The Mysterious Universe
"The Universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, then it's an awful waste of space." Jodie Foster (Dr Ellie Arroway) - Contact.
How true are those word's from Jodie Foster in the movie contact. The Universe is so big, that if we are the only life forms that exist then it then surely is a waste of space.
It is estimated that the Universe spans 91 Billion light years in diameter but this is only the part that is described as observable.
In reality the Universe is most probably infinite. It contain's everything that is time and space including all energy and matter. Basically the Universe is everything that we know and have ever known.
The reason the Universe has to be infinite is because it is impossible for it to end. Say for instance you created a space ship that could travel to the end of the Universe at warp speed. You've travelled
billion's of light years to get there and as you approach the end you stop your engines.
You and your crew decide to crack open a bottle of Champagne to celebrate your discovery of the 'End Of The Universe'. You have gone as far as you can go and there's no further you can go. But hold on a minute. If this is the end of the Universe then what's behind it. This wall must have something behind it. If you were to knock just one inch out of this wall with a chisel you have technically gone past 'The End Of The Universe'. In other words it doesn't end. It's infinite. Infinity will never fill up because if it does it's not infinite.
It was the ancient Greeks that started to believe that the earth was actually a ball shape. It was originally thought that the earth was flat but as explorers realized that traveling in one direction will eventually bring you back to where you started the penny dropped.
We now know that we are in fact a floating ball shaped planet in a Universe filled with an infinite number of similar shaped balls (or planets as we know them).
So to get back to the early explorers who traveled around the earth only to return to their starting point. What if this same principle happened in the Universe. What if when we traveled a long distance through the Universe and ended up where we started back here on Earth. We could have gone a full circle of the Universe because the Universe could be round just like Earth.
Now to take this a step further. What if we were to travel out of this round Universe and maybe into even another Universe. In fact there could be multi Universes and these Universes could even be - yes you guest it - Infinite.
Where does it all end. Well actually I don't think it does.
So are we alone in the Universe?
Well if the Universe is infinite then no, we are not alone. You see with infinity everything happens and everything is possible.
Infinite : Limitless or Endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate: