Society for Popular Astronomy

Earths position in the Universe
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Author:  Quasar [ Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:10 pm ]
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All you have to understand is that our senses such as vision and touch are an adaption of our brains interpretation of how things are. Mathematical models of the geometry of the Universe do not fit into the prospective our senses give us and those prospectives may not be correct. Our senses make life easier for us and may indeed create 3D models that don't exist outside our brain.
This adds up to the fact that the Universe may be computed, your brain doing the computing.

Author:  Cliff [ Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:35 pm ]
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Dear Quasar and Big Kev
Quasar -I think I agree with your last post to a degree (ie in particular
"that our senses such as vision and touch are an adaption of our brains interpretation of how things are. Mathematical models of the geometry of the Universe do not fit into the prospective our senses give us and those prospectives may not be correct. Our senses make life easier for us"
However, thereafter I'm not quite sure what you mean ?
My opinion is that humans basic senses probably developed in such a way as to enable humans to survive and even progress.
However, as time has gone on humans devised technology which enabled us (humans) to spread our wings (ie let's say make progress beyond our basic requirements.
The invention\use of telescopes for example enabled humans to gain knowledge of the stars, not really possible using unaided eye alone.
However, we now take these new technologies almost for granted but it is arguable perhaps they are not necessary for human survival.
Big-Kev:- going back a little while, you seemed to suggest that David was wrong (in respect to his comments about a flat universe i think) unless he provided mathematical proof. Well I thought that quite unfair.
I'm retired now, but worked 40 years as an engineer. I followed many accepted practices that arguably I didn't fully understand - but I had enough knowledge to appreciate the practices were viable.
I know of instances where very able engineermathematicians have come unstuck because they have done their maths right but missed an important trick and messed up.
I think David has a right to express an opinion without necessarily knowing\understanding all the nitty gritty.
From time to time on this chat forum I've heard people coming up with pet theories that to my mind are nonsensical. They'll even suggest Einstein was wrong. Now of course we know Einstein didn't get everything right, but as far as I'm concerned Einstein got many important things right and with respect to "relativity" he did a fantastic job, which has withstood numerous tests of time.
Best wishes from Cliff

Author:  Quasar [ Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:21 pm ]
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Tony Markham wrote
within an incredibly small universe

Nonsense. Anyone who suggests such a notion doesn't unserstand the word finite.
spoon Wrote
I fail to see why the theoretical centre can't exist, along with the "all-over" expansion.!

You seem to be looking at this problem in the wrong way and making a charactaristic error.
You are looking at the Universe like a balloon which is expanding into free space or our atmosphere. You must remember the balloon isn't expanding into something else and getting bigger like a balloon on Earth, it is expanding in all directions at the same time not outward like an explosion. You are imagining it like an explosion where there is an epicentre and causal inertia evident all over. It isn't like that, it's like Joe explained to you, there is no middle like a volumetric balloon, the expansion takes place on a 2d surface which stretches the balloon's 2d surface in all directions.
We know this because of the amount of matter visible to us on earth. If it were volumetric like you said then we would only get to see a very small amount of it even with gravitational lensing.
This is the easy way to understand this concept:-
You are stood in front of a wall which is 10 feet in front of you, the wall is black and when you look up all you can see is the wall, when you look down all you can see is the wall, you look left and right and the wall is visable as far as the eyes can see in those directions too. There are lights dotted every 10 feet on the wall and you can see them in every direction. Then we add a little twist:- The wall is slightly bent around you so that every light on the wall is visible, this is the curvature of spacetime. The wall is so long, in all directions that when you turn around and look in the opposite direction you still see the wall. This is how the Universe wraps itself around us and presents us with visible matter. A star which is behind you is on the same lateral wall as the star in front of you, a 2d skin.
the curvature of space is undetectable in short hops but in the larger picture it wraps itself around you like the skin of a balloon.
You are making the mistake of looking in front of you, seeing a star then looking behind you and seeing another then assuming the distance between them which we occupy is the volume inside of a balloon and one star is at one side of a sphere and the other star is at the other. That is not the case, the two respective stars are on the wall I described and our position with the way we observe them has nothing to do with where we are in the Universe, everyone see's them the same.

Author:  Cliff [ Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:09 pm ]
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Dear Quasar
I think most people (even someone like me) resonably interested in astronomy realise that the expanding balloon idea of the universe is very limited. Amongst other things the blobs representing galaxies also expand when the balloon is blown bigger but apparently real galaxies do not expand as the Universe does with increase in time.
My own personal concept of the Universe is very limited but I'm afraid (although I haven't read it thoroughlly, your concept of the black wall(s) doesn't help me at all.
I will say though if the concept helps you in understanding things then good luck to you,but that doesn't necessarily means your concept will work for others.
On the other hand I will suggest that the balloon concept, despite its obvious limitations, does seem to be acceptable to a lot of people.
Best wishes from Cliff

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