Nervous about James Webb Space Telescope?

In summary, the Hubble Telescope has helped us understand the vastness of the universe and its likely 2 trillion galaxies. However, the James Webb Telescope may reveal an even greater number, potentially reaching 10 or 100 trillion galaxies. This raises questions about the true extent of the universe and the possibility of living in a multiverse. Some also worry about the Heat Death Paradox and the JWST's mission to uncover the first stars and galaxies, study the formation of galaxies, understand the formation of stars and planetary systems, and explore planetary systems and the origins of life. There is a disagreement on the concept of infinity and the estimated number of galaxies in the observable and beyond the cosmological horizon. It is important to seek accurate information and not
  • #1
Maximum7
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TL;DR Summary
James Webb is supposed to launch in 2021 or 2024 (I’m not sure) and I am very nervous
The Hubble Telescope helped us to see how enormous the universe really is. We now know from data built up from that that the universe likely has 2 trillion galaxies in it. Now when James Webb gets out their and starts taking better pictures; I’m afraid the count of galaxies will jump to 10 or even 100 trillion! I can’t comprehend the enormous magnitude of that. And even worse. What if we learn the universe is just a small structure in something far bigger OR we find evidence that we truly do live in a multiverse. I honestly hope the Multiverse theory is wrong and I think the universe is finite because of the Heat Death Paradox. Anyway, what do you think the JWST will uncover?
 
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  • #2
Maximum7 said:
Summary:: James Webb is supposed to launch in 2021 or 2024 (I’m not sure) and I am very nervous

Anyway, what do you think the JWST will uncover?
I think you can calm down, no need to be nervous. This is the mission of the telescope according to wiki pages:
The JWST has four key goals: to search for light from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the Universe after the Big Bang, to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, to understand the formation of stars and planetary systems, and to study planetary systems and the origins of life.[124] These goals can be accomplished more effectively by observation in near-infrared light rather than light in the visible part of the spectrum. For this reason the JWST's instruments will not measure visible or ultraviolet light like the Hubble Telescope, but will have a much greater capacity to perform infrared astronomy. The JWST will be sensitive to a range of wavelengths from 0.6 (orange light) to 28 micrometres (deep infrared radiation at about 100 K (−173 °C; −280 °F)).
 
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  • #4
Maximum7 said:
... I’m afraid the count of galaxies will jump to 10 or even 100 trillion! I can’t comprehend the enormous magnitude of that.
Then what should keep you up at night is that that's just the OBSERVABLE universe. The universe as a whole most likely is infinite in extent and has an infinite number of galaxies so you are worried about a number that is essentially zero.
 
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  • #5
phinds said:
Then what should keep you up at night is that that's just the OBSERVABLE universe. The universe as a whole most likely is infinite in extent and has an infinite number of galaxies so you are worried about a number that is essentially zero.

I don’t believe in infinity. Infinity is just a concept. Their are even different quantities of infinity. Their is infinity between 1 and 2 and then 3 and 4. Also their are 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. 2 trillion is their estimation of all in both the observable and beyond the cosmological horizon.
 
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  • #6
What makes me nervous is that Kathy Cordell Thornton will not be available for repairs. What if this thing goes south??
 
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  • #7
hutchphd said:
What makes me nervous is that Kathy Cordell Thornton will not be available for repairs. What if this thing goes south??
But her cousin Billybob is still available. Assuming he still fits in his spacesuit... :wink:
 
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  • #8
Yes but I think his credentials are a little more suspect, movie notwithstanding.
 
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  • #9
Maximum7 said:
I don’t believe in infinity. Infinity is just a concept.
Well, what you choose to believe in is up to you. The universe doesn't care, it just does what it does and is how it is.

Their are even different quantities of infinity.
Yes, there are but you don't seem to understand them (see my next post for clarification) and in any case that is irrelevant to the current discussion.

Also their are 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe.
No, there are approximately 2 trillion.

2 trillion is their estimation of all in both the observable and beyond the cosmological horizon.
Then whoever "they" are, they don't know what they are talking about.

It appears that you are getting your "knowledge" from popular science presentations. That's a bad idea since those are entertainment, not education. Did you come to this forum to tell us what you think is right or did you come to find out what IS right?
 
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  • #10
Maximum7 said:
Their is infinity between 1 and 2 and then 3 and 4.
Those are not qualitatively different; both are in the same class of infinity. Google "Aleph numbers" if you want to learn more about qualitatively different infinities.
 
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  • #11
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  • #12
phinds said:
@Maximum7 I see that you have previously brought up you disbelief in the number of galaxies before and I answered you back then. I guess you don't remember your own thread, or you didn't like the answer so you just ignored it.
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/why-does-the-universe-have-so-many-galaxies.982184/

Asking the same question a second time doesn't change the answer.

It is a slightly different question. Previously I asked a more philosophical question as to WHY their are so many galaxies. This question is asking if the James Webb may prove something I don’t want. I was wondering why the universe would create so many. This one is asking if James Webb is capable of detecting more than 2 trillion galaxies.

Also this article is pretty official

https://www.discovermagazine.com/th...astronomers-are-revealing-the-enormity-of-theInfinity is a concept. It is not a number and can never be a number. Their will always be a +1. I think the universe has a limit.

Look up the Heat Death Paradox
 
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  • #13
Maximum7 said:
Infinity is a concept. It is not a number and can never be a number.
That is correct. Infinity is not a number in the normal sense, but that fact is irrelevant to the discussion of whether or not the universe is infinite in extent.
I think the universe has a limit.
As I said before, you can believe whatever you like. The universe doesn't care.

I suspect that the Webb telescope will confirm some estimates that there are considerably MORE than 2 trillion galaxies in the OU but if the universe is infinite in extent it will still be effectively zero percent of the total number of galaxies in the universe.
 
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Maximum7 said:
Look up the Heat Death Paradox
Your bringing up the Heat Death Paradox in this discussion shows that you clearly do not understand it at all. It has nothing to do with the size of the universe, just the age, which is not what we are talking about.

I urge you to STOP getting your "facts" from pop-science presentations and read some actual physics books.
 
  • #16
Maximum7 said:
and I am very nervous

Covid makes me nervous. What's out there in the universe? That makes me curious!

But what I'm missing in your narrative, @Maximum7, is why you would be nervous of information that would merely extend the extent of an already staggering number. It does not fundamentally change our day-to-day lived experience. The numbers are already hard to visualize, so if it's bigger, what difference does it make?

A discovery that proves the multiverse might be different, but crackpot ideas about ghosts and demons aside, there is scant evidence that the branches of a multiverse can interact, so it would amazing...but still essentially, 'So what?'
 
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  • #17
Hey, no need to be terrified of JWST. As good Bayesians we shouldn't expect it to be launched in our lifetimes.
 
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  • #18
phinds said:
Your bringing up the Heat Death Paradox in this discussion shows that you clearly do not understand it at all. It has nothing to do with the size of the universe, just the age, which is not what we are talking about.

I urge you to STOP getting your "facts" from pop-science presentations and read some actual physics books.
I’m not saying the universe cares. I just think that something being infinite does not make sense.

I made a mistake. I was thinking of Olbers Paradox.

Could you provide a source that says that 2 trillion is just the observable universe? Say what you want about the source I provided but I’m sure if you factchecked it with a “physics book” the information may be identical.
 
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  • #19
Maximum7 said:
I just think that something being infinite does not make sense.

Does the universe need to make sense? However, a universe with infinite size fits best to the current data.

Maximum7 said:
I was thinking of Olbers Paradox.

The Olbers Paradox doesn't exclude a universe with infinite size. It can easily be solved with the finite age of the universe and finite size of the observable universe.
 
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  • #20
I can't help but feel those who ask "why are there so many" come from a religious / creationist background so it's hard for them to grasp why "God" created so many of everything. This is a similar mindset that spured a young and curious Darwin to investigate and come up with his theory of evolution which removed "God" from the equation.
 
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  • #21
MikeeMiracle said:
I can't help but feel those who ask "why are there so many" come from a religious / creationist background so it's hard for them to grasp why "God" created so many of everything.

I wouldn't blame religion for it. Newton was religious but he assumed the universe to be infinite. There is no conflict. I would even say that creating a finite universe would be inadequate for an ominipotent God. That would be like doing nothing. Refusing infinity fits more to the limited mind of humans.
 
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  • #22
Maximum7 said:
I made a mistake. I was thinking of Olbers Paradox.
Which ALSO has nothing to do with the size of the universe but with the age and whether or not it is expanding. It IS expanding and Ober's Paradox is not a paradox under the current model of cosmology (The Big Bang Theory)
Could you provide a source that says that 2 trillion is just the observable universe?

I think one problem you have is that you are being too literal-minded when you read things. VERY often, you will see scientists use the term "universe" when the do not MEAN "universe", they mean "Observable Universe".

I didn't go through every one of these in detail, but at least some of them do use the correct caveat of "Observable". I find it astounding that you seem to be unable to conduct your own research on this and needed to ask me to do it for you. You have fixated on a single, incorrect, source and do not seem to be interested in reality.

A pre-print of the original paper that I believe is the basis for all of the articles that follow:
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1607.03909v2.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddar...0-times-more-galaxies-than-previously-thought

https://www.forbes.com/sites/starts...ion-galaxies-in-the-universe/?sh=25baba665a67

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe

Say what you want about the source I provided but I’m sure if you factchecked it with a “physics book” the information may be identical.
Perhaps if the book was more than 4 years old. I ask you again, did you come here to simply state your own belief over and over and over or did you come to learn?
 
  • #23
Maximum7 said:
I’m not saying the universe cares. I just think that something being infinite does not make sense.
Human experience has always been in SUCH a limited range of physical characteristics that there has been absolutely zero survival benefit to knowing most of the facts about the very large (modern cosmology) and the very small (quantum mechanics). Thus much of that knowledge does NOT "make sense", "fit our intuition", "seem reasonable", and so forth. Get used to it or science will just make you tear your hair out.
 
  • #24
Maximum7 said:
Infinity is a concept. It is not a number and can never be a number. Their will always be a +1. I think the universe has a limit.
You actually do seem to understand infinity well enough for this purpose: no matter how high you count, there will always be more [galaxies] to count. Your issue here is you don't want that to be how the universe is. We can't help you with that.

The question has been asked and answered and we don't indulge discussion based on disbelief in reality, so this thread is locked.
 
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Related to Nervous about James Webb Space Telescope?

1. What is the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and why is it important?

The JWST is a space telescope that is currently being developed by NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. It is set to launch in 2021 and will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST will allow us to observe the universe in greater detail and with more sensitivity, allowing us to answer fundamental questions about the origins of the universe, the formation of galaxies, and the potential for life on other planets.

2. How is the JWST different from the Hubble Space Telescope?

The JWST is designed to observe the universe in infrared light, while the Hubble Space Telescope primarily observes in visible and ultraviolet light. This allows the JWST to see through clouds of dust and gas that can obscure our view of the universe. Additionally, the JWST has a much larger primary mirror, which will provide a higher resolution and more detailed images compared to the Hubble.

3. What are some of the challenges faced in building and launching the JWST?

One of the main challenges is the size and complexity of the telescope. The JWST is about the size of a tennis court and has many delicate instruments that need to be precisely aligned. The telescope also needs to be launched into a specific orbit around the Earth, which requires a complex series of maneuvers involving multiple rocket stages. Additionally, the JWST has faced delays and budget overruns, making its construction and launch a highly anticipated and closely watched endeavor.

4. What are the potential scientific discoveries that could be made with the JWST?

The JWST is expected to revolutionize our understanding of the universe. Some of the potential discoveries include the detection of new exoplanets and the characterization of their atmospheres, the observation of the first galaxies that formed in the early universe, and the study of the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. The JWST will also allow us to study objects in our own solar system, such as planets, moons, and asteroids, in greater detail.

5. How will the JWST be maintained and operated once it is in space?

The JWST will be placed in a special orbit around the Earth that is known as a Lagrange point, which is a stable point in space where the gravitational pull of the Earth and the Sun balance each other out. This will allow the telescope to continuously observe the same patch of sky without being affected by Earth's day-night cycle. The telescope will be operated remotely by a team of scientists and engineers on the ground, and it will also receive regular maintenance and upgrades during scheduled servicing missions.

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