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← Cosmic distance record 'broken'


It took the "light" from this event 13.14 billion years to reach us. 13.14 billion light-years away. Unless I'm making silly math errors (like I often impatiently did in college), that's (9.4605284 × 10^15) x (13.14 x 10^9) meters away, or 1.24311343 × 10^26 meters, or 1.24311343 × 10^23 kilometers, or 7.72434874 × 10^22 miles away.

77,243,487,400,000,000,000,000 miles away, and we see it here on Earth today as it was 13,140,000,000 years ago.

So, by now, whatever galaxy that star is part of could be teeming with intelligent civilizations, and all the galaxies along that unthinkably long line of intervening space could be as well, and we would never know it. Could never know it. And if allowed an overly-simplistic three-dimensional imagination here for a moment, that's only a straight-line radius. Translate it to an impossibly vast circular volume, consider the possible stars and galaxies contained therein, and my head really starts to hurt.

Staggering indeed.

Wed, 25 May 2011 19:34:05 UTC | #630869