What is the Universe? | What is an Exoplanet? – Exoplanet Exploration: Planets Beyond our Solar System

Video Universe what is it

what is the universe?

the universe is everything. it includes all space, and all the matter and energy that space contains. it even includes time itself and, of course, it includes you.

The earth and the moon are part of the universe, as are the other planets and their many dozen moons. Along with asteroids and comets, the planets revolve around the sun. The Sun is one of hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and most of those stars have planets of their own, known as exoplanets.

The Milky Way is just one of billions of galaxies in the observable universe; all of them, including our own, are thought to have supermassive black holes at their centers. all the stars in all the galaxies and all the other things that astronomers can’t even observe are part of the universe. it is simply everything.

Although the universe may seem like a strange place, it is not a distant one. wherever you are right now, outer space is only 62 miles (100 kilometers) away. day or night, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, sleeping, eating lunch or sleeping in class, outer space is only a few dozen miles overhead. it’s under you too. Some 8,000 miles (12,800 kilometers) below your feet, on the far side of the earth, lurks the unrelenting void and radiation of outer space.

In fact, you’re technically in space right now. humans say “in space” as if it were there and we here, as if the earth is separate from the rest of the universe. but the earth is a planet, and it is in space and is part of the universe just like the other planets. things just happen to live here and the near-surface environment of this particular planet is hospitable to life as we know it. the earth is a tiny and fragile exception in the cosmos. For humans and other living beings on our planet, virtually the entire cosmos is a hostile and unforgiving environment.

how old is the earth?

Our planet, the earth, is an oasis not only in space, but also in time. It may seem permanent, but the entire planet is a fleeting thing in the lifetime of the universe. For nearly two-thirds of the time since the universe began, the earth didn’t even exist. nor will it last forever in its current state. Several billion years from now, the Sun will expand, swallowing Mercury and Venus, and filling Earth’s sky. it could even expand enough to swallow the earth itself. it’s hard to be sure. after all, humans have only just begun to figure out the cosmos.

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While the distant future is difficult to predict accurately, the distant past is somewhat less so. By studying the radioactive decay of isotopes on Earth and in asteroids, scientists have discovered that our planet and solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago.

how old is the universe?

The universe, on the other hand, appears to be about 13.8 billion years old. Scientists arrived at that number by measuring the ages of the oldest stars and the rate at which the universe is expanding. They also measured the expansion by looking at the Doppler shift in the light of galaxies, almost all of which are moving away from us and from each other. the farther away galaxies are, the faster they recede. one might expect gravity to slow down the motion of galaxies relative to each other, but instead they are speeding up, and scientists don’t know why. In the distant future, galaxies will be so far away that their light will not be visible from Earth.

In other words, matter, energy, and everything in the universe (including space itself) was more compact last Saturday than it is today. the same can be said of any time in the past: last year, a million years ago, a billion years ago. but the past doesn’t go on forever.

By measuring the speed of galaxies and their distance from us, scientists have found that if we could go back far enough, before galaxies formed or stars began fusing hydrogen into helium, things were so close together and hot that the atoms couldn’t form and the photons had nowhere to go. a little further back in time, everything was in the same place. or really the entire universe (not just the matter it contains) was one place.

However, don’t waste too much time considering a mission to visit the place where the universe was born, since a person can’t visit the place where the big bang occurred. It is not that the universe was a dark and empty space and in it an explosion occurred from which all matter sprang up. the universe did not exist. space did not exist time is part of the universe and therefore did not exist. time also began with the big bang. space itself expanded from a single point to the vast cosmos as the universe expanded over time.

what is the universe made of?

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The universe contains all the energy and matter there is. Much of the observable matter in the universe takes the form of individual hydrogen atoms, which is the simplest atomic element, made of just one proton and one electron (if the atom also contains a neutron, it’s called deuterium). two or more atoms sharing electrons is a molecule. many trillions of atoms together is a dust particle. mix a few tons of carbon, silica, oxygen, ice, and some metals, and you have an asteroid. or put together 333,000 Earth masses of hydrogen and helium, and you have a sun-like star.

For the sake of practicality, humans classify groups of matter based on their attributes. galaxies, star clusters, planets, dwarf planets, rogue planets, moons, rings, ringlets, comets, meteorites, raccoons: they are all collections of matter that exhibit different characteristics from one another but obey the same natural laws.

Scientists have started counting these clumps of matter, and the resulting numbers are pretty crazy. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, contains at least 100 billion stars, and the observable universe contains at least 100 billion galaxies. if all galaxies were the same size, that would give us 10 trillion trillion (or 10 sextillion) stars in the observable universe.

But the universe also seems to contain a lot of matter and energy that we can’t see or observe directly. all the stars, planets, comets, sea otters, black holes, and dung beetles together make up less than 5 percent of the matter in the universe. about 27 percent of the rest is dark matter, and 68 percent is dark energy, neither of which is even remotely understood. the universe as we understand it wouldn’t work if dark matter and dark energy didn’t exist, and they’re labeled “dark” because scientists can’t seem to observe them directly. at least not yet.

How has our view of the universe changed over time?

Human understanding of what the universe is, how it works, and how vast it is has changed over the centuries. For countless lifetimes, humans had little or no means of understanding the universe. our distant ancestors instead relied on myth to explain the origins of everything. Because our own ancestors invented them, myths reflect human concerns, hopes, aspirations, or fears rather than the nature of reality.

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However, several centuries ago, humans began to apply mathematics, writing, and new principles of inquiry to the pursuit of knowledge. those principles were refined over time, as were scientific tools, eventually revealing clues about the nature of the universe. Just a few hundred years ago, when people began systematically investigating the nature of things, the word “scientist” didn’t even exist (researchers were called “natural philosophers” for a time). Since then, our understanding of the universe has repeatedly leaped forward. It’s only been a century since astronomers first observed galaxies beyond our own, and it’s only been half a century since humans began sending spacecraft to other worlds.

In the span of a single human lifetime, space probes traveled to the outer solar system and returned the first close-up images of the four giant outer planets and their myriad moons; Rovers rolled across the surface of Mars for the first time; humans built a space station in Earth orbit with a permanent crew; and the first large space telescopes offered amazing views of more distant parts of the cosmos than ever before. In the early 21st century alone, astronomers discovered thousands of planets around other stars, detected gravitational waves for the first time, and produced the first image of a black hole.

With technology and knowledge constantly advancing, and with no shortage of imagination, human beings continue to reveal the secrets of the cosmos. new knowledge and inspired notions help in this search and also flow from it. we have yet to send a space probe to even the closest of the billions of other stars in the galaxy. we humans haven’t even explored all the worlds in our own solar system. in short, most of the universe that can be known remains unknown.

The universe is almost 14 billion years old, our solar system is 4.6 billion years old, life on earth has existed for about 3.8 billion years, and humans have only existed for a few hundred thousand years . in other words, the universe has existed approximately 56,000 times longer than our species. By that measure, almost everything that ever happened happened before humans existed. so of course we have a lot of questions; in a cosmic sense, we have just arrived.

Our first few decades of exploring our own solar system are just a start. From here, just within one human lifetime, our understanding of the universe and our place in it will no doubt have grown and evolved in ways we can only imagine today.

next: the search for life: are we alone?

Content Creator Zaid Butt joined Silsala-e-Azeemia in 2004 as student of spirituality. Mr. Zahid Butt is an IT professional, his expertise include “Web/Graphic Designer, GUI, Visualizer and Web Developer” PH: +92-3217244554

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