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narrator
#5
Nov1-11, 12:20 AM
P: 219
As this boffin understands it, it's not like the expanding distance between, say, two billiard balls. That's the way the average person seems to understand it. But there's a little more to it with "expansion".

If you put your two billiard balls a light year apart, then it would take a year for light to travel between the two (simplistically). But then you find out that those two billiard balls are separating at faster than light speed because space itself is expanding. Confusing huh? Had me going for a while there too.

But space (out there in the u) isn't just space. Dark matter and dark energy are hiding out in that void, driving this "expansion". Through some cosmic math that I don't quite follow, the "space" between stars is having extra space added, over and above any actual movement of the stars. It's like the billiard balls are separating under their own movement (at slower than light speed), but the billiard table itself is growing bigger, causing them to separate faster than they are under their own steam. Somehow we still get light from them because of our position as observer, which I haven't quite understood.

If I had my druthers, I would have become a mathematician when I was younger.