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Space Science

Dawn's First Light 22

Posted by samzenpus
from the from-the-beginning dept.
Uosdwis writes "Scientists using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope say they have detected light that may be from the earliest objects in the universe. If confirmed, the observation provides a glimpse of an era more than 13 billion years ago when, after the fading embers of the theorized Big Bang gave way to millions of years of pervasive darkness, the universe came alive."
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Dawn's First Light

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  • well, actually... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by avi33 (116048) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @12:58AM (#13938604) Homepage
    I think 'light' is a broadly applied term here, and fact is, the method they used was to measure cosmic radiation, and subtract from it the radiation levels of known galaxies to arrive at an amount that "must" be leftover from stars long past.

    This CNN article [cnn.com] put it best: "The exercise was like taking a recording of a stadium full of loud people and subtracting the noise of every person except one to hear the voice of that single individual."
  • I've never done this before, but: Dawn's First Post!

    hehehe

    Well, nice post, and nice articles.

    The exercise was like taking a recording of a stadium full of loud people, then subtracting the noise of every person except one to hear the voice of that single individual.

    I'm impessed. Even if they're wrong, it still seems to me like an impressive attempt to push the envelope on observations.
  • Given that we all know earth is the center of the universe and therefore the first part of it, shouldn't all the light be moving away from us?
    • No, I am the center of the universe. I have never moved in my entire life, in fact. Everything just moves at my will to make it look like I am moving.
      • Re:given (Score:5, Interesting)

        by helioquake (841463) * on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:25AM (#13939305) Journal
        Actually, according to Einstein's Principle of Equivalence, every and each person can define him/herself as the center of the Universe.

        Try to verify for yourself by doing the following:

        (1) get a blank sheet of paper,
        (2) mark a dot (visibly large, but not terribly so) on the sheet,
        (3) and then mark more dots around them,
        (4) now take the sheet to a copier and copy it in the original size,
                  then copy it again but with some magnification at this time
                  (e.g., 125%)...be sure to print on transparency sheets.
        (5) now put the magnified transparency overlaid onto the original
                (use the first marker at (2) as a reference first)...you see
                  all the dots are moving away from the first dot.
        (6) Now shift the reference point to another dot...choose whatever.
                You'll notice that, whatever dot you choose, the other dots
                appear to move away from it. Hence, everyone can be the center
                of the Universe.
        • Re:given (Score:3, Interesting)

          by KilobyteKnight (91023)
          Interesting, but flawed.

          I have another thought experiment for you. Take an uninflated balloon and a marker and make little dots all over the balloon. Blow the balloon up and notice how the outside surface follows your copy machine example with all the dots moving away from each other. However, dots close to one another are moving away from each other more slowly than dots farther away.

          The universe is not a 2D surface, you can't throw away the Z-axis.

          Now, notice how the center of the balloon is still the
          • That won't give you a Z-axis, since the balloon is a 2D surface. The only difference is that the balloon is potentially not infinite in size, but wraps around. Those analogies are fine as they are, because trying to extend them by somehow magically including an extra axis is only going to confuse things.

            It's the same problem as trying to make an uninitiated understand the concept of a hypercube, or 4 dimensions. The extra axis will only cause heads to explode, thus I like to call it the "axis of evil".

            Best

            • A balloon is not a 2D surface, it is a 3D object with lots of little atoms dancing around inside it. My whole point was that treating the universe like a 2D object is a flawed model. You -can- determine an absolute center of an expanding 3D object.
              • Yes, but the expansion happens in two dimensions, from the point of view of those stars you drew on the balloon surface. Anyone living on a planet circling one of those stars won't have any idea about anything other than the surface of the balloon, since the 2d surface is a projection of the actual 3d universe. You can get the same effect by drawing points on a paper and then stretching the paper (supposing it was possible).

                If you mean that the balloon is not a 2d representation, but represents a subset of

                • Guys, you need to get laid. You guys take this example way too seriously.

                  It's obviously a very, very simplified way to demonstrate the concept of curved spacetime and you'd have to tell your audience that.
        • (7) Discard unused 100% size copy.
        • Re:given (Score:3, Funny)

          by gstoddart (321705)
          Actually, according to Einstein's Principle of Equivalence, every and each person can define him/herself as the center of the Universe.

          And, typically does ...
        • Anyone who actually has to does that test with a copy machine should have no right to breed.
  • Could this be light from Milliways(TM), the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?

God is real, unless declared integer.

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