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Ask an Astronomer

Alternate Theories for the Expansion of the Universe

15 Nov 2015, 10:45 UTC
Alternate Theories for the Expansion of the Universe
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Question(s): I have three related questions:

The redshift of objects indicates that the farther away they are, the faster they’re moving, but wasn’t the observed light emitted millions of years ago, when the object wasn’t so far away? How do we know what velocity it’s moving at now, or if it’s even there? Have we measured the velocities of known objects over ‘long’ periods of time to see if their velocities are changing, either speeding up or slowing down?
Rather than a ‘big bang’ with the Universe being created and expanding into nothing, isn’t it possible that it was a ‘big bubble’ similar to nucleate boiling, and that we are surrounded by ‘stuff’ into which we’re expanding?
If we are expanding into stuff, couldn’t the cosmic background radiation be coming at us from outside the boundaries of our Universe? Could ‘dark’ energy and matter be external also? – Larry


You are correct in that the light emitted from distant objects that we observe today was emitted from the distant object in the past, its speed in getting to us limited by the speed of light. We do not have a way to measure an object’s velocity “now”, but we ...

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