(Submitted December 02, 1996)
I'm a 10 year old boy who has a very hard question to ask.
My teacher Mr. Sperling just had us learn about the Solar
System. We just made a Internet site. Now my question.
What is at the edge of the Universe ?
That's an interesting question. The short answer is that there isn't
any "edge" to the Universe, as in the edge of your school grounds where
there is more property beyond. Science fiction and other dimensions aside,
the best way of looking at the Universe is to think of the surface of a
balloon. Right now the "balloon" is expanding (being blown up) so the
distance between any two points on the balloon is increasing. However,
there is no edge to the surface of the balloon. This is where cosmologists
(people who study the physical nature and evolution of the Universe) and
relativists (people who study Einstein's general theory of relativity) talk
about a curved space-time continuum.
One observable effect of this geometry for the Universe is if we look
far enough in any direction, we see the same thing. Because light does not
travel infinitely fast, the farther into the distance that we look, the
farther back into time that we look. In astronomy there is something
called the cosmic microwave background. This radiation is left over from
the "big bang", the event at the start (in time) of our Universe.
Check out your library and its reference section for books on astronomy
for more information.
for Imagine the Universe!