Portal:Cosmology

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The Cosmology Portal

About

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Cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. Physical cosmology is the scholarly and scientific study of the origin, evolution, large-scale structures and dynamics, and ultimate fate of the universe, as well as the scientific laws that govern these realities. Religious cosmology (or mythological cosmology) is a body of beliefs based on the historical, mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and traditions of creation and eschatology.

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The metric expansion of space is a scientific theory first proposed by Fr. Georges Lemaître according to which the increase of the distance between two distant parts of the universe with time. It is an intrinsic expansion whereby the scale of space itself changes. This is different from other examples of expansions and explosions in that, as far as observations can ascertain, it is a property of the entirety of the universe rather than a phenomenon that can be contained and observed from the outside.

Metric expansion is a key feature of Big Bang cosmology, is modeled mathematically with the FLRW metric, and is a generic property of the universe we inhabit. However, the model is valid only on large scales (roughly the scale of galaxy clusters and above), at smaller scales matter has become bound together under the influence of gravitational attraction and such things do not expand at the metric expansion rate as the universe ages.

Trivia

Did you know...

  • ... that space is flexible, and has been expanding at a measurable rate since the beginning of time?
  • ... that most of the atoms in our bodies were created in stars through fusion?
  • ... that the Earth isn't flat, but the universe is? Based on Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, there are three possible shapes that the Universe may take: open, closed, and flat. Once again, measurements by WMAP on the CMBR have revealed a monumental confirmation – the Universe is flat.
  • ... that the average density of visible matter in the universe is about 10−30 g/cm3?
  • ... that the Earth is neither the center of the Universe nor the galaxy, because the universe has no center?
  • ... that considering only the largest structures, the Universe is made up of filaments, voids, superclusters, galaxy groups and clusters? By combining galaxy groups and clusters, we come up with superclusters. Some superclusters in turn form part of walls, which are also parts of filaments.

People

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Edwin Powell Hubble was an American astronomer who played a crucial role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy and is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century. Hubble is known for showing that the recessional velocity of a galaxy increases with its distance from the earth, implying the universe is expanding. Known as "Hubble's law", this relation had been discovered previously by Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest/astronomer who published his work in a less visible journal. There is still much controversy surrounding the issue, and some argue that it should be referred to as "Lemaître's law", although this change has not taken hold in the astronomy community.

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