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Where is the Centre of the Universe?

 
 
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 10:42 am
Is it possible to define the centre of the Universe?
If so, where is it?

Personally, I think that planet Earth is the centre of the Universe!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 13,586 • Replies: 151
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 11:31 am
Hi Bib,

You're right, the Earth is the center of the universe. More specifically, I am the center of the universe (my universe).

This question really takes me back Bib. It looks very similar to one you asked on Abuzz almost two years ago. Since you already know the physics answers to this question from our previous conversations, I think I'll stick to more metaphysical answers this time, just to keep things interesting Wink

Have fun,
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
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Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 02:30 pm
Hi Ros.

Yes, yes, yes and yes in that order.

Metaphysical...bring it on. Cool
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dlowan
 
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Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 02:53 pm
Dammit - I was about to say it is where the eye that beholds it is - but I am pre-empted.
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steissd
 
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Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 03:18 pm
Well, since the Universe is infinite, there cannot be a physical center of it. And the spiritual and quintessential center of the Universe is, surely, its Creator.
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satt fs
 
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Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 07:41 pm
The center is in one's consciousness.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 08:13 pm
Boston of course!
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LarryBS
 
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Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 11:56 pm
Philadelphia, apparently.
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
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Reply Thu 20 Feb, 2003 10:15 am
steissd wrote:
Well, since the Universe is infinite, there cannot be a physical center of it...


How do you know that the Universe is "infinite?"

It could have a boundary, in which case, a theoretical centre would be possible.
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husker
 
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Reply Thu 20 Feb, 2003 11:11 am
I have to agree with Bib on this one - plant earth is the center. Everything expanded outward from here.

Very good read:
Did life's building blocks come from outer space?
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Equus
 
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Reply Thu 20 Feb, 2003 11:31 am
The center of the Milky Way Galaxy is in Sagittarius.

The center of everything? Well, assuming the point of the big bang is the center, when you look into the night sky in any direction you are looking backward in time. Somewhere off in the background is that point. It doesn't matter what direction you look, only how far you look (because time and space were both defined by the bang)- and the big bang isn't visible itself because light didn't exist yet.
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
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Reply Thu 20 Feb, 2003 12:34 pm
Equus wrote:
The center of the Milky Way Galaxy is in Sagittarius.


Relative to itself, of course it is, but relative to the rest of the Universe it more than likely isn't, in which case any entity within it, including Earth, could well be the centre of the Universe.
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JamesMorrison
 
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Reply Thu 20 Feb, 2003 03:36 pm
When one looks at various objects in our universe they appear to be speeding away from us on Earth in every direction (Employing the Doppler red shifting of light emanating from these objects). In addition, the further away an object is from us the faster it seems to be traveling away from us. This might suggest that Earth is the center of the Big Bang and therefore the center of our universe.

This could have been good news for those in the Geocentric Universe camp, but there is another explanation. It has been proposed that one could envision that the Universe is like a big balloon and everything (stars, galaxies, etc.) reside on the balloon's surface. This would explain observations nicely but would argue against any "Center of the Universe" per se, since any center would be conceptually in hyperspace (a place either outside the universe or between universes).

JM
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Thu 20 Feb, 2003 10:10 pm
Bib,

Equus it talking about the center of the galaxy, not the center of the universe.

And he's right. The center of the milky way *is* in sagittarius relative to us. It is not in sagittarius relative to itself.

James,

You are correct of course. Given the standard model.

Bib,

I think you need to define what you mean by "center" more accurately in order to get any meaningful answers here. Otherwise it's like asking what point on the skin of a basketball is its center; it makes no sense.

Best regards,
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satt fs
 
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Reply Fri 21 Feb, 2003 05:11 am
rosborne979..
You can define "center."
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Fri 21 Feb, 2003 06:33 am
Hi Satt,

Nice to see you on A2K.

In the case of a galaxy, I was defining the "center" as the gravitational barycenter of the collection of stars commonly known as the Milky Way (or, the standard definition).

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap960605.html
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satt fs
 
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Reply Fri 21 Feb, 2003 06:50 am
rosborne..
Hi. Nice to meet you here.

The barycenter is about gravity, and the former is often deemed as a key for the concept of "center." Is it owing to the fact that the gravitational force plays the central role in forces? If the fifth force was discovered, -something that is causing the acceleration of the expansion of the universe, and which turned out much more important than gravity, then the center of the fifth force would become the key to the "center?" Or sixth force, seventh force.. ?
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Fri 21 Feb, 2003 07:08 am
Hi Satt,

I think the reason gravity is used as the primary definition of "center" for things like a galaxy is due to the fact that we (humans) are focused on mass when we talk about "things" like galaxies. I agree that it is somewhat arbitrary. Obviously, I would not use such a base when trying to define the center of the Universe, which is a very different target (from a galaxy).

That's why I asked Bib to come up with an arbitrary definition (for center of the universe) from which we could pose our answers.
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Equus
 
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Reply Fri 21 Feb, 2003 05:13 pm
2.2 miles SSE of Beatrice, Nebraska on County road M, just inside the parking lot of Cindy's Big Burger and Taxidermy Shop.
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husker
 
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Reply Fri 21 Feb, 2003 09:08 pm
Hey I been to Beatrice - I kicked a field goal there and they lost the ball as it cleared the field.
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