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13 Billion Light Years Away - Basic Question !

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Posted by Michael on October 14, 2001 19:07:39 UTC


I am new to this forum. I just opened my account. I am looking for an answer to the following "puzzle".

I have been scanning through some Hubble telescope images. One of them depicts a galaxy very far away - most distant object ever photographed by mankind. This is the exact quote: "Its light is only reaching us now from a time when the universe was but 7% its current age of approximately 14 billion years. This places the young galaxy as far as 13 billion light-years away". OK, do you see the paradox here ?

How can there be a distance in out universe that it would take light 13 billion years to traverse it ? Our universe is 14 billion years old. It means it expanded for this time. But expansion occurred with speed much less than speed of light. So this "bubble" or "sphere" - however we call our universe could have grown only so much in the last 14 billion years - certainly not enough to generate two max-distance points within it that it would take light 13 b. years to cover it.

Does anyone follow what I am talking about ?

Are we dealing here with some sort of general relativity effect that would explain it ?

Michael J.
Oakland, CA

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