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truthsearch

Real age of the universe

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Hey everyone im a first time poster on this forum and for a long time have been interested on the subject of space and the opportunities of space travel. Admittedly im not a scientific genius, or even close for that matter so please go easy on me if my question seems "stupid"

Anyway through doing some research on the age of the universe, the number that keeps occuring is 13.7 billion years. I also read about a galaxy discovered that is 13 billion light years away from us. In this case the light has taken 13 billion years to travel to us and therefore we are looking into the past. In essence 13 billion light years into the past. Therefore surely it is misleading to claim that the universe is 13.7 billion years old as it is merely 13.7 billion "light years" old. In reality (earth years by which most people would use as a measurement for the age of the universe) the age of the universe would be far greater as to how we perceive it.

Like i say im sure i must be missing a key element and it is late for me to be thinking about this but enlightenment would be appreciated

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light years are not measurements of time

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According to the best theory we have1, there is no such thing as a `universal frame of reference'. Therefore most things can, at best, be described only from a local point of view.

From our perspective the Universe appears to be ~13.7 billion years old. The galaxy 13 billion light-years away is (presumably) looking at it 13 billion into the past2.

Asking how old the Universe might look from another galaxy is meaningless; unless you can figure out how to travel faster than the speed of light.

Therefore light-years are an effective measure of time.

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[1] General relativity has been experimentally verified at local and solar-system scales, but obviously `hard' evidence at galactic scales is missing, because we can't get to the other galaxy to see what it `really' looks like. What we can see does seem to support the theory.

[2] It is possible to quantitatively estimate the expansion of the Universe, so it is possible that the 13 billion light-year number is corrected for this expansion - and therefore the telescopes might be looking at the galaxy only 6 billion (or whatever) light-years away - i.e. 6 billion years back in time. I doubt this is the case though, but since I don't know what your source for the 13 billion light-year galaxy is I can't say for certain.

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I've always thought it was ridiculous to try to put an age on the universe. In 100 years, 13.7 billion is probably going to be the punchline of a joke.

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