Traces of One of the Universe's Oldest Stars Discovered

Traces of One of the Universe's Oldest Stars Discovered

Supernova that may have created SDSS J001820.5-093939.2.

The remains of a supermassive star dating back to the formation of our universe may have been found inside a star at the edge of the Milky Way.

Astronomers may have identified one of the universe's oldest stars that went supernova many years ago. This celestial body may have contained a mass almost 100 times greater than that of our own Sun (which happens to be 1.9891 times 10^30 kilograms).

Japanese astronomers who made the discovery believe that the cosmic dust left over from the star's explosion may have assisted in the formation of another one of nature's giant nuclear fusion machines. SDSS J001820.5-093939.2, which is located near the site of the first body in a stellar halo around the Milky Way, has an unusual chemical composition that contains a low amount of metals. Some astrophysicists theorized that stars with this specific kind of composition were catalyzed by the supernovas of supermassive stars.

The team from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan utilized the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii to examine this star and search for clues regarding how it was formed. Since early massive stars had such a short life span, studying objects nearby is the only way to find evidence of their existence. "The impact of very-massive stars and their explosions on subsequent star formation and galaxy formation should be significant," said Wako Aoki, lead author of the astronomers' initial findings. "The low abundance of heavy elements suggests that this star is quite old - as old as 13 billion years."

First-generation very massive stars were formed during the early days of the universe, and lived extremely short lives before dying. Known as Population III stars, They were created from the hydrogen and helium that comprised nearly all matter in the early Universe. After burning at extremely high temperatures during their short life, they exploded and spewed forth the material that eventually created more stars.

Source: Tech Times via Space.com

Interested in more news about space and astronomy? Look no further, because The Escapist has you covered.

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Always love how the time differential in the universe over vaste distances allows us to be looking far into the past. I was probably more interested in the great blob of proto-mass that seemed to be a pre-formed part of galaxy. This is cool too, though. Actually...

Blackwell Stith:
This celestial body may have contained a mass almost 100 times greater than that of our own Sun (which happens to be 1.9891 times 10^30 kilograms).

Isn't that suppose to be prerequisite enough mass to collapse into a black hole?

FalloutJack:
Isn't that suppose to be prerequisite enough mass to collapse into a black hole?

Any mass can become a black hole, that's just the mass of the sun.

Galimor:

FalloutJack:
Isn't that suppose to be prerequisite enough mass to collapse into a black hole?

Any mass can become a black hole, that's just the mass of the sun.

I seem to recall something about smaller suns - like say, ours - being incapable of black hole-ing in favor of becoming a dwarf. Can I get some clarification on this?

FalloutJack:
I seem to recall something about smaller suns - like say, ours - being incapable of black hole-ing in favor of becoming a dwarf. Can I get some clarification on this?

You're right in that naturally occurring black holes all form from stars several tens of times the mass of our sun.
If they are only a few times the mass of the sun, they will likely form neutron stars when they go nova.

Smaller stars just swell up when they start fusing helium after their hydrogen deposits run dry, which can take billions to trillions of years, all depending on size.

Edit: I should clarify that I meant *most* naturally occurring black holes form from stars, there are way they can form too, like 2 neutron stars merging.

Galimor:

FalloutJack:
I seem to recall something about smaller suns - like say, ours - being incapable of black hole-ing in favor of becoming a dwarf. Can I get some clarification on this?

You're right in that naturally occurring black holes all form from stars several tens of times the mass of our sun.
If they are only a few times the mass of the sun, they will likely form neutron stars when they go nova.

Smaller stars just swell up when they start fusing helium after their hydrogen deposits run dry, which can take billions to trillions of years, all depending on size.

Alright, so...what'd you mean before about any mass becoming a black hole?

FalloutJack:
Alright, so...what'd you mean before about any mass becoming a black hole?

It's mostly theoretical, and you might have heard about it a few years ago when the news around the world reported the LHC might create black holes during its operation.

As to why there are only big black holes, they are thought to radiate out their mass by way of Hawking radiation, a theoretical method which states that the amount of radiation is inversely proportional to the area of their event horizon, meaning the smaller they are the faster they evaporate.

Scientists think that micro-black holes are created constantly in our upper atmosphere when cosmic rays collide with atoms or molecules up there, but these black holes evaporate almost immediately due to their small size and mass. These only have the mass of a few atoms at most.

They would only be stable when the energy they receive from their surroundings exceed what they lose through Hawking radiation. This point is about 3 solar masses, when the energy received from the CMB(Cosmic Microwave Background) out weighs the evaporation.

Sorry if it's difficult to follow, I'm not that good at explaining.

Galimor:

FalloutJack:
Alright, so...what'd you mean before about any mass becoming a black hole?

It's mostly theoretical, and you might have heard about it a few years ago when the news around the world reported the LHC might create black holes during its operation.

As to why there are only big black holes, they are thought to radiate out their mass by way of Hawking radiation, a theoretical method which states that the amount of radiation is inversely proportional to the area of their event horizon, meaning the smaller they are the faster they evaporate. People think that micro-black holes are created constantly in our upper atmosphere when cosmic rays collide with atoms or molecules up there, but these black holes evaporate almost immediately due to their small size and mass.

They would only be stable when the energy they receive from their surroundings exceed what they lose through Hawking radiation. This point is about 3 solar masses, when the energy received from the CMB(Cosmic Microwave Background) out weighs the evaporation.

Sorry if it's difficult to follow, I'm not that good at explaining.

I have heard of smaller black holes, short-lived as they were, but I was not aware of their specific means of forming. I never believed the guys at the LHC were going to actually create a black hole and kill everybody, or even a tiny one that kills them. So, essentially, you meant 'not just suns' and 'not by the same means'?

FalloutJack:
So, essentially, you meant 'not just suns' and 'not by the same means'?

Yeah, pretty much. Hope you learned something. Also, don't hesitate to ask further questions.

FalloutJack:
Always love how the time differential in the universe over vaste distances allows us to be looking far into the past. I was probably more interested in the great blob of proto-mass that seemed to be a pre-formed part of galaxy. This is cool too, though. Actually...

Blackwell Stith:
This celestial body may have contained a mass almost 100 times greater than that of our own Sun (which happens to be 1.9891 times 10^30 kilograms).

Isn't that suppose to be prerequisite enough mass to collapse into a black hole?

the thing that makes a black hole is the mass and the distance from the center to the outer edge of the massive object. This is called the... Swartzchild radius, I think. Haven't actually seen the word written out. It's a function of DENSITY rather then just mass. If you fit enough mass into a small enough space (a denser structure then neutronium, pure neutrons, neutron star stuff, the densest stuff we can really call matter) you get a black hole.

If something is a million times more massive then the sun, but is also a million times larger (as long as the object is uniformly dense - which is probably not possible because physics but I digress) it won't become a black hole.

Edit: There are some quirks here, I forgot about the square cube law, so the numbers aren't right but... I think from a casual standpoint, the basic idea holds up

What's interesting about this find is that it's in our galaxy. Most ancient 10-13 billion year old structures are found in deep deep space. That's the only way those sort of things tend to make sense. If that cloud is in our galaxy but also 13 billion years old, that means that it was (correct me if I'm wrong science guys), undisturbed and unchanging in almost all that time (the light we're seeing from it could only be 300,000 years old, because that's about the width of the galaxy in light years). That's a strange thing to consider, but I'll wait til SciShow space covers this before I really start rejoicing or rejecting it.

Galimor:

FalloutJack:
So, essentially, you meant 'not just suns' and 'not by the same means'?

Yeah, pretty much. Hope you learned something. Also, don't hesitate to ask further questions.

Truth is, I do know alot, but I know that I don't know enough, so new things are always interesting.

Altorin:
Poit

I feel that things like square-cube law may not be exactly what we understand it to be the higher up in scale you go. We use our math to understand our physical universe, but it's only based upon what we know. We have to keep adjusting it every time something new is found. In any case, that's neither here nor there. It's a very old star and I hope it can tell us something interesting.

FalloutJack:

Galimor:

FalloutJack:
So, essentially, you meant 'not just suns' and 'not by the same means'?

Yeah, pretty much. Hope you learned something. Also, don't hesitate to ask further questions.

Truth is, I do know alot, but I know that I don't know enough, so new things are always interesting.

Altorin:
Poit

I feel that things like square-cube law may not be exactly what we understand it to be the higher up in scale you go. We use our math to understand our physical universe, but it's only based upon what we know. We have to keep adjusting it every time something new is found. In any case, that's neither here nor there. It's a very old star and I hope it can tell us something interesting.

the cube square law is a law.

if it stopped working it wouldn't be a law, it's just a quirk of living in 3d space.... Something that's a million times larger but a million times more massive is just LESS dense then our intuition would make it out to be... I think. Honestly I might be wrong. It was just a thought that maybe my math was a bit wrong.

Edit: a bit more thought on this, if something's size increases (the radius from the center) the volume of that thing (the amount of space within it) increases exponentially. So if you took something, increased it's mass by a factor of a million, it becomes more dense, then if you increased it's size by a factor of a million, it becomes less dense, but also much less denser then it was to begin with. My initial thought experiment ignored this fact. Alright. All the mental pruning has been done. The initial thought experiment kept density the same to illustrate the point that density was really the deciding factor in determining a black hole.

The point I was trying to make though, was like what Galimor said. Any mass can be a blackhole. Any massive object (massive in this case just means, has mass), has a radius around its center of mass called the swartzchild radius, where if all of said mass were compressed into, it would form a black hole. If you took the mass of the sun and compressed it into the size of a golfball, that golfball would be a black hole.

Altorin:

FalloutJack:

Galimor:

Yeah, pretty much. Hope you learned something. Also, don't hesitate to ask further questions.

Truth is, I do know alot, but I know that I don't know enough, so new things are always interesting.

Altorin:
Poit

I feel that things like square-cube law may not be exactly what we understand it to be the higher up in scale you go. We use our math to understand our physical universe, but it's only based upon what we know. We have to keep adjusting it every time something new is found. In any case, that's neither here nor there. It's a very old star and I hope it can tell us something interesting.

the cube square law is a law.

if it stopped working it wouldn't be a law, it's just a quirk of living in 3d space.... Something that's a million times larger but a million times more massive is just LESS dense then our intuition would make it out to be... I think. Honestly I might be wrong. It was just a thought that maybe my math was a bit wrong.

The point I was trying to make though, was like what Galimor said. Any mass can be a blackhole. Any massive object (massive in this case just means, has mass), has a radius around its center of mass called the swartzchild radius, where if all of said mass were compressed into, it would form a black hole. If you took the mass of the sun and compressed it into the size of a golfball, that golfball would be a black hole.

I was just saying that the people responsible for the law could also be wrong because an incomplete understanding of the universe as a whole can lead to a false premise. Years from now, we could learn something new that changes that law.

FalloutJack:
I was just saying that the people responsible for the law could also be wrong because an incomplete understanding of the universe as a whole can lead to a false premise. Years from now, we could learn something new that changes that law.

while everything could be wrong (we could all just be brains in jars, living in a simulated universe), I'm just saying that the cube square law isn't a postulation about some strange quirk of reality. It's a mathematical law, and a fundamental feature to working in 3 dimensions. And really, the cube square law really has nothing to do with this thread, lol.. just some thought thrown together in a moment. The cube Square Law is a law in the same way that 1 + 1 = 2. I don't think we're ever going to find out it's wrong, and if we do, that will be heralded as one of the most amazing days in all of scientific history :P

Theories can break, Laws typically can't. If they do, it means that somewhere deep down inside we have a fundamental problem with our concept. Broken scientific laws are paradoxical. Concepts aren't committed to laws unless we're fairly confident they will never be broken, because they form the backbone for EVERYTHING.

that's not to say that they don't have their moments where a seriously weird occurence happens and what seemed to be a law is shown to be a lot more complicated then our few words jotted down on paper can really account for.

White holes for instance.

have fun :P

Altorin:

Well, since we were discussing about the matter and density of space objects, talking about square-cube seems legit. Don't worry about derailment. The thing about math is that it IS our creation. This is our construct to put circles and arrows on our picture of the universe with a paragraph on the back of each one to be used as evidence against us and how it works. We don't know enough. We see some things out there and they look impossible or we say it breaks physics. Not true, just our personal understanding of physical law. This star is unusual, newsworthy. It won't break out understanding, but it could enhance it.

FalloutJack:
Always love how the time differential in the universe over vaste distances allows us to be looking far into the past. I was probably more interested in the great blob of proto-mass that seemed to be a pre-formed part of galaxy. This is cool too, though. Actually...

Blackwell Stith:
This celestial body may have contained a mass almost 100 times greater than that of our own Sun (which happens to be 1.9891 times 10^30 kilograms).

Isn't that suppose to be prerequisite enough mass to collapse into a black hole?

The theory is that that because of the low content of heavy metals the core collapsed in different way to later stars. I skimmed the maths at one time and the numbers looked reasonable from limited amount that I know. Simply put the core pressure is lower, resulting in a supernova rather than blackhole.

albino boo:

FalloutJack:
Always love how the time differential in the universe over vaste distances allows us to be looking far into the past. I was probably more interested in the great blob of proto-mass that seemed to be a pre-formed part of galaxy. This is cool too, though. Actually...

Blackwell Stith:
This celestial body may have contained a mass almost 100 times greater than that of our own Sun (which happens to be 1.9891 times 10^30 kilograms).

Isn't that suppose to be prerequisite enough mass to collapse into a black hole?

The theory is that that because of the low content of heavy metals the core collapsed in different way to later stars. I skimmed the maths at one time and the numbers looked reasonable from limited amount that I know. Simply put the core pressure is lower, resulting in a supernova rather than blackhole.

You know, I've been reading The Disappearing Spoon lately (It's a book about the history of elements.) and there was a part in which something like this was mentioned in regards to the creation and burning up of elements in a sun, leading to their varied effects. All very intriguing stuff.

Considering how long that thing's been around, it's about time we discovered it.

FalloutJack:
I feel that things like square-cube law may not be exactly what we understand it to be the higher up in scale you go. We use our math to understand our physical universe, but it's only based upon what we know. We have to keep adjusting it every time something new is found. In any case, that's neither here nor there. It's a very old star and I hope it can tell us something interesting.

The square-cube law is a mathematical law not a physical one.
As such, the law is always true but, hypothetically, may not always apply to the universe.

That said, for the law to fail to apply to the universe the universe would have to be curved and, as things stand, the universe has been tested to be flat as far as we can measure. Which means that any variation to the law would require distances beyond the visible universe to even be noticeable.

Altorin:
So if you took something, increased it's mass by a factor of a million, it becomes more dense, then if you increased it's size by a factor of a million, it becomes less dense, but also much less denser then it was to begin with.

Be careful with your terminology. You're using the generic word "size" there, which can mean very different things.
If by "size" you mean radius or circumference then what you say is true.
If by "size" you mean surface area, then what you say is still true but not by such a great factor as if you meant radius or circumference.
If by "size" you mean volume then, in fact, the density would have returned to the initial value by the end of your example.

Maze1125:

FalloutJack:
I feel that things like square-cube law may not be exactly what we understand it to be the higher up in scale you go. We use our math to understand our physical universe, but it's only based upon what we know. We have to keep adjusting it every time something new is found. In any case, that's neither here nor there. It's a very old star and I hope it can tell us something interesting.

The square-cube law is a mathematical law not a physical one.
As such, the law is always true but, hypothetically, may not always apply to the universe.

That said, for the law to fail to apply to the universe the universe would have to be curved and, as things stand, the universe has been tested to be flat as far as we can measure. Which means that any variation to the law would require distances beyond the visible universe to even be noticeable.

Altorin:
So if you took something, increased it's mass by a factor of a million, it becomes more dense, then if you increased it's size by a factor of a million, it becomes less dense, but also much less denser then it was to begin with.

Be careful with your terminology. You're using the generic word "size" there, which can mean very different things.
If by "size" you mean radius or circumference then what you say is true.
If by "size" you mean surface area, then what you say is still true but not by such a great factor as if you meant radius or circumference.
If by "size" you mean volume then, in fact, the density would have returned to the initial value by the end of your example.

In every instance that I used the term "size" in this thread, I was referring to its radius in relation to its center of gravity. My head hurts too much to consider what I might have meant if I didn't mean what I meant. If that makes any sense at all. lol

Maze1125:
Zoop

Question! What do you mean flat and not curved? Entire universe spirals out in all directions from a single point. For the universe to be flat in any way, Event One would have to be flat, given the way Zero-G can send things hurtling off into various directions in direct proportion to the force involved. As below, see above. If the small-scale of a human person bouncing in all directions in space goes, then so too does matter at large in the universe as per the forces governing it. That things generally circle in one direction (planetary orbits) may seem flat, but when facing this from the centerpoint it must be going in all directions. To wit, there must be a galaxy moving at a perpendicular orientation to the Milky Way, intersection points at the center of the universe.

Or uhh...am I misunderstanding what you meant? Could you clarify on the matter of flat and curviness?

FalloutJack:

Maze1125:
Zoop

Question! What do you mean flat and not curved? Entire universe spirals out in all directions from a single point. For the universe to be flat in any way, Event One would have to be flat, given the way Zero-G can send things hurtling off into various directions in direct proportion to the force involved. As below, see above. If the small-scale of a human person bouncing in all directions in space goes, then so too does matter at large in the universe as per the forces governing it. That things generally circle in one direction (planetary orbits) may seem flat, but when facing this from the centerpoint it must be going in all directions. To wit, there must be a galaxy moving at a perpendicular orientation to the Milky Way, intersection points at the center of the universe.

Or uhh...am I misunderstanding what you meant? Could you clarify on the matter of flat and curviness?

you're using the term "flat" to mean something falling upon a two dimensional line. When talking about 3d space, flat basically means what you think of as 3d space.. it basically just stretches out in all of the directions we can concieve of (up down, left right, forward back, and all the directions between them). I'll let someone smarter then me explain what a curved 3d space is. My brain can't quite handle that right this second.

Altorin:

FalloutJack:

Maze1125:
Zoop

Question! What do you mean flat and not curved? Entire universe spirals out in all directions from a single point. For the universe to be flat in any way, Event One would have to be flat, given the way Zero-G can send things hurtling off into various directions in direct proportion to the force involved. As below, see above. If the small-scale of a human person bouncing in all directions in space goes, then so too does matter at large in the universe as per the forces governing it. That things generally circle in one direction (planetary orbits) may seem flat, but when facing this from the centerpoint it must be going in all directions. To wit, there must be a galaxy moving at a perpendicular orientation to the Milky Way, intersection points at the center of the universe.

Or uhh...am I misunderstanding what you meant? Could you clarify on the matter of flat and curviness?

you're using the term "flat" to mean something falling upon a two dimensional line. When talking about 3d space, flat basically means what you think of as 3d space.. it basically just stretches out in all of the directions we can concieve of (up down, left right, forward back, and all the directions between them). I'll let someone smarter then me explain what a curved 3d space is. My brain can't quite handle that right this second.

You're talking about a subjective flat that I have not been exposed to yet in a space-related discussion, then. I see. Yeah, somebody else take this for a moment. I'm calling time on this.

FalloutJack:

Maze1125:
Zoop

Question! What do you mean flat and not curved? Entire universe spirals out in all directions from a single point. For the universe to be flat in any way, Event One would have to be flat, given the way Zero-G can send things hurtling off into various directions in direct proportion to the force involved. As below, see above. If the small-scale of a human person bouncing in all directions in space goes, then so too does matter at large in the universe as per the forces governing it. That things generally circle in one direction (planetary orbits) may seem flat, but when facing this from the centerpoint it must be going in all directions. To wit, there must be a galaxy moving at a perpendicular orientation to the Milky Way, intersection points at the center of the universe.

Or uhh...am I misunderstanding what you meant? Could you clarify on the matter of flat and curviness?

As Altorin says, we need to distinguish between something with 2 dimensions and something that is flat.
Imagine a piece of paper on a table. That paper is both 2 dimensional and also flat.
Now imagine a piece of paper wrapped around a ball. The paper is still 2D, but it is now curved. The paper still has 2 dimensions but those dimensions have been curved through the 3rd dimension.
The same would be true of curved 3D space. It would still be 3D but curved through a higher 4D space.

Now curved 3D space is very hard to imagine but what we can consider instead are what properties it might have. For example. If you draw two parallel lines on a flat piece of paper those lines will never ever meet, no matter how far you draw them. Whereas, if you draw parallel lines on the surface of a ball, they do meet, while if you draw parallel lines inside a curved bowl those lines will in-fact diverge.
These things remain true for curved 3D space; in convex 3D space parallel lines will eventually meet while in concave 3D space parallel lines will diverge.

Another good example are triangles. On a flat piece of paper the angles in a triangle always total 180 degrees. While a triangle drawn on a ball will have angles greater than 180 degrees and a triangle in a bowl will have angles totalling less than 180.
Again the exact same thing would apply to curved 3D space; in convex 3D space a triangle will have angles totalling more than 180 while concave 3D space gives us a triangle with angles less than 180.

Flat 3D space, on the other hand, maintains the properties we "expect" onwards to infinity.

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=714

This covers it at a fairly easy level

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/degrees-of-freedom/2011/07/25/what-do-you-mean-the-universe-is-flat-part-i/

That goes on a little deeper

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=171

that answers a few more questions and helps flesh out the idea of a flat universe

Maze1125:
Snip

Altorin:
And snip

Guys, I have a problem with this. There are some very simple facts about the universe that make this confusiing. For instance, the shape and motion of things do not seem to follow. The most-efficient shape of things is a sphere and spiraling is the common motion of all things. There are things oriented above and below this planet (as in, you look from the poles and see stars, ergo systems). Galaxies 'collide' and overlap. I don't think it all adds up...

FalloutJack:

Maze1125:
Snip

Altorin:
And snip

Guys, I have a problem with this. There are some very simple facts about the universe that make this confusiing. For instance, the shape and motion of things do not seem to follow. The most-efficient shape of things is a sphere and spiraling is the common motion of all things. There are things oriented above and below this planet (as in, you look from the poles and see stars, ergo systems). Galaxies 'collide' and overlap. I don't think it all adds up...

I believe that you're still confusing the concepts of flat with the concepts of 2D.
The obvious space with in our universe is 3D; that's undeniable. The question is if it's a 3D which obeys the "basic" geometrical laws (which we call "flat") or if it's 3D which curves and so allows oddities such as parallel lines to meet. As described above.

Neither cases of the universe being "flat" nor it being "curved" interferes with the full 3 dimensions of our universe being utilised by matter.

Maze1125:

FalloutJack:

Maze1125:
Snip

Altorin:
And snip

Guys, I have a problem with this. There are some very simple facts about the universe that make this confusiing. For instance, the shape and motion of things do not seem to follow. The most-efficient shape of things is a sphere and spiraling is the common motion of all things. There are things oriented above and below this planet (as in, you look from the poles and see stars, ergo systems). Galaxies 'collide' and overlap. I don't think it all adds up...

I believe that you're still confusing the concepts of flat with the concepts of 2D.
The obvious space with in our universe is 3D; that's undeniable. The question is if it's a 3D which obeys the "basic" geometrical laws (which we call "flat") or if it's 3D which curves and so allows oddities such as parallel lines to meet. As described above.

Neither cases of the universe being "flat" nor it being "curved" interferes with the full 3 dimensions of our universe being utilised by matter.

Personally, I would believe the latter. I am not a scientist, but even Stephen Hawking has had to change his theories from time to time. A straight line in the universe just isn't what it is down here on planet Earth.

FalloutJack:

Maze1125:

FalloutJack:

Guys, I have a problem with this. There are some very simple facts about the universe that make this confusiing. For instance, the shape and motion of things do not seem to follow. The most-efficient shape of things is a sphere and spiraling is the common motion of all things. There are things oriented above and below this planet (as in, you look from the poles and see stars, ergo systems). Galaxies 'collide' and overlap. I don't think it all adds up...

I believe that you're still confusing the concepts of flat with the concepts of 2D.
The obvious space with in our universe is 3D; that's undeniable. The question is if it's a 3D which obeys the "basic" geometrical laws (which we call "flat") or if it's 3D which curves and so allows oddities such as parallel lines to meet. As described above.

Neither cases of the universe being "flat" nor it being "curved" interferes with the full 3 dimensions of our universe being utilised by matter.

Personally, I would believe the latter. I am not a scientist, but even Stephen Hawking has had to change his theories from time to time. A straight line in the universe just isn't what it is down here on planet Earth.

Remember that planet Earth is part of the universe and so any curvature in the universe would be visible on the planet too.
This is a topic which has been studied quite extensively and all the results have shown that if the universe does have any curvature it is insignificant at any distance smaller than the observable universe.

Maze1125:

Remember that planet Earth is part of the universe and so any curvature in the universe would be visible on the planet too.
This is a topic which has been studied quite extensively and all the results have shown that if the universe does have any curvature it is insignificant at any distance smaller than the observable universe.

For some reason, I am curious if this topic has been addressed from both sides; that is, have people tried presupposing that the universe is curved, and tried to imagine what would happen if it were flattened, rather than the other way around? Because I can tell that a 1-dimensional line on a curved 2-dimensional plane will probably have different attributes when the plane is flattened, thus it might be assumed that our perception of any dimension will be skewed by the possible curvature of the universe. Thus, if the universe is in fact curved, we might have no way of knowing, because all the math we developed for flat surfaces may be influenced by our curved existence, and thus not accurately represent what it's like in a flat universe.

Or something like that. I don't know, I just find these kinds of math/physics/philosophy things interesting.

Maze1125:

FalloutJack:

Maze1125:

I believe that you're still confusing the concepts of flat with the concepts of 2D.
The obvious space with in our universe is 3D; that's undeniable. The question is if it's a 3D which obeys the "basic" geometrical laws (which we call "flat") or if it's 3D which curves and so allows oddities such as parallel lines to meet. As described above.

Neither cases of the universe being "flat" nor it being "curved" interferes with the full 3 dimensions of our universe being utilised by matter.

Personally, I would believe the latter. I am not a scientist, but even Stephen Hawking has had to change his theories from time to time. A straight line in the universe just isn't what it is down here on planet Earth.

Remember that planet Earth is part of the universe and so any curvature in the universe would be visible on the planet too.
This is a topic which has been studied quite extensively and all the results have shown that if the universe does have any curvature it is insignificant at any distance smaller than the observable universe.

As above, see below? Could very well be. Can't wait for all the science to be done on other planets, the stuff that we couldn't have machines to do for us. Great robots, of course, but it's like a boy scout. It has to prepare NOW and everything it can't take, it can't test for. What I'm basically saying is that this is all very confusing and I can't wait to hear more about our universe once we're more out in the thick of it, doing things.

 

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