Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About The Big Bang
For over 50 years, it’s been the scientifically accepted theory describing the origin of the Universe. It’s time we all learned its truths.
The Universe we know today, filled with stars and galaxies across the great cosmic abyss, hasn’t been around forever. Despite the fact that there are approximately 2 trillion galaxies visible to us spanning distances of tens of billions of light-years, there’s a limit to how far away we can look. That isn’t because the Universe is finite — in fact, it may well be infinite after all — but because it had a beginning that occurred a finite amount of time ago: the Big Bang.
The fact that we can look at our Universe today, see it expanding and cooling, and infer our cosmic origins is one of the most profound scientific achievements of the 20th century. The Universe began from a hot, dense, matter-and-radiation filled state some 13.8 billion years ago, and has been expanding, cooling, and gravitating ever since. But the Big Bang itself doesn’t work the way most people think. Here are the top 5 myths that people believe about the Big Bang.
1.) The Big Bang is the explosion that began our Universe. Every time we look out at a distant galaxy in the Universe and try to measure what its light is doing, we see the same pattern emerge: the farther away the galaxy is, the more significantly its light is systematically shifted to longer and longer wavelengths. This redshift that we observe for these objects follows a predictable pattern, with double the distance meaning that the light is shifted by twice as much.
Distant objects, therefore, appear to be receding away from us. Just as a police car speeding away from you will sound lower-pitched the faster it moves away from you, the greater we measure an object’s distance to be from us, the greater the measured redshift of its light will be. It makes a lot of sense, then, to think that the more distant objects are moving away from us at faster speeds, and that we could trace every galaxy we see today back to a single point in the past: an…