Universe essay

During our brief stay on planet Earth, we owe ourselves and our descendants the opportunity to explore—in part because it's fun to do. But there's a far nobler reason. The day our knowledge of the cosmos ceases to expand, we risk regressing to the childish view that the universe figuratively and literally revolves around us. In that bleak world, arms-bearing, resource-hungry people and nations would be prone to act on their low contracted prejudices. And that would be the last gasp of human enlightenment—until the rise of a visionary new culture that could once again embrace the cosmic perspective.

The proper distance —the distance as would be measured at a specific time, including the present—between Earth and the edge of the observable universe is 46 billion light-years (14 billion parsecs), making the diameter of the observable universe about 91 billion light-years (28 × 10 ^ 9  pc). The distance the light from the edge of the observable universe has travelled is very close to the age of the Universe times the speed of light ,  billion light-years ( × 10 ^ 9  pc), but this does not represent the distance at any given time because the edge of the observable universe and the Earth have since moved further apart. [53] For comparison, the diameter of a typical galaxy is 30,000 light-years (9,198 parsecs ), and the typical distance between two neighboring galaxies is 3 million light-years ( kiloparsecs). [54] As an example, the Milky Way is roughly 100,000–180,000 light years in diameter, [55] [56] and the nearest sister galaxy to the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy , is located roughly million light years away. [57] Because we cannot observe space beyond the edge of the observable universe, it is unknown whether the size of the Universe is finite or infinite. [6] [58] [59]

Universe essay

universe essay

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