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Location of Earth in the Universe

  1. Nov 15, 2012 #1
    I have tried searching around for this but couldn't find anything basing the location on Redshift and the Big Bang. By observing direction and velocity of Redshifting objects, and with the knowledge of the Big Bang model, I thought the (approximate) location of our planet could be determined.

    Comments, links, sources, references anyone? Is Earth the centre of the Universe?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    There is no center or edge to the universe so questioning where we are in the universe is not meaningful. We can only describe our position relative to various other objects (galaxies, etc)

    You would do well to read the FAQ in the cosmology section
     
  4. Nov 16, 2012 #3
    What in effect, you can say is that we are at the 'centre' of the universe - but it's not a geographical 'centre'.
    And the CMB (the farthest back we can see in time) looks the same from all other points in the universe - so wherever you go, the CMB looks the same.
    From which, you can only draw that the CMB is a time away rather than a distance.

    Understanding space-time is something that as yet, has proved impossible for anyone to get their heads around - given that we do not understand how the universe exists/existed WITHOUT (NB : not 'before') space-time.

    Our intuition always demands a where and a when ... a before/after and a here/there.
    To understand the non-space-time universe, we have to somehow suspend that intuition.
    I'm sure someone someday will manage it - maybe a PF member.
     
  5. Nov 16, 2012 #4
    Take the Earth for example. In this hypothetical situation, we're not discussing the interior of the Earth or anything outside of it. We consider the surface to be all there is, a two-dimensional Universe.

    Is any point on the sphere the centre of this Universe? Absolutely not.

    Of course, this is an imperfect analogy. First of all, the Universe is 3-dimensional (in space, at least,) not 2-dimensional, but we could use the same logic for a 3-dimensional Universe, it's just hard to visualize a 3-dimensional surface in 4-space. The other thing is, it's not necessarily the surface of a "sphere" (or at least, the 4-dimensional equivalent of one.) It could easily be torus-like (donut,) it could just be infinitely large and "flat."
     
  6. Nov 16, 2012 #5
    It's hard not to think of Earth as the center of our Universe - isn't it?
     
  7. Nov 17, 2012 #6

    Chronos

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    Earth is always at the center of the observable universe - unless you are somewhere else.
     
  8. Nov 18, 2012 #7
    So my teenaged kid is right, she is the center of the universe?
     
  9. Nov 18, 2012 #8
    LOL - there is no question of that!
     
  10. Nov 18, 2012 #9

    Drakkith

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    OBSERVABLE universe! There is no center to the universe as a whole as far as we know.
     
  11. Nov 20, 2012 #10

    phinds

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    What, you've never been a teenager ?
     
  12. Nov 20, 2012 #11

    Drakkith

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    I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of nuclear weapons at this base.
     
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