No matter what direction I point my super duper telescope, I will observe galaxies that are barely 500 million years old in every direction some of them being located 12+ billion light years away. So 2 galaxies on opposite side of the Earth should be twice 12+ billion light years apart. In other words, close to 25 billion light years from each other. However 12+ billion years ago the universe was much much smaller and much denser with the galaxies much closer together. Definitely not 25 billion years apart. That would be like saying the early universe was billions of times the size of our present-day universe. So I'm trying to visualize this scenario. I have a few ideas but lack the understanding to follow them through. I know it must have something to do with the universal 'now' and our 'now' and the famous Phinds balloon analogy. What would be really cool is if someone could draw a picture of how we see it and how it actually is since I know now that those are two completely different viewpoints. Hope I didn't lose anyone because it is hard to be clear when you're as confused as I am. I'll be keeping a regular eye on the comments to further explain any misconceptions. Thanks a million - this has disturbed me for some time.