Astronomers today are in a unique position to experience a new reality, namely the impact of the Big Bang on our Universe.
When we look out in space we see things in the immediate past. Objects that we witness visually are about 1.4 seconds in the past. Looking at stars and other celestial objects permits us to view it going back about 9 minutes. If we look at our nearest star we’re witnessing it 4 years in the past. Viewing our nearest galaxy (Andromeda), its about 2 million years back. With the help of telescopes, we witness events that are 10 billion years old. If we look at quasars, we are looking at objects immediately after creation.
Dr. Edwin Hubble’s 1929 ‘red shift’ doppler effect spectra means that since the Big Bang, everything in the universe is shifting outward, moving away from each other. Einstein’s work told of how the total gravitational force of all mass produces a universe that must be understood in terms of ‘curved space geometry’, meaning that all objects in the universe follow curved trajectories. This has great impact on western understanding of cosmology, time and the assumptions underwriting our Big Bang.
For Einstein, if our universe is negatively curved, it is an open universe, meaning that mass moving along gravitational lines of curved space would exit from our universe. But, if it is positively curved, meaning ‘closed’, then the universe curves back onto itself. Currently, this is the main postulate of contemporary cosmologists, even though divergent work is being done by rival cosmologists who are unable to reconcile such postulates to the demands evidenced in ‘closed’ systems as delineated by Einstein.