We have all heard the expression, ‘He/She thinks they are the center of the universe.’
Western Civilization’s infatuation with the cosmos began with the belief that our collective terra firma was the focal point of a geocentric solar system.
It seems a part of human nature to view ourselves at the center of universal existence but are we the center of the cosmos? Is there even a true center?
Live Science reports that, based on the majority consensus of astrophysicists, there is no actual center of the universe because our cosmic reality is ever-expanding, pushing all celestial bodies further apart as it grows.
According to scientists, the Big Bang, which occurred around 13.7 billion years ago, did not erupt out of a fixed and focal point, but burst into existence rapidly in all directions at once and at an equal pace.
To imagine this, Live Science advises readers to think about a load of ever expanding raisin bread, with the raisins representing galaxies. As the bread expands, the raisins are pushed further and further apart. What would have been the center of the loaf one minute would no longer be the case sixty seconds later as the loaf got bigger.
Scientists are debating among themselves whether the universe has a concave or convex curve to it or if it is flat.
Live Science notes:
“So far, theoretical ideas and observations — such as those of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the afterglow from the Big Bang — point to a remarkably flat universe. But cosmologists still aren’t sure if the universe is indeed flat or if the curvature is so wide that the universe only appears flat — similar to how Earth feels flat on the surface.
The determining factor in whether the universe has a curve or is flat centers on the total amount of mass and energy in it. This is why dark energy and dark matter is so important to theoreticians. If the universe if considered ‘dense’, it would form a convex curve and have a limit to its expansion before it began retracting.
If there existed a ‘neutrality’ in mass, the universe would be flat (which seems to be the case). But if the mass and energy were found to be light, the universe would expand rapidly and take on a concave shape, forever growing in size.
As much as we may want to think of ourselves at the center of the universe, scientists theorize that we are far from it. Perhaps this isn’t the best news to read on a Monday.
What do you think?
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