"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Universe Confuses Us

Every time we see something like this, we're confused:
Using a powerful new camera on the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered what appears to be the most distant object ever observed, a small proto galaxy some 13.2 billion light-years away that dates back to just 480 million years or so after the Big Bang birth of the universe.

Here's why we're confused: how can something appear to be -- from our vantage point on Earth -- 13.2 billion light-years away, if the universe itself is only something like 13.7 billion years old? An object 13.2 billion light-years away took at least 13.2 billion years to get there since at the time of the Big Bang everything in the universe was in the same place, and nothing can travel in excess of the speed of light. But if it took 13.2 billion years to get so far away from us, and then the light from it took 13.2 billion years to get here, doesn't that consume more than 26 billion years? That is, more years than the number of years since the Big Bang?

We're serious. We're not actually playing snarky logic-puzzle games.


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