Astronomy

Is Olbers' Paradox Nonsense?

Is Olbers' Paradox Nonsense?


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Ok, this is a bold question, I know. But, let me explain: After first hearing about Olbers' paradox, I found that something seemed 'off' about it, so I looked into the subject as much as my skills (and time!) would allow. And I came to the conclusion that the paradox was probably kind of like Zeno's paradox: That is, something that 1., would not correspond to physical reality, 2., would not because some concept(s) was/were 'left out' during its formulation, in Zeno's case, the concepts of basic calculus.

Now, of course, I'm well aware of the fact that many of the best ideas in physics are counter-intuitive: General Relativity (and Special Relativity to a lesser degree, in my view), Quantum Physics, The Big Bang, even certain Elements of Thermodynamics, etc… However, Olbers' paradox doesn't seem problematic because of its counter-intuitiveness; but instead because it does not seem to me that it would happen in a steady-state, infinite, infinitely old version of our universe. Here are the reasons why:

1. Logical / Mathematical:

Lets invent the universe, lol. Well, a universe with an observer, and a light $D_1$ distance away such that the light source appears as a Small Disk of light. Now imagine adding another light source at twice $D_1$ away (retaining the same x, and z), $D_2$, and then 3 times as far away (retaining the same x, and z), $D_3$: And, so on, $D_1, D_2, D_3, D_4… $, and so on forever. Given the inverse square law, the observer would not see a field of view filled with light. They'd see the sum of the ever fainter lights, (The answer to which, not the sum itself) would be finite and pretty faint. And this shouldn't change, as far as I can tell, if they waited forever, or if 'god' copied and revolved these light sources around a range of axes, so long as there were a finite (not too big) number of near-by light sources.

2. Empirical:

A lot of the light would become unseen for many reasons everyone here knows.

Alright, Olbers' paradox is unimportant today, as the universe isn't static or infinitely old. However, I think it shouldn't be presented as a sound idea if it is invalid.

So, I'd like for someone to explain to me, 1. Why I'm wrong, or 2. if I'm not wrong, why the paradox hasn't been examined more carefully.

Notes For Answerers:

Please note that people tend to answer questions like this by 'adding' stars of some brightness to the sky until the sky is super bright. This doesn't make sense as a star far enough away would be invisible to the naked eye due to: 1. The brightness of nearer stars. 2. The fact that if far enough away it would simply be impossible to see. In an "Olber Universe,' it seems that the sky 'around' the visible stars would seem dark to the human eye, but with tek you could 'find' a star anywhere you chose to look.


The error I think you are making in your "logical" argument is "A light [ie a star] at a distance D1 would a appear as a point of light". If D1 is a star, it would appear as a disc of light. A very small disc, but a disc with a finite and nonzero size.

We then add stars at distance D2, D3 etc. Each star covers more of the sky. This is because each star appears as a disc and not a point. Add infinitely many discs of light and you cover the whole sky.

If in every direction that you look you see a disc of a star, then every direction is as bright as a star. This is the crux of the paradox.

The brightness of the star (as a point source) is irrelevant, so the argument from an "inverse square law" is a red herring.


Let me see if I can show why your "inverse-square-law means you can't get light from distant sources" intuition is wrong.

For the sake of argument let's assume stars really are point sources, and look at how much light you would receive from an infinitely old, infinitely large universe uniformly filled with point-source "stars", each with luminosity $L$, at some finite density $ ho_{0}$ (# stars per cubic light year).

Imagine a thin spherical shell located at distance $D$, with thickness $dD$ (small compared to $D$). Each star in that shell will give you a flux of $L / (4 pi D^{2})$ (there's your inverse-square law). How many stars are in that shell? That's just the volume of the shell -- approximately $4 pi D^{2} dD$ -- times the density: $4 pi D^{2} dD ho_{0}$.

Now consider a shell at twice the distance ($2 D$). Each star in that shell contributes 1/4 the flux of a star in the first shell, since they're twice as far away. However, the volume of the thin shell is four times larger than the volume of the first shell ($4 pi (2 D)^{2} dD = 16 pi D^{2} dD$, and so the number of stars in that shell is four times larger, which perfectly cancels out the decrease in flux. So the light coming from stars in that shell is the same as the light coming from stars in the first shell. Since there is an infinitude of such shells in the default infinite universe of the Paradox, and each shell contributes the same flux, the total flux you get from all the stars will be infinite.

Fortunately for the hypothetical inhabitants of that universe, the fact that stars are really finite in size prevents this from happening, since the finite disk of a star blocks light from all the stars directly behind it. But that means that wherever you look, your line of sight intersects with the surface of a star, which is the same as looking within the disk of the Sun.


Why the sky is dark at night

The dark sky paradox, also known as Olbers’ Paradox, explains why, despite the infinite number of stars in the Universe, the sky at night appears black.

Published: 08th December, 2019 at 11:56

If you’ve ever looked up into the night sky and pondered why it is not completely full of the near-infinite number of stars out there, you would not be alone. In fact, it is one of the oldest puzzles in astronomy, but the answer is not only relatively simple, it’s also rather illuminating.

In this extract from her book, Space: 10 Things You Should Know, astronomer and YouTuber Dr Becky explains the science behind this cosmological conundrum.


The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh Journal

The phrase ‘Big Bang’ was coined in 1949 by astronomer Fred Hoyle as a label for a cosmological model of the universe, although one with which he happened to disagree. However, the theory itself had an earlier origin.

Many think that George Lemaitre, a Belgian Roman Catholic priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Université Catholique de Louvain was the first to suggest cosmic expansion. In his 1927 report, ‘A homogeneous universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae’, he proposed that the universe expanded from the finite static state imagined by Einstein. But only in 1931, at a meeting of the British Association on the relation between the physical universe and spirituality (sic), did he propose that the universe originated in a ’primeval atom’ (but this was 2 years after Edwin Hubble had demonstrated cosmic expansion).

Many think it was mathematician Alexander Friedmann who, unknown to Lemaitre, proposed a similar solution to Einstein’s equations in 1922.

However, what seems to be little known is the fact that both Friedmann and Leamaitre were forestalled by the American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe.

In 1848 (79 years before Lemaitre and 74 years before Friedmann), he wrote Eureka: A Prose Poem, also subtitled ‘An Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe’. It was his last major work and his longest non-fiction work at nearly 40,000 words. It was based on a lecture he gave on the 3rd of February 1848 in the Society Library in New York entitled ‘On The Cosmography of the Universe’. He died the following year.

Poe dedicated the work to Alexander von Humboldt, whose book Kosmos he must have read, at least the first two volumes. It was Humboldt who coined the word ‘cosmos’ (from the Greek kosmos) in the sense that modern cosmology uses it, to describe everything that exists in the universe, or the universe itself. In the volumes Poe must have read, he examined what was then known of the Milky Way, cosmic nebulae, and planets. The first volume was so popular that it sold out in two months.

Eureka describes Poe’s intuitive conception of the nature of the universe with no reference to any scientific work done to reach his conclusions (well there were none). His general proposition was ‘Because Nothing was, therefore All Things are’.

That is a bit vague, but it seems to suggest that the universe came out of nothing! Hasn’t modern science come to that conclusion? Indeed, he proposed that it had an origin: Poe contended that the universe filled with matter after a single, high-energy particle exploded and that, since the energy of the explosion is pushing matter outward, the universe must be expanding.

A reviewer in the New York Review of Books in February last year observed that [1]:

‘This by itself would be a startling anticipation of modern cosmology, if Poe had not also drawn striking conclusions from it, for example that space and ‘duration’ [i.e. ‘time’] are one thing, that there might be stars that emit no light, that there is a repulsive force that in some degree counteracts the force of gravity, that there could be any number of universes with different laws simultaneous with ours, that our universe might collapse to its original state and another universe erupt from the particle it would have become, and that our present universe may be one in a series.’

Apart from suggesting a Big Crunch, Poe was the first to explain Olbers’ Paradox (the night sky is dark despite the vast number of stars in the universe) I wrote about this in the Journal 8 years ago [2]. Poe claimed, as many do now, that the universe is not old enough to fill the sky with light. The universe may be infinite in size, he thought, (we think that now don’t we?) but there hasn’t been enough time since the universe began for starlight, travelling at the speed of light, to reach us from the farthest reaches of space. A Wikipedia page on the Paradox recognises Poe’s priority in this matter.

Response to Eureka was overwhelmingly unfavourable and the lecture on which it was based received negative reviews such as ‘hyperbolic nonsense’, but one newspaper called in ‘a noble effort’. Many were bored by the lecture which evidently was too long and rambling. However, Poe considered Eureka to be his masterpiece. He believed that the work would immortalize him because it would be proven to be true. Indeed, much of what he claimed has been verified and some, like Arthur Eddington, praised it. Albert Einstein called it ‘a beautiful achievement of an unusually independent mind’.

Eureka was published in a small hardcover edition in March 1848 by Wiley & Putnam priced at 75 cents. Poe persuaded George Putnam, to publish Eureka after claiming the work was more important than Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity (Newton did not discover gravity, but he did explain it)! Putnam paid Poe $14 (3-4 hundred dollars today) for the work. Poe suggested an initial printing of at least one million copies, but Putnam settled on 750, of which 500 were sold that year.

The book can still be bought in various editions and it can also be read online [3]. The National Library of Scotland has two copies, one of them the original 1848 edition, apparently once owned by the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

What Poe suggested in this inspired work, with no antecedents, except perhaps Humboldt, is astonishing in its prescience. He deserves more recognition for his insights.

Finally, Poe has a Scottish connection. He was briefly at school in Irvine in 1815 when the Allans, his foster family, visited Britain. Let’s celebrate him.


Olbers' Paradox

Martin_G, you can construct a function that calculates the probability of a line of sight landing on a star based on the density of stars in the universe and length of the sight line (age of the universe). As the length of the sight line (age of the universe) grows, the probability rises toward the limit of 1.

You may think of it this way.

Assume stars are randomly distributed.

For any given point of observation, construct spherical shells out to infinity. Each spherical shell will block some small ratio of dark area, d along the radial direction to the point of the observer. d parts dark vs. (1-d) parts light.

You have to think in reverse, here, where we are blocking darkness instead of light. Each shell lets through (1-d) parts of the remaining darkness.

N shells let though (1-d) N parts darkness.

How much darkness gets though as N goes to infinity?

Because the stars are randomly distributed, d is not constant. We may ignore those shells for which d is less than some given value, D. There are M shells for which d is over our critical value, D. But M also goes to infinity. So we get the same answer.

d' is a finite random variable less than one and greater than D.

The upper bound of (1-d') M is (1-D) M . (1-D) M = 0.

Inferences from the dark sky: Olbers' paradox revisited
http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0007428
The classical formulation of "Olbers' Paradox" consists in looking for an explanation of the fact that the sky at night is dark. We use the experimental datum of the nocturnal darkness in order to put constraints on a Newtonian cosmological model. We infer then that the Universe, in such a model, should have had an origin at a finite time in the past.

The most important point, IMO, if infinitely old and populated, the universe should be in thermal equilibrium. This is not observed as noted here:

Molecular Hydrogen in a Damped Lyman-alpha System at z_abs=4.224
http://www.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0602212
". . . The high excitation of neutral carbon in one of the components can be explained if the temperature of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation has the value expected at the absorber redshift, T=14.2 K. "

http://babbage.sissa.it/abs/astro-ph/0012222 [Broken]
The microwave background temperature at the redshift of 2.33771
Authors: R. Srianand (IUCAA, Pune), Patrick Petitjean (IAP, Paris), Cedric Ledoux (ESO, Munich)
Comments: 20 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in Nature, Press embargo until 1900 hrs London time (GMT) on 20 Dec 2000

The Cosmic Microwave Background radiation is a fundamental prediction of Hot Big Bang cosmology. The temperature of its black-body spectrum has been measured at the present time, $T_< m CMBR,0>$ = 2.726$pm$ 0.010 K, and is predicted to have been higher in the past. At earlier time, the temperature can be measured, in principle, using the excitation of atomic fine structure levels by the radiation field. All previous measurements however give only upper limits as they assume that no other significant source of excitation is present. Here we report the detection of absorption from the first second fine-structure levels of neutral carbon atoms in an isolated remote cloud at a redshift of 2.33771. In addition, the unusual detection of molecular hydrogen in several rotational levels and the presence of ionized carbon in its excited fine structure level make the absorption system unique to constrain, directly from observation, the different excitation processes at play. It is shown for the first time that the cosmic radiation was warmer in the past. We find 6.0 < T_ < m CMBR>< 14 K at z = 2.33771 when 9.1 K is expected in the Hot Big Bang cosmology.


what about if there was some sort of massive body like a black hole between you and the closest star in one particular direction. would that black hole " suck up" all the photons not allowing you to detect them? Is it possible that this would create a dark spot in your continuous sphere of light? Also is it possible for stars nearby the star hidden by the black hole to send out light that may get bent around the gravity well of the black hole, creating the illusion that there are stars where the black hole is? (i know that is an observed phenomenon i had an assignment question on it 2 years ago) Would Olbers Paradox consider these "images" of a star to truly fill in the dark spot?


you------empty-space------ blackhole----empty-space----- closeststar


Inverse square law explains Olbers' paradox?

I don't know what you don't understand about it. Galaxies are not large, opaque objects. They have a lot of empty space, so light from objects behind the galaxy can shine through unless it is blocked by large dust clouds.

Zoom in and you can literally see more distant galaxies through the Pinwheel galaxy.

I could, but the paradox states they are actually dimmer. If increased resolution was true substitute for the lack of brightness we could make Hubble Deep Filed galaxies visible by increasing resolution instead of exposure time, and I don't think that's true.

Brightness is a property of pixels, it describes appearances. If something appears to be grey, you can't say it's actually white only smaller. Although both are functions of the same actual or objective properties, as subjective properties apparent size and apparent brightness are separate and independent.

If the stars are assumed to be point sources, then they have infinite surface brightness and since there are an infinite number of them, the sky is therefore infinitely bright.

The whole point is that his universe is infinite, infinitely old and static. So it has no horizons and no redshift: nothing to keep light from traveling forever to reach you.

Your misunderstanding is vaguely similar to Zeon's, yes.

If they have zero size, you can fit an infinite number in any area. Just like you can say any space, surface or line/curve contains and infinite number of points.

No, that's your demand (and it's implication) - we've been telling you for the entire thread that it isn't true in reality or even in Olbers' Paradox!

In reality and in Olbers', stars have size. They aren't point sources even though we are unable to detect their size with our eyes or a pixel on a camera. So Olbers' universe would be as bright as the surface of the sun (minus the secondary effects Bandersnatch mentions, which are tough to include and aren't part of the thought experiment). You received this answer first in post #6.

It doesn't have to converge. Here's a picture I took of a globular cluster:

The center of the image is bright because there are so many stars - more than one per pixel - in it. Note that the apparent size of the stars is an artefact of the imaging process in reality, all stars are much smaller than a pixel.

No, it doesn't: again, Olbers' paradox doesn't claim that, you do.

[we posted at the same time, so please make sure you don't miss my previous post, # 54]

I demanded so to reflect what the Wikipedia article says, I didn't think it would yield answers that do not correspond to reality.

That may be the answer, but to me it's a long jump to conclusion. The paradox talks about stars that get dimmer and dimmer in every subsequent shell. I think it's too much for you to expect it should be obvious how those dim, dimmer and very dim stars actually combine to become bright. To me that's not obvious at all, sounds more like a paradox of its own.

On the bright side, a lot of questions were answered and I only have a few more left. I hope everyone participating is enjoying this as much as I do, and I thank you all for your time.

Ok, we are talking now about Oblers' paradox as if it was real so that our conclusions correspond to reality. If necessary let us suppose all the stars are equal to our Sun.

It's past midnight 12:25 am, we take a camera with ISO 100 film, aperture size f/256 and shutter speed 1/1000 of a second. We point the camera towards the sky and snap a photo, which after we develop looks:

a) uniformly maximally bright (completely white/overexposed)

b) uniformly bright, but less than maximally bright

d) rather dark but we can see some of the closest/brightest stars

The intensity (or illuminance or irradiance) of light or other linear waves radiating from a point source (energy per unit of area perpendicular to the source) is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source so an object (of the same size) twice as far away, receives only one-quarter the energy (in the same time period).

In photography and theatrical lighting, the inverse-square law is used to determine the "fall off" or the difference in illumination on a subject as it moves closer to or further from the light source. For quick approximations, it is enough to remember that doubling the distance reduces illumination to one quarter[7] or similarly, to halve the illumination increase the distance by a factor of 1.4 (the square root of 2), and to double illumination, reduce the distance to 0.7 (square root of 1/2). When the illuminant is not a point source, the inverse square rule is often still a useful approximation when the size of the light source is less than one-fifth of the distance to the subject, the calculation error is less than 1%.

In this case, I think the difference between assuming they are point sources or not is that if you assume they are point sources, the sky should be infinitely bright and if you assume they are not, it should "merely" as bright as the surface of the sun. But of course, neither assumption produces the view we actually see or the view you think we should see.

You appear to be confused about the inverse square law thinking it applies to the surface brightness of an object. It can't: if the object is twice as far away, it appears 1/4 as big, so in order to shine 1/4 as bright in total, the surface brightness must be the same. If their surface brightness were cut by 1/4 as well, then they'd look 1/16th as bright to our eyes.

See the bold part above: they appear dimmer because they send to you about 1/4 as much light when the distance doubles. But that's their total light sent to your eye, not their surface brightness (intensity). I think you are confusing the total light recieved with the surface brightness they are not and cannot be the same.


SH Archive Hubble Telescope and the Olbers' paradox: where is the space dust?

What do you do when there is something contradicting your theory to the point of invalidating it? I don't know about you, but our science declares it a "PARADOX". A very simple solution to a very complicated problem. Now, everything in this story is official, and that makes it just that more ridiculous. That's my personal opinion only, but feel free to voice yours.


Schematic of the distribution of stars in an infinite universe and Olber's Paradox
Credit: Penn State Astronomy & Astrophysics​

Hubble Space Telescope


Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 353 miles (569 kilometers). It takes about 97 minutes to complete one orbit around the Earth. Hubble passes into the shadow of the Earth for 28 to 36 minutes in each orbit.

  • Hubble’s Lonely Firework Display- Roughly50 million light-years awaythe little galaxy NGC 1559 has hosted a variety of spectacular exploding stars called supernovae.
  • Hubble Spots a Green Cosmic Arc- This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a cluster of hundreds of galaxies located about 7.5 billion light-yearsfrom Earth.

My question: Where is this interstellar cosmic dust? How come this Hubble thing allegedly orbiting our planet at 353 mile altitude can take a photo of galaxies located 7.5 billion light years away? NASA taught it to see through the dust?

7.5 billion light years away. how many miles is it? Let's see.

1 light year = 5.88 trillion miles.
7,500,000,000 light years x 5,800,000,000,000 = no clue what this is called but my calculator demonstrated this 4.35^22 miles. I think in a more conventional way the distance looks like this - 43,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.

This is your paradox, ladies and gentlemen: The night sky is supposed to be lit up like a gigantic floodlight. Obviously it is not because we have this interstellar cosmic dust blocking our view. Yet the Hubble telescope orbiting 353 miles above Earth is able to penetrate at least 4.35^22 miles of dust saturated space and snap a photo of some Galaxies far far away.

  • The surface of the Earth is whizzing by as Hubble orbits, and the pointing system, designed to track the distant stars, cannot track an object on the Earth. The shortest exposure time on any of the Hubble instruments is 0.1 seconds, and in this time Hubble moves about 700 meters, or almost half a mile. So a picture Hubble took of Earth would be all streaks.

$2.5 billion Hubble telescope weighing, 24,500 pounds and measured at 43.5 feet does not have a camera to take a picture of Earth located only 353 miles away. Yet, it brings us joy with the images of the galaxies located 43,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away. It is also capable of penetrating 4.35^22 miles of space dust. That same dust preventing the stellar light from reaching our planet Earth.

Archive

SH.org Archive

KD Archive

Not actually KorbenDallas

Archive

SH.org Archive

I must say, with regards to the entwinement of conspiracies (and can we stop calling them that? I've heard elsewhere the term "truther" which has its own baggage but seems closer to the. um. truth. ), that after a certain degree of initiation into this information, it begins to make it difficult to even broach topics with other people because of how Swiss-cheesed the status-quo truth has become. I have been speaking with a high school history teacher (Canadian mind you) in a group chat recently. It's fascinating and tragic, how he obviously has a curiosity for the material, but is now intrinsically predisposed against new information challenging the institution he has become embedded in. Another fellow in the same chat facetiously asked me, "Okay, if you're so smart, then *what is knowledge*?"

Anyway this is all to say. I think the work you're doing here is excellent. It is much easier for I daresay "normies" to understand how unstable their understanding of reality is, when you subtract out all the ad hominems and accusations that typifies most truther material. I was able to show, for instance, the image of the "Jedi knights" to many people and left them with jaws silently dropped. It is better to raise questions than presume answers - great work, KD.

Archive

SH.org Archive

Magnus

Active member

There is no such thing as outer space.
You can never prove it exists, you can never go there, you can never see it or experience it with your own sense and mind.

Instead, you must trust the modern day high priests of science, and take them at their word. No different than blindly following a slick televangelist or a medicine man from the past. Its a religion to believe in outer space

Archive

SH.org Archive

There is no such thing as outer space.
You can never prove it exists, you can never go there, you can never see it or experience it with your own sense and mind.

Instead, you must trust the modern day high priests of science, and take them at their word. No different than blindly following a slick televangelist or a medicine man from the past. Its a religion to believe in outer space

I think a popular rebuttal here would be, "Well, how many people are in on it?"

This is a huge sticking point for many people. Among us lower "normies," most tend to assume that all human beings are essentially, morally decent. However from fiction up through to the news and certainly personal experience, people treat each other like shit, and they seem to do so more readily as they gain influence over others. As the distance between "You" and "They" becomes wider, they tend to become smaller.

This is just to say that, of the few who've ascended to positions where they can verify the effectiveness and products of these technologies, it's very unlikely they hold the same basic "do unto others and stand up for truth" moral framework we were all implanted with. I actually find this is similar with much moral "goodness" in the Western world - all the tenets just cripple you. Turn the other cheek. Pass no judgment. Bow your bloody head and take your beating. These are bonkers philosophies that we all find ourselves deeply implanted with from an early age. It's very easy for assholes to take advantage of those who fell for the ruse that if you bend and bow as low as possible, everyone else will do the same for you.

Magnus

Active member

I think a popular rebuttal here would be, "Well, how many people are in on it?"

This is a huge sticking point for many people. Among us lower "normies," most tend to assume that all human beings are essentially, morally decent. However from fiction up through to the news and certainly personal experience, people treat each other like shit, and they seem to do so more readily as they gain influence over others. As the distance between "You" and "They" becomes wider, they tend to become smaller.

This is just to say that, of the few who've ascended to positions where they can verify the effectiveness and products of these technologies, it's very unlikely they hold the same basic "do unto others and stand up for truth" moral framework we were all implanted with. I actually find this is similar with much moral "goodness" in the Western world - all the tenets just cripple you. Turn the other cheek. Pass no judgment. Bow your bloody head and take your beating. These are bonkers philosophies that we all find ourselves deeply implanted with from an early age. It's very easy for assholes to take advantage of those who fell for the ruse that if you bend and bow as low as possible, everyone else will do the same for you.

Well said, thanks for the terrific, thought-provoking response.

What would be your approach to such a response?

Thoughts that come to mind:

*Compartmentalization. Need to Know Basis. Top Secrets Clearances. not every player has a complete picture of the puzzle, they just work on their one, highly specific, and highly specialized section of the puzzle, with agencies and departments assigned "areas" of the puzzle, and individual agents are assigned one single puzzle piece. In this way, millions can be involved in science and modern astronomy, but will only have access to a very small part of the overall picture and overall truth. Macro/Micro. Big Picture. only a few oligarch families, or even fewer: individuals . or even the Prince of the Powers of the Air is at the top of the pyramid.
*True Science: I encourage others to observe and ponder. If we are on a rotating, revolving planet in space, how is it possible to focus our eyes and a camera lens on the daytime or nighttime moon, and take a crystal clear photo? Should this be possible if the object we are standing on is in motion?

Or might we deduce, from our direct and first-hand observations, that we are standing on a fixed plane of existence, with the moon traversing the sky above us, an celestial body which does indeed move but at a rate imperceivable to our eyes, allowing us to photograph it in crystal clear focus.

Some photographs of the moon I have taken

KD Archive

Not actually KorbenDallas

I think at this point you don't need to have too many people "in on it". This could probably be one of the major misconceptions of the entire issue. One of the things I keep on saying is that we need to look at all the bizarre things as it was a totality of circumstances pertaining to the same event.

Were there people who knew the true setup of our world? Sure there were. Here is where burning at the stakes comes in. As well as the total annihilation of the aristocrats during the French revolution, and such. Russian nobility was wiped out in its entirety prior to 1917-1920.

Then we have this "Civil War" in the 1860's. The known reason for it was slavery. What do we witness now, 150 years later? The destruction of the monuments of the civil war as they pertain to the confederacy. Historic characters are being taken out of the history books because they are supposedly a reminder of slavery. What reminders are they trying to take out? are those of slavery, or of something else, totally different? At the same time the individuals advocating for the removal of the monuments are hardly "in on it". They simply have a wrong concept of the world.

And this is exactly the answer. Give people a wrong concept of the world, and those people will do the job which under normal circumstances would need a lot of "in on it" individuals.

Now let's look at the out of nowhere "Industrial Revolution". Iron clad ships coming out of nowhere during the same Civil War. Add all those buildings built with a copper chisel and a horse carriage. Are those people believing in such a nonsense "in on it"? Of course not, but due to them having the wrong concept, they definitely do what you would need a whole lot of "in on its".

The Space Program does not need to have a lot of people knowing the real setup. There was like a total of what, 553 people who supposedly went to space? Weren't all of them Freemasons? Only a few need to know what's happening. The others only have a piece of this giant LEGO world.

Archive

SH.org Archive

*True Science: I encourage others to observe and ponder. If we are on a rotating, revolving planet in space, how is it possible to focus our eyes and a camera lens on the daytime or nighttime moon, and take a crystal clear photo? Should this be possible if the object we are standing on is in motion?

Or might we deduce, from our direct and first-hand observations, that we are standing on a fixed plane of existence, with the moon traversing the sky above us, an celestial body which does indeed move but at a rate imperceivable to our eyes, allowing us to photograph it in crystal clear focus.

Some photographs of the moon I have taken

Good to see you again, Magnus, I hope all is well with you.

I think "nobody has the full picture" is a great rebuttal. And the few that do have no reason whatsoever to shatter the beneficial illusion for everyone else. Let's just maintain business as usual, shall we.

As to your statement about True Science, I think this was something we lost from the Renaissance, when so many great discoveries were not at all the achievements of a bored, leisure-time bourgeoisie (though many were), but rather of the whole population of commoners who had new access to literacy, information, and tools of production. SCIENCE is an INDUSTRY, and same with any other industry, whoever controls the MEANS of that industry gets to dictate what it produces.

What I like so much about what you're saying, is that you zero in on what the ACTUAL means of Science is -- human perception. Nothing more than human perception, which everyone has. We all control the means of producing Science. Yet we are told that human memory is garbage and easily corrupted, that the air is thick with illusions, that everything we see is upside-down, that we're distracted, we're biased, we don't have electron microscopes, we don't have telescopes or infrared scanners or any of the expensive, massive, and heavily-guarded machinery we are told is NECESSARY to arrive at Truth. So here we are again, peasants in the nave, begging blindly for salvation from the only mofo in town who knows how to read The One Book! We have the dang Internet in our hands - an open-source, instantaneous, global psychic nexus - and we're still shuffling around like vassals! What a head game!

I really admire amateur astronomy such as in the photos you have taken. By observing things for ourselves, the power and means of Science returns home to where it belongs, in the mind of each individual human being. Good on you Mag.

Archive

SH.org Archive

KD Archive

Not actually KorbenDallas

Onijunbei

Deleted

Archive

SH.org Archive

I think at this point you don't need to have too many people "in on it". This could probably be one of the major misconceptions of the entire issue. One of the things I keep on saying is that we need to look at all the bizarre things as it was a totality of circumstances pertaining to the same event.

Were there people who knew the true setup of our world? Sure there were. Here is where burning at the stakes comes in. As well as the total annihilation of the aristocrats during the French revolution, and such. Russian nobility was wiped out in its entirety prior to 1917-1920.

Then we have this "Civil War" in the 1860's. The known reason for it was slavery. What do we witness now, 150 years later? The destruction of the monuments of the civil war as they pertain to the confederacy. Historic characters are being taken out of the history books because they are supposedly a reminder of slavery. What reminders are they trying to take out? are those of slavery, or of something else, totally different? At the same time the individuals advocating for the removal of the monuments are hardly "in on it". They simply have a wrong concept of the world.

And this is exactly the answer. Give people a wrong concept of the world, and those people will do the job which under normal circumstances would need a lot of "in on it" individuals.

Now let's look at the out of nowhere "Industrial Revolution". Iron clad ships coming out of nowhere during the same Civil War. Add all those buildings built with a copper chisel and a horse carriage. Are those people believing in such a nonsense "in on it"? Of course not, but due to them having the wrong concept, they definitely do what you would need a whole lot of "in on its".

The Space Program does not need to have a lot of people knowing the real setup. There was like a total of what, 553 people who supposedly went to space? Weren't all of them Freemasons? Only a few need to know what's happening. The others only have a piece of this giant LEGO world.

  • Who Big Bad Evil Guys.
  • What Rewrote history
  • Where Progressively everywhere
  • When Over the last 300 years
  • Why To take control/Keep control
  • How Magic

Political Correct thinking has now rewritten history to the currently accepted ""Na bro it didn't happen"". People i went to school with have now forgotten/removed/dismissed previous fact with zero new evidence because its just the way it is now. Physical history books are gone. In just the space of 20 years History is now completely different.

Using this experience as a guide or measure i just plug in what i am told happened in regards to a particular event/place/person and giggle to my self at the bullshit.

They didnt need to kill every man woman and child. They simply removed those that held the knowledge and replaced them. A recent study into memory showed people who take photos of a thing have trouble remembering it. This is due to a trait in humans to share knowledge in a group.

We as a group simply trust that the guy whose job it is knows what hes doing and isnt lying about it. The trusted educators only need to be trained based on a lie some one told them who in turn was lied too. Its beautiful in its simplicity. Once started its self correcting and resistant to change.
The people who went to space tell us space is real. Lets ask the people who went to space if it was real. Yip they say its real. lets check that against the people who went to spaces opinion. There we have it. Space is real. Look at the rockets and shitty photos from earth but no photos from space but no real reason why.

Normies are like 98.75% of the population People who ask questions are like 2% of that 1.25% .So its just us 30 dudes out of a world population of 7 billion (if it is even that)


A new solution to Olbers Paradox?

From wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olbers's_paradox
Olber's paradox is: "the argument that the darkness of the night sky conflicts with the assumption of an infinite and eternal static universe.The darkness of the night sky is one of the pieces of evidence for a dynamic universe, such as the Big Bang model. If the universe is static, homogeneous at a large scale, and populated by an infinite number of stars, any sight line from Earth must end at the (very bright) surface of a star, so the night sky should be completely bright. This contradicts the observed darkness of the night."

Several things immediately solve this paradox.

The first is the known finite age of the universe as we know it. It means the universe is not eternal and light simply hasn't had time to travel from every point in the universe to us.

The second is that the expansion of the universe means that it is not static. Light from galaxies very far away is redshifted so much that we can't see any of it with our eyes. So even an eternal universe would not have a sky as bright as the surface of a star because most of our lines of sight would end on a heavily redshifted star and we wouldn't be able to see it.

In addition, stars themselves are dynamic. They are born, they shine for a while, and then they burn out and eventually stop glowing. I believe this conflicts with the "eternal" assumption since it would mean that even in a static, eternal universe, the universe should consist solely of dead stars and fundamental particles with no available energy for things like light and life. For there to be life and bright stars in such a universe, there would need to be some means of replenishing the energy tied up in these dead stars and preventing them from building up. But no such mechanism has ever been observed and any mechanism would violate a number of fundamental laws of physics.


SH Archive Hubble Telescope and the Olbers' paradox: where is the space dust?

There is no such thing as outer space.
You can never prove it exists, you can never go there, you can never see it or experience it with your own sense and mind.

Instead, you must trust the modern day high priests of science, and take them at their word. No different than blindly following a slick televangelist or a medicine man from the past. Its a religion to believe in outer space

Ironicaly, a medicine man from the past is exactly what you want. Snake oil has been demonized from our inception of indoctrinization. The various lipid compounds from the fat sack in snakes confer incredible biological benefits in snakes, as well as humans. Medline has numerous white papers detailing the numerous biologic actions of said lipids. There's a reason a snake can consume 80-100% of it's weight in one meal and then survive for a month, while its blood turns to a gel, its heart grows by 40% to accomodate the exponential increase in cholesterol and triglycerides with NO adverse affects. Its the lipid compounds sold by the "snake oil salesman"
I use Google scholar vs PubMed as all published works worldwide will be accessed.
Not surprisingly the first Rockefeller in the US was a travelling medicine man. More likely as an intelligence gatherer using the tried and true medicine of the day, who's agenda was far beyond healing. The knowledge gained from the medicinal standpoint was to patent everything for profit, so long as it wasn't actually beneficial. Hence the litany of useless and very problematic patent drugs, of which they own and control virtually all of.

Anyway, the snake oil salesman lie is a very clever indoctrination.

Archive

SH.org Archive

KD Archive

Not actually KorbenDallas

Archive

SH.org Archive

What do you do when there is something contradicting your theory to the point of invalidating it? I don't know about you, but our science declares it a "PARADOX". A very simple solution to a very complicated problem. Now, everything in this story is official, and that makes it just that more ridiculous. That's my personal opinion only, but feel free to voice yours.

Dark Night Sky Paradox

View attachment 3389
Schematic of the distribution of stars in an infinite universe and Olber's Paradox
Credit: Penn State Astronomy & Astrophysics

Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 353 miles (569 kilometers). It takes about 97 minutes to complete one orbit around the Earth. Hubble passes into the shadow of the Earth for 28 to 36 minutes in each orbit.

  • Hubble’s Lonely Firework Display- Roughly50 million light-years awaythe little galaxy NGC 1559 has hosted a variety of spectacular exploding stars called supernovae.
  • Hubble Spots a Green Cosmic Arc- This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a cluster of hundreds of galaxies located about 7.5 billion light-yearsfrom Earth.

My question: Where is this interstellar cosmic dust? How come this Hubble thing allegedly orbiting our planet at 353 mile altitude can take a photo of galaxies located 7.5 billion light years away? NASA taught it to see through the dust?

7.5 billion light years away. how many miles is it? Let's see.

1 light year = 5.88 trillion miles.
7,500,000,000 light years x 5,800,000,000,000 = no clue what this is called but my calculator demonstrated this 4.35^22 miles. I think in a more conventional way the distance looks like this - 43,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.

This is your paradox, ladies and gentlemen: The night sky is supposed to be lit up like a gigantic floodlight. Obviously it is not because we have this interstellar cosmic dust blocking our view. Yet the Hubble telescope orbiting 353 miles above Earth is able to penetrate at least 4.35^22 miles of dust saturated space and snap a photo of some Galaxies far far away.

  • The surface of the Earth is whizzing by as Hubble orbits, and the pointing system, designed to track the distant stars, cannot track an object on the Earth. The shortest exposure time on any of the Hubble instruments is 0.1 seconds, and in this time Hubble moves about 700 meters, or almost half a mile. So a picture Hubble took of Earth would be all streaks.

$2.5 billion Hubble telescope weighing, 24,500 pounds and measured at 43.5 feet does not have a camera to take a picture of Earth located only 353 miles away. Yet, it brings us joy with the images of the galaxies located 43,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away. It is also capable of penetrating 4.35^22 miles of space dust. That same dust preventing the stellar light from reaching our planet Earth.

This was a fascinating thread to read through. I'm not thinking I will derail this thread easily as it's posts cover a lot of territory. The OP really set my mind into overdrive since I read it.

I'm not sure if we are being duped when it comes to Hubbel, but you've really got me thinking KD. Are we?

I grew up in Montana, in an area that had very minimal light pollution, and I had an arsenal of telescopes to play with that many never have to opportunity to get hands on with for many years on end. I'm not talking about the little stuff, I'm talking about 6"+ refractors, and up to 18" reflectors, 10"+ cassegrain's, 120mm+ binoculars, etc.

My guess regarding why Hubble has never taken a shot of earth would be - it has to much magnification at its minimum setting to even view it.

What I'm saying is not an excuse for why NASA this, that, and the other nonsense, and other such agencies regarding their related conflicting BS, lack of, the lies, etc, I could go on.

Anyone that's ever tried to observe the moon with a decent hobbyist telescope with a high magnification eyepiece knows that it's nearly impossible to stay on it. I'm talking about trying to zero in on a small area of the moon. The stars, and planets are no different, and that's where equatorial tracking tripods come to be must haves. Anyone that's actually been there, done that, knows exactly what I'm talking about. Things are in motion.

I grew up reading countless editions of sky and telescope magazine, astronomy magazine, etc. I am on my game compared to pretty much everyone else I know in daily life when it comes to mainstream astronomy. Ask almost anyone to point out a celestial body in the northern hemisphere night sky and they probably can't point out the most basic things. Where's the north star, where's the Andromeda galaxy, and so on.

I do subscribe to a lot of the newer contradictory celestial research that's come out over the years from sources such as the thunderbolts project. The golden age, other ideas, etc.

I have Hubble deep space art hanging on my walls at home, and now I'm looking at it with my head tilted sideways. Is it really all fake?

I was red pilled a long time ago, and like many would say, and I agree with them, that since then, it's been an ongoing journey of enlightenment. I've read through many mind blowing threads and posts on this site, and continue to have my mind blown. I can't thank you all enough for the opportunity to learn about so many things that I wasn't aware of, or never even considered.

WorldWar1812

Deleted

Kentucky

Member

We were told those are stars and planets. I understand how ludicrous it sounds, for I fid go to a few educational establishments after all.

But what we really see is a bunch of shimmering lights. Our teachers and parents told us that those are stars and planets. Would we know that if it was not for them?

Our space programs could be for instilling a certain belief, that’s all.

I do have to disagree on one point there KD. If you get your own telescope and go somewhere that has minimal light pollution, you can see the planets and some of their moons at least.

Now, stars at a distance? That's not available to the public, but Jupiter, Saturn, Mars.. Venus, they're all visible and what not. There is also a visible difference between what we're told are planets and the stars, but it could be 'distance' related. Stars have a twinkle to them, the planets are steady and do not twinkle.

I just started reading this thread for the first time and feel that this is a good place to share something that I've pondered for sometime and hope that it sparks exploration in others (or maybe hope to hear from those that have found that this conversation has been had before).

First, this is going on two assumptions - one, that, there is possibly an alternative understanding yet to be publicly uncovered about the nature of what is happening up there two, if at least *some* of the imagery produced by Hubble is a relatively authentic attempt to capture what is going on "up there", then items such as Hubble's deep field images only seem to support my conjecture, which is:

Whatever is is that may be up there, there is nothing but (using *their* terminology) galaxies and the things that we know as solar planets and their satellites. No stars. Everything that we've called a star since childhood when looking up at the night sky (Orion's Belt, Big Dipper, Polaris, etc), when zoomed in enough to get clarity on it, may be merely the light coming from the center of what we currently call a galaxy, it's "galaxies" all the way down. And those things that make up a galaxy, which we also call stars, may be nothing more than electrical phenomenon.

Now, to speculate even further, if I were allow to offer an even more completely unsubstantiated perspective, you have non-exploded/poorly-charged things (planets, and then you have things that have "exploded" with highly charged things electro-magnetically "orbiting" it. Add to that some perspective which allows us to consider that it's hard to reconcile size vs distance vs speed when looking up there. Things that may appear trillions of light years away may also be much smaller and closer with different levels of "charge" (brightness).

How it relates to our current local environment is a question that may yet to be answered, if looking through a lens alternative to the modern heliocentric view (which in and of itself is an already outdated term that has yet to be replaced, as there was no such thing as a galaxy or even a universe as we have come to know it when that concept and the term heliocentric was coined). When we look to the skies, are "planets" and "moons" what happens to things such as Venus and Saturn when they die/transform? Or are objects such as Saturn and Venus the result of a "galaxy" losing its charge? And is there any "as below" down here that correlates to the "as above" up there?

Archive

SH.org Archive

I just started reading this thread for the first time and feel that this is a good place to share something that I've pondered for sometime and hope that it sparks exploration in others (or maybe hope to hear from those that have found that this conversation has been had before).

First, this is going on two assumptions - one, that, there is possibly an alternative understanding yet to be publicly uncovered about the nature of what is happening up there two, if at least *some* of the imagery produced by Hubble is a relatively authentic attempt to capture what is going on "up there", then items such as Hubble's deep field images only seem to support my conjecture, which is:

Whatever is is that may be up there, there is nothing but (using *their* terminology) galaxies and the things that we know as solar planets and their satellites. No stars. Everything that we've called a star since childhood when looking up at the night sky (Orion's Belt, Big Dipper, Polaris, etc), when zoomed in enough to get clarity on it, is just the light coming from what we currently call a galaxy, it's "galaxies" all the way down. And those things that make up a galaxy, which we also call stars, are nothing by electrical phenomenon.

Now, to speculate even further, if I were allow to offer an even more completely unsubstantiated perspective, you have non-exploded/poorly-charged things (planets, and then you have things that have "exploded" with highly charged things electro-magnetically "orbiting" it. Add to that some perspective which allows us to consider that it's hard to reconcile size vs distance vs speed when looking up there. Things that may appear trillions of light years away may also be much smaller and closer with different levels of "charge" (brightness).

How it relates to our current local environment is a question that may yet to be answered, if looking through a lens alternative to the modern heliocentric view (which in and of itself is an already outdated term that has yet to be replaced, as there was no such thing as a galaxy or even a universe as we have come to know it when that concept and the term heliocentric was coined). When we look to the skies, are "planets" and "moons" what happens to things such as Venus and Saturn when they die/transform? Or are objects such as Saturn and Venus the result of a "galaxy" losing its charge? And is there any "as below" down here that correlates to the "as above" up there?

You have an interesting perspective. I certainly couldn't tell you one way or another. Perhaps.

I tend to try to stick with what history suggests these days, and not mainstream. I learned so many things to consider from the thunderbolts project ideologies, and of all people, it was actually David Icke that lead me to them via his talks regarding the golden age, saturn, how many planets there used to be in the sky, etc.

This seems like the relevant thread to mention this as it ties into my previous post, but what got me investigating NASA as a potential fraud was, someone I knew laid the moon landing hoax subject on me quite some time ago, and I was like, you know what, if that had ever happened, I should've seen countless pictures of what they left on the moon taken by amateur astronomers in magazines growing up, and I never did. We all know what my research turned up.

As far as why stars twinkle, and perhaps I got that all wrong as well, to the best of my knowledge, they twinkle because of atmospheric shimmer (hot, cold, humidity, etc). They don't put observatory's on high mountain tops, preferably in an arid climate zone for no reason at all. I'd get twinkle on warm summer nights in Montana, and no twinkle on a dry winter night. Winter time was always the best. As below was as above atmospherically speaking.

Atmospheric shimmer was said to be the main benefit of putting a massive telescope such as Hubbel into "space" as it has no significant atmospheric distortion to contend with.

It wouldn't surprise me that it doesn't exist, or perhaps not as described, or perhaps we haven't been told everything. IDK with any certainty.

Based on the OP's observations, mathematics, etc, it really does make the logical - science part of me reconsider everything that we have been told about it.

I don't recall seeing pictures of Mars, or other planets from Hubble, but Hubble has been around a while (supposedly), and perhaps I've just forgot some of its supposed achievements.


Olbers' Paradox

There is an old, simple question that can help us to understand a fundamental property of the universe. The question is usually called Olbers' Paradox, (after German astronomer Heinrich W. Olbers), and it can be stated pretty simply:

Why is the night sky dark?

The reason that this question is so important is because its answer can tell us about the distribution of stars and galaxies in the universe.

Consider the possibility that the universe is infinite and that it is filled with luminous objects (stars and the galaxies that contain them). If this is true, then every sight line from the Earth will eventually intersect a bright object. This means that if the universe is infinite and contains an infinite number of bright objects, the night sky will be bright! Since the night sky is dark, this tells us that one of our assumptions about the universe is incorrect. I made a pretty basic illustration of this, shown below:

In the left panel, what is represented is the Earth in a 3D universe with stars arranged randomly around the planet. From one particular vantage point, you can draw sight lines from Earth to every star within your field of view. If the Universe is infinite and filled with stars all at different distances from Earth, then every single sight line should land on a star. So, in the right panel, this is illustrated you should see in projection a night sky filled with stars. An analogy is standing in the middle of a large forest -- every direction you look, your line of sight should end on a tree, as shown in the image below.

Let's briefly consider the mathematics of this situation. You know from many discussions previously that every object appears fainter the more distant it is from Earth, and the brightness of that object drops off as 1/d 2 , or an object twice as far away is 1/4th as bright. If we picture spherical shells surrounding the Earth, though, the number of stars covering the surface area of one particular shell will increase by exactly the same amount as the brightness of the stars on that shell decreased, so the surface brightness, that is, the brightness per unit area on the sky, will be the same for every shell. There is an excellent public domain visualization of this phenomenon in the Wikimedia Commons it shows the sky randomly filling with more distant, and therefore fainter objects, but since the number of faint objects is so large, the picture of the sky eventually fills with a light of uniform brightness.

This is the source of the paradox. If the universe is infinite and filled with stars, the surface brightness of the night sky should be the same as the Sun's, so the night sky should be as bright as the daytime sky. Even though this is obvious by simply looking at the sky, when you review the image of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, there is clearly dark sky visible between every galaxy, providing further evidence that every sight line does not end on a luminous object.

Based on what you have learned so far, you may have a few questions.

  • Does it matter that we considered stars and not galaxies? No, because the same logic holds for galaxies. If every one of your sight lines ended on a galaxy, the night sky would be bright.
  • Is there enough dust in the Universe to block our sight lines to some stars or galaxies? Yes, but if the Universe was infinite and with an infinite number of stars and galaxies, the light from those objects would heat up the dust causing it to glow brightly enough to light up the night sky.

The solution to the paradox (why is the night sky dark?) could be due to several different possibilities:

  1. The universe is finite, that is, it ends at some point.
  2. The stars run out at large distances.
  3. There hasn't been enough time for the light to reach us from the most distant stars.

We will find out shortly that we can actually estimate the age of our universe. Because the universe is not infinitely old, the answer is number 3 listed above. Since light takes time to reach us, we can see only those objects that are near enough to us that their light has reached us. Curiously enough, the first published solution to Olbers' Paradox is attributed to Edgar Allan Poe. In his essay Eureka, Poe says:

Were the succession of stars endless, then the background of the sky would present us a uniform luminosity, like that displayed by the Galaxy - since there could be absolutely no point, in all that background, at which would not exist a star. The only mode, therefore, in which, under such a state of affairs, we could comprehend the voids which our telescopes find in innumerable directions, would be by supposing the distance of the invisible background so immense that no ray from it has yet been able to reach us at all.

While we know the solution today for Olber's Paradox, it took until well into the 20th century for us to truly understand the nature of the Universe well enough to explain the answer to this question. In the rest of this lesson, you will find out how we came to understand the Universe and prove to ourselves the reason the night sky is dark.

Want to learn more?

The Wikipedia Page on Olbers' Paradox has a bit more background information on the history of this question if you are interested in finding out more.


A Potted Prehistory of Cosmology

A few years ago I was asked to provide a short description of the history of cosmology, from the dawn of civilisation up to the establishment of the Big Bang model, in less than 1200 words. This is what I came up with. Who and what have I left out that you would have included?

Is the Universe infinite? What is it made of? Has it been around forever? Will it all come to an end? Since prehistoric times, humans have sought to build some kind of conceptual framework for answering questions such as these. The first such theories were myths. But however naïve or meaningless they may seem to us now, these speculations demonstrate the importance that we as a species have always attached to thinking about life, the Universe and everything.

Cosmology began to emerge as a recognisable scientific discipline with the Greeks, notably Thales (625-547 BC) and Anaximander (610-540 BC). The word itself is derived from the Greek “cosmos”, meaning the world as an ordered system or whole. In Greek, the opposite of “cosmos” is “chaos”. The Pythagoreans of the 6 th century BC regarded numbers and geometry as the basis of all natural things. The advent of mathematical reasoning, and the idea that one can learn about the physical world using logic and reason marked the beginning of the scientific era. Plato (427-348 BC) expounded a complete account of the creation of the Universe, in which a divine Demiurge creates, in the physical world, imperfect representations of the structures of pure being that exist only in the world of ideas. The physical world is subject to change, whereas the world of ideas is eternal and immutable. Aristotle (384-322 BC), a pupil of Plato, built on these ideas to present a picture of the world in which the distant stars and planets execute perfect circular motions, circles being a manifestation of “divine” geometry. Aristotle’s Universe is a sphere centred on the Earth. The part of this sphere that extends as far as the Moon is the domain of change, the imperfect reality of Plato, but beyond this the heavenly bodies execute their idealised circular motions. This view of the Universe was to dominate western European thought throughout the Middle Ages, but its perfect circular motions did not match the growing quantities of astronomical data being gathered by the Greeks from the astronomical archives made by the Babylonians and Egyptians. Although Aristotle had emphasised the possibility of learning about the Universe by observation as well as pure thought, it was not until Ptolemy’s Almagest, compiled in the 2 nd Century AD, that a complete mathematical model for the Universe was assembled that agreed with all the data available.

Much of the knowledge acquired by the Greeks was lost to Christian culture during the dark ages, but it survived in the Islamic world. As a result, cosmological thinking during the Middle Ages of Europe was rather backward. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) seized on Aristotle’s ideas, which were available in Latin translation at the time while the Almagest was not, to forge a synthesis of pagan cosmology with Christian theology which was to dominated Western thought until the 16 th and 17 th centuries.

The dismantling of the Aristotelian world view is usually credited to Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). Ptolemy’s Almagest was a complete theory, but it involved applying a different mathematical formula for the motion of each planet and therefore did not really represent an overall unifying system. In a sense, it described the phenomena of heavenly motion but did not explain them. Copernicus wanted to derive a single universal theory that treated everything on the same footing. He achieved this only partially, but did succeed in displacing the Earth from the centre of the scheme of things. It was not until Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) that a completely successful demolition of the Aristotelian system was achieved. Driven by the need to explain the highly accurate observations of planetary motion made by Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), Kepler replaced Aristotle’s divine circular orbits with more mundane ellipses.

The next great development on the road to modern cosmological thinking was the arrival on the scene of Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Newton was able to show, in his monumental Principia (1687), that the elliptical motions devised by Kepler were the natural outcome of a universal law of gravitation. Newton therefore re-established a kind of Platonic level on reality, the idealised world of universal laws of motion. The Universe, in Newton’s picture, behaves as a giant machine, enacting the regular motions demanded by the divine Creator and both time and space are absolute manifestations of an internal and omnipresent God.

Newton’s ideas dominated scientific thinking until the beginning of the 20 th century, but by the 19 th century the cosmic machine had developed imperfections. The mechanistic world-view had emerged alongside the first stirrings of technology. During the subsequent Industrial Revolution scientists had become preoccupied with the theory of engines and heat. These laws of thermodynamics had shown that no engine could work perfectly forever without running down. In this time there arose a widespread belief in the “Heat Death of the Universe”, the idea that the cosmos as a whole would eventually fizzle out just as a bouncing ball gradually dissipates its energy and comes to rest.

Another spanner was thrown into the works of Newton’s cosmic engine by Heinrich Olbers (1758-1840), who formulated in 1826 a paradox that still bears his name, although it was discussed by many before him, including Kepler. Olbers’ Paradox emerges from considering why the night sky is dark. In an infinite and unchanging Universe, every line of sight from an observer should hit a star, in much the same way as a line of sight through an infinite forest will eventually hit a tree. The consequence of this is that the night sky should be as bright as a typical star. The observed darkness at night is sufficient to prove the Universe cannot both infinite and eternal.

Whether the Universe is infinite or not, the part of it accessible to rational explanation has steadily increased. For Aristotle, the Moon’s orbit (a mere 400,000 km) marked a fundamental barrier, to Copernicus and Kepler the limit was the edge of the Solar System (billions of kilometres away). In the 18 th and 19 th centuries, it was being suggested that the Milky Way (a structure now known to be at least a billion times larger than the Solar System) to be was the entire Universe. Now it is known, thanks largely to Edwin Hubble (1889-1953), that the Milky Way is only one among hundreds of billions of similar galaxies.

The modern era of cosmology began in the early years of the 20 th century, with a complete re-write of the laws of Nature. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) introduced the principle of relativity in 1905 and thus demolished Newton’s conception of space and time. Later, his general theory of relativity, also supplanted Newton’s law of universal gravitation. The first great works on relativistic cosmology by Alexander Friedmann (1888-1925), George Lemaître (1894-1966) and Wilhem de Sitter (1872-1934) formulated a new and complex language for the mathematical description of the Universe.

But while these conceptual developments paved the way, the final steps towards the modern era were taken by observers, not theorists. In 1929, Edwin Hubble, who had only recently shown that the Universe contained many galaxies like the Milky way, published the observations that led to the realisation that our Universe is expanding. That left the field open for two rival theories, one (“The Steady State”, with no beginning and no end) in which matter is continuously created to fill in the gaps caused by the cosmic expansion and the other in which the whole shebang was created, in one go, in a primordial fireball we now call the Big Bang.

Eventually, in 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation, proof (or as near to proof as you’re likely to see) that our Universe began in a Big Bang…


Watch the video: What is OLBERS PARADOX? What does OLBERS PARADOX mean? OLBERS PARADOX meaning u0026 definition (May 2022).