Has the James Webb Telescope (JWT) just revealed a totally new universe which we can now physically see?
The JWT was always going to be interesting because it can see so much that we’ve never seen. One of the things we wanted to see was the edges of our universe.
Current theory says that limit happens to be around 13.5 billion light-years away. That is around the time just following the formation of the universe (that is around the time of a, but not the “Big Bang”, because now it looks like there could have been many Big Bangs”)
We expected that the galaxies we would see there would be small and dim since they hadn’t had enough time to grow to the size of the mega-galaxies characteristic of the later epochs of our own universe.
Surprise, surprise, we are seeing lots of large and ultra-bright mega-galaxies in what we thought was the early universe. They shouldn’t exist. How come? What’s wrong with that thought?
No doubt there’s a billion ways we could get counter-intuitive results since we never had a JWT anyway to raise these questions. But I have a thought that I’m sure others will have already had.
What we seem to be seeing at the supposed edges of our universe are really big galaxies just like we see in our own universe with its characteristic(?) mega-galaxies and black holes. Is it possible this occurs because we’re not seeing the edge of our own universe at all? Are we seeing instead a neighboring universe where its mega structures are just the sort we would see in a universe rather like our own?
And, in addition, we’re not seeing the faint galaxies we expected because this is a later-stage universe which doesn’t have any.
Modern cosmological theory now acknowledges the possibility that we are living in a multiverse, a cosmos in which there are multiple universes. The theory allows these universes to be very different to ours in that they might well have different physical constants. There exists the possibility that everything there is a copy of what is going on in our own or other universes.
So, any neighboring universe would possibly be much more than a place where we have galaxies and other astronomical structures similar to ours. And there’s no necessity for any neighboring universe to be just the only one in our cosmic neighborhood that we can actually see.
For example there is the logical possibility that we could see more than one neighboring universe on our edges, maybe many, maybe even an infinite number. Of course, we just don’t know – yet.
Of course what the JWT is seeing might have many other better explanations.
But you never know. Some of the most interesting discoveries ever have been totally unexpected.
Are we about to see ourselves mirrored in the new universe, a la “2001: A Space Odyssey”?
The Child is the Father of the Man, perhaps?
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