Thursday, August 6, 2009

The edge of the universe

This picture, according to Wikipedia, taken from the Hubble Telescope is the edge of the observable universe.

Beyond that I imagine is the speculated edge of the universe and then the real edge of the universe. It's slightly misleading to label this post "science" because what I'm really interested in here is the universe from it's observable edge onwards. It's really where science, 'the practice of rational observation,' starts to end and philosophy begins to take over. Questions abound: the observable size of the universe compared to the observable age of the universe, how event horizons works, how do we think about observed reality and current reality. (The 8 min sunlight to earth gap!)

So I was wondering (Radagast?) while their may be aliens etc out there in the universe, can we anticipate any surprises between the observable edge of the universe and the real edge of the universe? In otherwords alien life, if we find it, will probably be carbon or silicon based, there may be several more undiscovered periodic elements, star shapes and sizes etc, but can we anticipate any major surprises?