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How big (and small) is the universe?

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File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Good to keep this in mind:

How big is the Universe? How small is an atom? Before we talk about how the Universe came to be, let’s first better your understanding as to how big is big? and how small is small? What’s the biggest object you can imagine? Now imagine what the smallest object might look like…The Universe is/has been both!

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology) for a fun introduction to the amazing things people make of an amazing thing.

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Hat tip: Timothy Kershner

If ones definition of the universe includes space, then what exactly is the universe expanding into?
Nothing. Space itself is expanding, but there is nothing outside of space for it to expand into. keith s
If ones definition of the universe includes space, then what exactly is the universe expanding into? mjazzguitar
BA77, thanks for that link to Dragan Huterer 2007. I've been looking for a good description of the "Cosmic Alignment" and have not seen that one. Better than any I have come across. BTW, the Planck Satellite data was not yet available when that article was written. The Planck data confirms the alignment and has Cosmologists scratching their heads. Mostly scratching in silence though - as the implications are a bit uncomfortable. Seems they would rather search for the Multiverse. Maybe they want to escape before this Cosmic Alignment becomes well known lol. ppolish
The human world stands about midway between the infinitesimal and the immense. The size of our planet is near the geometric mean of the size of the known universe and the size of the atom. The mass of a human being is the geometric mean of the mass of the earth and the mass of a proton. A person contains about 1028 atoms, more atoms than there are stars in the universe.(…) In our 150 pounds of protoplasm, in our three pounds of brain, there may be more operational organization than there is in the whole of the Andromeda Galaxy. The number of associations possible among our 10 billion neurons, and hence the number of thoughts humans can think, may exceed the number of atoms in the universe… - A Look at the Fine-Tuned Universe
Before we talk about how the Universe came to be,
Wah!!?? Edward
That video is based on this graph,,, The Scale of The Universe - Part 2 - interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features) http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white An important detail that they failed to notice in the video is that, on the preceding interactive graph, the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which 'just so happens' to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality (not just ‘nearly’ in the exponential center!). i.e. 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of 'observable' length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the exponential middle; Also of note: Just as it makes no sense, from a space-time perspective, to ask, 'What was before the Big Bang?', it also makes no sense, from a space-time perspective, to ask, 'What is below the Planck length?' Planck length – Theoretical significance Excerpt: This implies that the Planck scale is the limit below which the very notions of space and length cease to exist.,,, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_length#Theoretical_significance A few more notes,,, Collins, Gonzalez, Denton https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/cosmology/in-at-least-one-universe-in-the-infinity-not-every-physicist-drank-the-kool-aid/#comment-525820 Does the Universe Revolve Around Earth? - The Principle - video interview Excerpt: three probes of this radiation all showed the same proof that the universe and its galaxies appear to be arrayed around Earth and the Milky Way. "All of the radiation which comes from everywhere in the universe - there's no place we don't see it - it's all coming toward us and aligned with us," Sungenis said.,,, there is provable design in the universe and Earth's at the center of it - like what scientists found with the 2005 Sloan Digital Sky Survey of all the visible cosmos. "As far out as we could see in the universe the galaxies were aligned in concentric spheres around - guess what - Earth, or our galaxy," http://m.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2014/October/Film-Shocker-Does-the-Universe-Revolve-Around-Earth-/ Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer - 2007 The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights? Caption under figure on page 43: ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~huterer/PRESS/CMB_Huterer.pdf bornagain77

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