C o s m o l o g y


Earth's Location in the Universe







The Cosmic Egg - by Hugh Fathers

After the BIG BANG . . . Over the last couple of decades that curious species the homo sapiens sapiens, has been peering further and further back in time. A number of experiments have been conducted to record and analyse the background radiation of the Universe. At one stage this radiation was seen as homogenous but that was only because of the sensitivity of the instruments used for measurement. Subsequent measurements initially from the COBE investigation and confirmed by WMAP, show minute fluctuations in the background radiation, these fluctuations which have been described as the seeds from which the galaxies evolved.

Not just a wild story… experiments have shown that the galaxies would not have formed but for fluctuations in the “stuff” of the Giant Bang ~ oh yes, and Dark Energy as well. But no one at present has a clue to what it is!)


Cosmic Egg & The Big Bang

Georges Lemaître (1894-1966), a Belgian priest, introduced his primeval “cosmic egg” in the 1920s. In 1948 the American Ralph Alpher (1921-2007) together with the Ukrainian-born American physicist George Gamow (1904-1968) outlined a theory of how the first elements formed in the early universe (Big Bang nucleosynthesis). Later that year, collaborating with scientist Robert Herman (1914-1997), an American-born son of a Russian Jewish immigrant just like Alpher himself, Alpher predicted the existence of a cosmic background radiation resulting from the Big Bang. Two individuals who didn’t realize what they had found in the 1960s stumbled across evidence of this radiation and received the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery. The contributions of Alpher and Herman were overlooked. A Nobel Prize cannot be shared by more than three individuals, nor can it be awarded posthumously.

This Big Bang model was modified in the 1980s with the introduction of the concept of an early period of cosmic inflation by the American cosmologist Alan Guth (born 1947) and the Russian-born physicist Andrei Linde (born 1948). Alpher’s contributions have unquestionably helped shape the way we currently look at the universe, yet he is not mentioned in Murray’s Human Accomplishment and is entirely overlooked in a number of other works on scientific history. By contrast, Aristotle’s physical ideas have all been discredited centuries ago, yet most educated people have heard of Aristotle. Does that mean that Aristotle is overrated and is primarily famous for being wrong? Not quite so. His biological works have stood the test of time, and his personal contributions to the development of scientific logic are profound.















Simulation of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. The image spans about 400 million light years across. –

 The Cosmic Web



The Known Universe by AMNH ( 6:31mins)

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.





The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has created an unprecedented 3-D map of galaxies that are hundreds of millions of light-years away


The Known Universe - NOW IN 3D!!





Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Nerd Alert!) have unveiled a new 3D map of the entire known universe. Sadly, only Operating Thetan VIII's will be able to view THIS image in actual 3D.







Map of the Universe - National Geographic




Full size Photo and other High Resolution Quality Photos:







The Observable Universe

In Big Bang cosmology, the observable universe consists of the galaxies and other matter that we can in principle observe from Earth in the present day, because light (or other signals) from those objects has had time to reach us since the beginning of the cosmological expansion. Assuming the universe is isotropic, the distance to the edge of the observable universe is roughly the same in every direction—that is, the observable universe is a spherical volume (a ball) centered on the observer, regardless of the shape of the universe as a whole. Every location in the universe has its own observable universe which may or may not overlap with the one centered on the Earth.

The word observable used in this sense does not depend on whether modern technology actually permits detection of radiation from an object in this region (or indeed on whether there is any radiation to detect). It simply indicates that it is possible in principle for light or other signals from the object to reach an observer on Earth. In practice, we can see light only from as far back as the time of photon decoupling in the recombination epoch, which is when particles were first able to emit photons that were not quickly re-absorbed by other particles, before which the Universe was filled with a plasma opaque to photons….





Visualization of the 93 billion light year – or 28 billion parsec – three-dimensional observable universe. The scale is such that the fine grains of light represent collections of large numbers of superclusters. The Virgo Supercluster – home of Milky Way – is marked at the center, but is too small to be seen in the image.





"Panoramic view of the entire near-infrared sky reveals the distribution of galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The image is derived from the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog (XSC)—more than 1.5 million galaxies, and the Point Source Catalog (PSC)--nearly 0.5 billion Milky Way stars. The galaxies are color coded by 'redshift' obtained from the UGC, CfA, Tully NBGC, LCRS, 2dF, 6dFGS, and SDSS surveys (and from various observations compiled by the NASA Extragalactic Database), or photo-metrically deduced from the K band (2.2 um). Blue are the nearest sources (z < 0.01); green are at moderate distances (0.01 < z < 0.04) and red are the most distant sources that 2MASS resolves (0.04 < z < 0.1). The map is projected with an equal area Aitoff in the Galactic system (Milky Way at center)








A Diagram of our Location in the Observable Universe


Larger Original Image:







The Known Universe Scientifically Rendered For All to See (by AMNH) ( 6 mins)

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.





Map of the CMB fluctuations found

by COBE.


George Fitzgerald Smoot III



George Smoot – Nobel Prize

George Fitzgerald Smoot III (born February 20, 1945) is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, Nobel laureate, and $1 million TV quiz show prize winner (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?). He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on COBE with John C. Mather that led to the measurement "of the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation."

George Smoot: The Design of the Universe ( 19 mins)

At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos -- with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids -- got built this way.

- That the estimated Galaxies in the Universe is over 100 Billion Galaxies- and that our own Milky Way Galaxy may have 100 Billion Stars, some- or most – with Planets !!!!!











How Many Galaxies in the Universe ?

Our Earth feels like all there is, but we know that it’s just a tiny planet in a vast Solar System. And our Solar System is just one member of a vast Milky Way galaxy with 200 to 400 billion stars. But how many galaxies are there in the entire Universe?

This is a difficult number to know for certain, since we can only see a fraction of the Universe, even with our most powerful instruments. The most current estimates guess that there are 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the Universe, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars. - A recent German supercomputer simulation put that number even higher: 500 billion. In other words, there could be a galaxy out there for every star in the Milky Way.





As mentioned, these numbers are considered rough estimates. In order to create these estimates, astronomers use a powerful telescope, like the Hubble Space Telescope, to deeply study a region of the sky. By gathering light for hundreds of hours, Hubble is able to see more deeply than any Earth-based telescope could ever hope to look. Astronomers count up the number of galaxies in the cone of space that makes up the deep image, and then use this as an average for the rest of the sky. Even though they’re really only observed a tiny fraction of the sky at that depth, they can estimate the rest.

Most of the galaxies in the Universe are probably tiny dwarf galaxies. For example, in our Local Group of galaxies there are only 3 large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Triangulum Galaxy. The rest are dwarf and irregular galaxies.

We have written many articles about galaxies for Universe Today. Here’s an article about the number of stars in the Milky Way, and here’s another about the number of stars in the whole Universe.

If you’d like more info on galaxies, check out Hubblesite’s News Releases on Galaxies, and here’s NASA’s Science Page on Galaxies.






Cosmic Journeys: How Large is the Universe? ( 20 mins)

The mind-blowing answer comes from a theory describing the birth of the universe in the first instant of time. The universe has long captivated us with its immense scales of distance and time.

How far does it stretch? Where does it end... and what lies beyond its star fields... and streams of galaxies extending as far as telescopes can see?

These questions are beginning to yield to a series of extraordinary new lines of investigation... and technologies that are letting us to peer into the most distant realms of the cosmos...But also at the behavior of matter and energy on the smallest of scales. Remarkably, our growing understanding of this kingdom of the ultra-tiny, inside the nuclei of atoms, permits us to glimpse the largest vistas of space and time.

In ancient times, most observers saw the stars as a sphere surrounding the earth, often the home of deities. The Greeks were the first to see celestial events as phenomena, subject to human investigation... rather than the fickle whims of the Gods. One sky-watcher, for example, suggested that meteors are made of materials found on Earth... and might have even come from the Earth.
Those early astronomers built the foundations of modern science. But they would be shocked to see the discoveries made by their counterparts today.

The stars and planets that once harbored the gods are now seen as infinitesimal parts of a vast scaffolding of matter and energy extending far out into space.

Just how far... began to emerge in the 1920s. Working at the huge new 100-inch Hooker Telescope on California's Mt. Wilson, astronomer Edwin Hubble, along with his assistant named Milt Humason, analyzed the light of fuzzy patches of sky... known then as nebulae. They showed that these were actually distant galaxies far beyond our own. Hubble and Humason discovered that most of them are moving away from us. The farther out they looked, the faster they were receding. This fact, now known as Hubble's law, suggests that there must have been a time when the matter in all these galaxies was together in one place.

That time... when our universe sprung forth... has come to be called the Big Bang. How large the cosmos has gotten since then depends on how long its been growing... and its expansion rate. Recent precision measurements gathered by the Hubble space telescope and other instruments have brought a consensus...

That the universe dates back 13.7 billion years. Its radius, then, is the distance a beam of light would have traveled in that time ... 13.7 billion light years. That works out to about 1.3 quadrillion kilometers. In fact, it's even bigger.... Much bigger. How it got so large, so fast, was until recently a deep mystery. That the universe could expand had been predicted back in 1917 by Albert Einstein, except that Einstein himself didn't believe it... until he saw Hubble and Humason's evidence.

Einstein's general theory of relativity suggested that galaxies could be moving apart because space itself is expanding. So when a photon gets blasted out from a distant star, it moves through a cosmic landscape that is getting larger and larger, increasing the distance it must travel to reach us. In 1995, the orbiting telescope named for Edwin Hubble began to take the measure of the universe... by looking for the most distant galaxies it could see.

Taking the expansion of the universe into account, the space telescope found galaxies that are now almost 46 billion light years away from us in each direction... and almost 92 billion light years from each other. And that would be the whole universe... according to a straightforward model of the big bang. But remarkably, that might be a mere speck within the universe as a whole, according to a dramatic new theory that describes the origins of the cosmos. It's based on the discovery that energy is constantly welling up from the vacuum of space in the form of particles of opposite charge... matter and anti-matter.







Cosmic Journeys: Is the Universe Infinite? ( 24 mins)

Explore the biggest question of all... in 1080p. How far do the stars stretch out into space? And what's beyond them? In modern times, we built giant telescopes that have allowed us to cast our gaze deep into the universe. Astronomers have been able to look back to near the time of its birth. They've reconstructed the course of cosmic history in astonishing detail.

From intensive computer modeling, and myriad close observations, they've uncovered important clues to its ongoing evolution. Many now conclude that what we can see, the stars and galaxies that stretch out to the limits of our vision, represent only a small fraction of all there is.

Does the universe go on forever? Where do we fit within it? And how would the great thinkers have wrapped their brains around the far-out ideas on today's cutting edge?

For those who find infinity hard to grasp, even troubling, you're not alone. It's a concept that has long tormented even the best minds…











Journey to the Edge of the Universe - Documentary - DVD

( 1Hr:30 mins)


National Geographic presents the first accurate non-stop voyage from Earth to the edge of the Universe using a single, unbroken shot through the use of spectacular CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) technology.  - Building on images taken from the Hubble telescope, Journey to the Edge of the Universe explores the science and history behind the distant celestial bodies in the solar system. This spectacular, epic voyage across the cosmos, takes us from the Earth, past the Moon and our neighboring planets, out of our Solar System, to the nearest stars, nebulae and galaxies and beyond - right to the edge of the Universe itself.










Strangest Things In The Universe - Full Documentary ( 44 mins)






Dark Matter Movie from the Bolshoi Simulation

& Bolshoi Simulation of the Universe & more




Back to Top of Page






Astronomical Alchemy – Cosmic Origins


The heaviest elements are produced in supernova explosions of massive stars.



Astronomical Alchemy: The Origin of the Elements ( 1 Hr:04 mins)

Dr. Philip A. Pinto, Associate Professor, Astronomy/Steward Observatory, University of Arizona.

- When Stars go “SUPERNOVA” The Elements are formed, after it has burned out the basic elements and only Iron remains.

One of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century science is an understanding of the origin of matter. While hydrogen and helium were produced in the Big Bang, the origin of the heavier elements—the silicon in rocks, the iron in our blood, and the oxygen we breathe--lies in the lifecycle of stars. Nuclear reactions, which transform light elements into heavier ones, cause stars to shine and ultimately to explode, seeding the universe with their production. These newly formed elements, the building blocks of ordinary matter, play a central role in the formation of planets and the evolution of life. Presented Feb. 22, 1011. 

Cosmic Origins is the story of the universe but it's also our story. Hear about origin of space and time, mass and energy, the atoms in our bodies, the compact objects where matter can end up, and the planets and moons where life may flourish. Modern cosmology includes insights and triumphs, but mysteries remain. Join the six speakers who explore cosmology's historical and cultural backdrop to explain the discoveries that speak of our cosmic origins



Origin of the Elements






Origin of Elements: Supernovae









Where Did We Come From? - NOVA Science Now  ( 53 mins)


Nova ScienceNow examines where we came from. It looks at the origin of the solar system and experiments to produce chemical precursors of life. It also considers what lice can tell us about human evolution and profiles a scientist who is working on memory.


Nova: Science Now on PBS | "Where did we come from?" with host Neil DeGrasse Tyson explores the origin of our solar system and the start of life itself, how head lice figure in human evolution, and more. Journey back in time to the birth of our solar system to examine whether the key to our planet's existence might have been the explosive shockwave of an ancient supernova. Meet a chemist who has yielded a new kind of "recipe" for natural processes to assemble and create the building blocks of life. And see how the head louse, a creepy critter that's been sucking our blood for millions of years, is offering clues about our evolution.


Neil de Grasse Tyson
















Back to Top of Page





 Misc. Themes




Atlantis crosses the face of the Sun July 21st 2011 at 08:27:48 UT, just 21 minutes before the shuttle's deorbit burn to return to Earth. Credit: Thierry Legault.


NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit.






Atlantis during the STS-135 Mission Docked to the International Space Station


You were probably wondering if photographer Thierry Legault would have the opportunity to photograph space shuttle Atlantis in orbit during the final mission of the shuttle program. Regular UT readers will recall that Legault has taken several amazing images of the space shuttle and International Space Station from the ground with his specialized equipment, with many spectacular views of the spacecraft transiting across the face of the Sun or the Moon. It took a mad dash across Europe, but he was successful in chasing down the shuttle, capturing it crossing the face of the Sun several times, and once — just in the nick of time (above) — just minutes before the Atlantis’ final de-orbit burn.






Old Town Astronomical Clock

One of Prague’s most mysterious places, attracting thousands of tourists on a daily basis, is the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall. According to some researchers, it can be noticed that the Astronomical Clock is divided into four imaginary levels. Ancient alchemists and astrologers believed that the Universe is composed of four elements: earth, water, air and fire. These elements are depicted on the layout of the Astronomical Clock. Understanding all of its functions is very complex.

Using its many parts, indicators and symbols, it is possible to determine not only time but also the current zodiac sign, position of the Sun and the Moon and a wealth of other information. To help you gain a better knowledge of Old Town Astrological Clock, we will teach you to recognize some of its functions.






Back to Top of Page










* * * Please Visit also our Other Themes * * *  Please Visit also our Other Themes* * *  Please Visit also our Other Themes * * *  Please Visit also our Other Themes * * * 





















~ Vision in Consciousness - A Non-Profit Website – It’s whole Purpose is to inform and to help Raise Human Consciousness in these Changing Times ~

tumblr visitor