The universe consists of all matter, light, and other forms of radiation and energy that have been discovered by man. The universe also consists of everything that man believes to be present in space / time as a result of his theories. This includes the Earth, solar system, stars which includes our sun. Most people believe that the universe is expanding.


Universe 'mostly made of dark energy' November 2002 - BBC

A wheel within a wheel   September 2002 - Space Flight Now
                      Wheels With Wheels
                         Metatron's Cube

        The Hub - Source of Creation - 12 (around one) X 3 = 36 
        Sacred Geometry - Creation of Universe

Universe might yet collapse in 'big crunch' New Scientist - Sept 2002

In 1998, astronomers studying distant supernovae found evidence that the expansion of the Universe is getting faster. This suggests that some kind of "dark energy" is pushing space apart.

Universe is a computer - June 2002 - Nature Magazine
A physicist has worked out how many calculations have happened since the Big Bang. We are all living inside a gigantic computer. No, not The Matrix: the Universe.

Probing the Universe's first light - May 2002 - Reuters
Astronomers using a telescope on a remote plateau in the Chilean desert have produced some of the most detailed images ever made of the oldest light emitted by the Universe.

Universe Expansion is Accelerating, UK and Australian Space.com - March 2002 Astronomers Say Universe Is Beige, Not Green Reuters - March 2002

Astronomers spy most distant objects ever seen

June 5, 2001 - Nando

Peering deeper than ever into the past, astronomers have spotted the most distant objects ever seen - two quasars formed when the universe was just 800 million years old.

The announcement Tuesday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society marks the fourth time the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has pushed closer to the birth of the universe some 13 billion years ago.

"Our vision has consistently pressed deeper and deeper in time, and now we're within 800 million years," said Donald Schneider of Pennsylvania State University.

Earlier discoveries were about a billion years away from the birth of the universe.

Quasars are galaxies with very active and bright center objects, thought to be powered by black holes. They can shine with the brilliance of a trillion suns.

The Sloan project, a five-year, $80 million undertaking, seeks to digitally survey the sky, map the universe and define its structure in three dimensions. It uses telescopes atop Apache Point, N.M.

Astronomers also heralded the first release of data from the survey Tuesday. The data consists of precision measurements of 14 million objects scattered throughout the universe. Included are more than 13,000 quasars, including 26 of the 30 most distant known.

Astronomers expect to release the full set of data over the next five years. It will be the biggest flood of information in the history of astronomy.

A glimpse of web-like structures in early Universe

May 22, 2001 - AP

New, trailblazing observations with the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal lend strong support to current computer models of the early universe: It is "spongy", with galaxies forming along filaments, like droplets along the strands of a spiders web.

A group of astronomers at ESO and in Denmark determined the distances to some very faint galaxies in the neighborhood of a distant quasar. Plotting their positions in a three-dimensional map, they found that these objects are located within a narrow "filament", exactly as predicted by the present theories for the development of the first structures in the young universe.

Computer model of the universe at an age of about 2 billion years. In the simulated universe gravity causes the primordial matter to arrange itself in thin filaments, much like a spider's web. The colour coding indicates the density of the gas, yellow for highest, red for medium, and blue for the lowest density. In the high density (yellow) regions the gas will undergo collapse and ignite bursts of star formation. Those small star-forming regions will slowly stream along the filaments. When they meet at the intersections (the "nodes"), they will merge and cause a gradual build-up of the galaxies we know today. In this sense they are the building blocks of which galaxies are made. This simulated image was computed by Tom Theuns at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany

The objects are most likely "building blocks" from which galaxies and clusters of galaxies assemble.

This observation shows a very useful way forward for the study of the early evolution of the universe and the emergence of structures soon after the Big Bang. At the same time, it provides yet another proof of the great power of the new class of giant optical telescopes for cosmological studies.

Computers are ahead of telescopes For the past two decades cosmologists have been in the somewhat odd situation that their computers were "ahead" of their telescopes. The rapid evolution of powerful computer hardware and sophisticated software has provided theorists with the ability to build almost any sort of virtual universe they can imagine. Starting with different initial conditions just after the Big Bang, they can watch such fictional worlds evolve over billions of years in their supercomputers - and do so in a matter of days only.

This has made it possible to predict what the universe might look like when it was still young. And working the opposite way, a comparison between the computer models and the real world might then provide some information about the initial conditions.

Unfortunately, until recently astronomical telescopes were not sufficiently powerful to directly study the "real world" of the young universe by observing in detail the extremely faint objects at that early epoch, and thereby to test the predictions. Now, however, the advent of giant telescopes of the 8-10 metre class has changed this situation and a group of astronomers has used the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal Observatory (Chile) to view a small part of the early cosmic structure. The telescopes have begun to catch up with the computer simulations.

First structures of the Universe All recent computer-simulations of the early universe have one prediction in common: the first large-scale structures to form in the young universe are long filaments connected at their ends in "nodes". The models typically look like a three-dimensional spider's web, and resemble the neural structure of a brain.

The first galaxies or rather, the first galaxy building blocks, will form inside the threads of the web. When they start emitting light, they will be seen to mark out the otherwise invisible threads, much like beads on a string. In the course of millions and billions of years, those early galaxies will stream along these threads, towards and into the "nodes". This is where galaxy clusters will later be formed. During this process the structure of the universe slowly changes. From being dominated by filaments, it becomes populated by large clusters of galaxies that are still connected by "bridges" and "walls", the last remains of the largest of the original filaments.

The Lyman-alpha spectral line New observations with the ESO Very Large Telescope have now identified a string of galaxies that map out a tight filament in the early universe. This trailblazing result is reported by a team of astronomers from ESO and Denmark, who have been searching for compact clumps of hydrogen in the early universe.

Hydrogen was formed during the Big Bang some 15 billion years ago and is by far the most common element in the universe. When stars are formed by contraction inside a large and compact clump of hydrogen in space, the surrounding hydrogen cloud will absorb the ultraviolet light from the newborn stars, and this cloud will soon start to glow.

This glow is mostly emitted at a single wavelength at 121.6 nm (1216 â), the "Lyman-alpha" emission line of hydrogen. This wavelength is in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum to which the terrestrial atmosphere is totally opaque. Accordingly, the Lyman-alpha emission can normally not be observed by ground-based telescopes. However, if a very distant hydrogen cloud emits Lyman-alpha radiation, then this spectral line will be red-shifted from the ultraviolet into the blue, green or red region of the spectrum.

For this reason, observations with large ground-based telescopes of Lyman-alpha radiation can be used to identify faint objects forming inside the high-redshift filaments. The team refers to such objects as the LEGO-blocks of cosmology ("Lyman-alpha Emitting Galaxy-building Objects").

A "true-color" image of part of the sky field near the quasar Q 1205-30. Red, blue and yellow objects are displayed with their true colours, while objects at a redshift of about 3 and with strong Lyman-alpha emission lines have a bright green color.

Already in 1998, the present team of astronomers obtained very deep images with the ESO 3.58-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla Observatory (Chile) of the sky field around the quasar Q1205-30. The redshift of this distant object has been measured as z = 3.04, corresponding to a look-back time of about 85% of the age of the Universe. Assuming this to be about 15 billion years, we now observe the quasar as it appeared 13 billion years ago, hence about 2 billion years after the Big Bang.

The images were obtained through a special optical filter that only allows light in a narrow spectral waveband to pass. The astronomers chose this wavelength to coincide with that of the Lyman-alpha emission line redshifted to z = 3.04, i.e. 490 nm in the green spectral region. Lyman-alpha radiation from objects at the distance of the quasar - and thus, at nearly the same redshift - will pass through this optical filter. When these images are combined with other deep images taken through much wider red and blue filters, the Lyman-alpha emitting objects at redshift 3.04 will show up as small, intensely green objects, while most other objects in the field will appear in various shades of red, blue and yellow.

The spatial distribution of the galaxies Thanks to the great light-gathering capabilily of the VLT and the excellent FORS1 multi-mode instrument at the 8.2-m ANTU telescope, spectra of eight, faint Lyman-alpha objects were obtained in March 2000 that allowed measuring their exact redshifts and hence, their distances. When two co-ordinates from the position in the sky were combined with the measured redshifts into a three-dimensional map, the astronomers found that all of the objects lie within a thin, well-defined filament.

Speaking for the group, Palle MØller is exhilarated: "We have little doubt that for the first time, we are here seeing a small cosmic filament in the early universe. At this enormous distance and correspondingly long look-back time, we see it at a time when the universe was only about 2 billion years old. This is obviously in agreement with the predictions by the computer models of a web-like structure, lending further strong support to our current picture of the early development of the universe in which we live".

Implications of this discovery Does this observation change our view of the early universe? No - on the contrary, it confirms the predictions of computer-models about how cosmic structures formed in the early days after the Big Bang.

The most important ingredient in the cosmological models is the dark matter that is believed to contribute about 95% of the mass of the universe. The present confirmation of the predictions of the models therefore also indirectly confirms that it is the dark matter that controls the formation of structures in the universe.

However, there is still a long way to go before it will be possible to make a more detailed comparison between observations and predictions! Asked about what they consider the most important consequence of their observations, the team responds: "We have shown that we now have an observational method with which we may study the cosmic web in the early universe, and the VLT is a great tool for such studies. The way forward is now pretty clear - we just have to find those faint and distant LEGOs and then do the spectral observations from which we may determine how they are distributed in space".

Found: the Universe's Missing Hydrogen

May 4, 2000 - AP

The search for much of the matter that makes up the universe has been like looking for a wall in a dark room - you know it's there holding up the ceiling, you just can't see it.

But now astronomers have flipped a light switch, using the brilliance of a distant stellar object to detect tendrils of hydrogen in the vast dark between galaxies. The discovery of the mysterious matter, long predicted but undetected, could reveal much about the large-scale structure of the universe, astronomers say.

Scientists determined the presence of invisible matter years ago by measuring the motion of stars within galaxies. They found that stellar objects visible from Earth did not contain enough mass to provide the gravitational force that keeps the galaxies from flying apart.

So there had to be more stuff out there somewhere.

Astronomers believe at least 90 percent of the matter in the universe is hidden in an exotic dark form that still hasn't been seen directly.

The other 10 percent consists of baryonic, or ordinary, matter - everything from stars to skyscrapers to people. And it has been embarrassing to scientists that, until now, they have only identified about half of this ordinary matter.

But now, using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have uncovered the missing half, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Wednesday. The discovery confirms previous predictions of how much hydrogen was created in the first few minutes after the Big Bang, the universe's birth.

"This is a successful, fundamental test of cosmological models," said Todd Tripp, a Princeton University researcher who worked to find the missing hydrogen. "This provides strong evidence that the models are on the right track."

The results of Tripp and his collaborators are being published in the May 1 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

The astronomers think the missing matter exists as highly charged hydrogen between galaxies. Since such hydrogen is hard to see, they had to seek indirect evidence by looking at oxygen that had been spewed into space by exploding stars. The hot hydrogen heats the oxygen into an excited state that can be observed.

Astronomers found the oxygen by using the light of a distant quasar to probe the invisible space between the galaxies, like shining a flashlight beam through a fog. Quasars are distant, very energetic, stellar objects that can spew X-rays and visible light equal to the brightness of trillions of stars.

With the Hubble Telescope, the astronomers saw traces of the oxygen in the quasar's light, which had crossed through vast distances of space.

Pictures of the early Universe

Scientists have produced the best evidence yet to show that the Universe is "flat".

April 29, 2000 - BBC

This means the usual rules of Euclidean geometry taught in schools are observed in the cosmos: straight lines can be extended to infinity, the angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees and the circumference of a circle is equal to 2pi times the radius, etc.

The precise geometry has been the subject of much debate since Albert Einstein suggested that the Universe might actually be "curved". Some cosmologists have championed spherical and even hyperbolic (saddle-like) models.

In the former, for example, the angles of a triangle would add up to greater than 180 degrees.

Enormous structures in the early Universe which are invisible to the unaided eye become apparent when observed using a telescope sensitive to light with millimetre wavelengths. This image is of approximately 1,800 square degrees of the southern sky (the apparent size of the Moon is indicated). It shows the Universe as it makes its transition from a glowing 2,700 deg C plasma to a perfectly transparent gas, a mere 300,000 years after the Big Bang. The enhanced colours show up the tiny temperature variations in the primordial plasma.

But the researchers who have been flying a balloon-borne telescope in Antarctica seem to have saved us from any mind-bending alternatives.

They have produced highly accurate maps of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, which has its origins in the very early stages of the Universe.

Immediately after the Big Bang, the Universe was a hot, dense "soup" in which sub atomic particles interacted strongly with radiation. But there came a time - about 300,000 years after the Big Bang - when the matter and radiation "decoupled".

The matter went on to form stars and galaxies. The radiation just spread out into space - where it still is and can be detected as weak waves of radio frequency. This is the CMB and it has a nearly uniform temperature across the entire sky: a very cold -270.45 deg Celsius.

But by mapping the tiniest of temperature fluctuations in the CMB, first done by the Cobe satellite in 1991, astronomers can "see" the distribution of matter in the early Universe. The CMB gives us clues as to how stars and galaxies might have evolved from that matter.

It can also tell us about the rate of expansion and age of Universe - and the ultimate fate of the Universe.

By observing the characteristic size of hot and cold spots in the Boomerang images, the geometry of space can be determined. Cosmological simulations predict that if our Universe has a flat geometry then the images should be dominated by hot and cold spots of around 1 degree in size (bottom centre). Any other geometry (bottom right and left) would distort the images. Comparison with the Boomerang image (top) indicates that space is very nearly flat.

The team working on the Boomerang (Balloon Observations of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation and Geophysics) telescope have measured the temperature fluctuations in the CMB with a sensitivity of better than one ten thousandth of a degree. This gives a map that is over 40 times more detailed than the one produced by Cobe.

The team say their analysis of the data strongly indicates that the geometry of the Universe is flat, and not curved.

This result is in agreement with a fundamental prediction of the "inflationary" theory of the Universe. This theory hypothesises that the entire Universe grew from a tiny subatomic region during a period of violent expansion that occurred a split second after the Big Bang.

The enormous expansion would have stretched the geometry of space until it was flat.

The data from Boomerang, published in the journal Nature, imply that the Universe will go on expanding forever and will not, as one theory predicts, collapse back into a "Big Crunch".

The team working on the Boomerang (Balloon Observations of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation and Geophysics) telescope have measured the temperature fluctuations in the CMB with a sensitivity of better than one ten thousandth of a degree. This gives a map that is over 40 times more detailed than the one produced by Cobe.

The team say their analysis of the data strongly indicates that the geometry of the Universe is flat, and not curved.

This result is in agreement with a fundamental prediction of the "inflationary" theory of the Universe. This theory hypothesises that the entire Universe grew from a tiny subatomic region during a period of violent expansion that occurred a split second after the Big Bang.

The enormous expansion would have stretched the geometry of space until it was flat.

The data from Boomerang, published in the journal Nature, imply that the Universe will go on expanding forever and will not, as one theory predicts, collapse back into a "Big Crunch".

Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Expected - Study

September 22, 1999 - Reuters - London

First scientists thought it was slowing down, then they discovered it was speeding up. Now a team of international astronomers say the universe is expanding even faster than they thought.

Their calculations, reported in the science journal Nature Wednesday, are based on the brightness of giant pulsating stars called Cepheids, which are used by astronomers to determine distance to other galaxies.

The fact that the Cepheids appear to be fainter than previously thought means they are also closer to the earth, Professor Stephen Zepf, of Yale University, said in a statement.

``The reason this is significant is that since Cepheids are used to calibrate the expansion of the universe, if they are fainter, then the universe is expanding slightly faster. If the universe is expanding slightly faster, then it might be a little younger than we thought.''

Cepheids have been used as standard measurements to estimate cosmic distances since 1929. They pulsate in a particular way that depends on their brightness, which viewed from the Earth indicates how far away they are from us.

``Nearly all galaxies are moving away from us. The question is whether this will keep going on forever or whether eventually the universe will have enough density to collapse back on itself,'' Zepf added.

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, Zepf and scientists from the NASA Ames Research Center in California, the University of California in Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology discovered that the Cepheid stars may be about 15 percent fainter than previously thought.

``This is analogous to finding out that the light bulb you thought was 60 watts is really only 50 watts, therefore the lamp is actually closer than you originally estimated,'' Zepf said.

Universe is younger than previously thought - around 12 billion years, study says

The universe is younger than previously thought, and researchers can now more accurately pinpoint its rate of growth, according to different studies appearing in the journal Science on Tuesday.

Australian researchers led by professor Charles Lineweaver of the University of New South Wales, Australia, put the universe at a youthful 13.4 billion years old, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 billion years.

This estimate "is a billion years younger than other recent age estimates," which put the universe at 15 billion years old, he added.

"The universe according to Lineweaver is still just old enough to have formed prior to the oldest known stars, a result that bodes well for the Big Bang theory," an accompanying abstract said about the findings.

Professor Wendy Freedman of Washington's Carnegie Institute judged the age of the universe to be some 12 billion years old, similar to previous estimates.

Freedman also said by using the Hubble telescope they could pinpoint the "Hubble constant" -- or the rate at which the universe is expanding -- at 43 miles per second per 3.26 million light years.

But this estimate carries with it a margin of error of 10 percent. Previous growth estimates stood between 31 and 62 miles per second per 3.26 million light years.

According to the Big Bang model, the age of the universe can be estimated by three parameters: the Hubble constant, the density of the universe's matters -- whose gravitational pull slows expansion -- and the cosmological constant -- an antigravitational force that speeds up expansion.

After Edwin Hubble discovered in 1929 that the universe is expanding, researchers worldwide have worked to measure its growth from the time of the Big Bang.

"After all these years, we are finally entering an era of precision cosmology," Freedman said. "Now we can more reliably address the broader picture of the universe's origin, evolution and destiny."

"The truth is there and we will find it," added Harvard professor Robert Kirshner.

Freedman's team studied 18 galaxies some 65 million light years away as well as close to 800 cepheids, variable stars that brighten and dim regularly. These "yardsticks of the universe" are helpful in judging intergalactic distances.

Agence France-Presse - May 26, 1999 - Washington