would have been part of the bang, and not on the outside of it, it would not be observable?  I don’t know.

Or perhaps we would see the back side of the opposite leading edge as it existed 13.7 billion years ago.  I makes my head hurt a bit, but it’s interesting to ponder.

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