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What should we be doing for future astronomers?

  1. May 10, 2010 #1
    Given the expanding universe, one fine night astronomers will look up and see the milky way and those galaxies in our local group and nothing else.
    Is there a grand project we can come up with to present to our descendants in the hope that they can do better with the data than we have been able to? Or will non local stars and galaxies just become a myth as space/time expands?

    Mekon
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2010 #2

    nicksauce

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    This won't be a factor for billions and billions of years. The astronomers of that time won't speak our language, and will live many light years away from us, or even in other far away galaxies. That is, there is really no possible way I can think of for us to communicate with them to leave them our collective wisdom.
     
  4. May 11, 2010 #3

    Chalnoth

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    Just because these objects will have passed beyond our horizon doesn't mean we'll be suddenly unable to see them. What it does mean is that we won't get any new light from them, but will be seeing their past, from before they crossed the horizon. The light will continually be redshifted, and will take a very, very long time to become undetectable.

    That is, one day, the local group will be the only galaxies visible in the optical, but then there will still be galaxies visible in the infra-red. When they become invisible in the infra-red, people will be able to detect them in the microwave, and so on and so forth. It'll take an extraordinarily long time for them to be completely undetectable.
     
  5. May 12, 2010 #4
    Theres also a theory called the big freeze, where according to chaotic inflationary theory, the universe will keep expanding, so much that it will be so empty that everything drops to absolute zero and thats the time, astronomers and physicists say that we will have gained the technology to move out of our universe through a worm hole into another "warm" universe.
     
  6. May 12, 2010 #5

    Chalnoth

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    That's, um, not quite right. It doesn't actually drop to absolute zero, just asymptotically approaches it without ever reaching zero.

    Anyway, Wikipedia has some excellent stuff on the ultimate fate of the universe here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_an_expanding_universe

    But the more crucial point is that any idea of it being possible to tunnel into another universe is pure speculation, and should be treated as likely as most anything you see in Star Trek.
     
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