Amazing Huff-Post Science Visuals

I’ll warn you guys up front that what I’m including in this post amounts to mere “teasers” when compared to the articles from which they’re sourced. I strongly urge you to use the links provided after each item to check out those original articles.

Via Solar Eclipse Time-Lapse Photo By Ben Cooper
Frames Eclipse Against Australian Outback

Via Ocean Currents Swirl Across Globe In
NASA’s ‘Perpetual Ocean’ Time-Lapse VIDEO

Via Most Distant Object? Ancient Galaxy Discovered
13.3 Billion Light-Years From Earth

Call me stupid, but I have a question about the last one.

Now I’m no astrophysicist, but I’m not exactly illiterate when it comes to science either. If that galaxy is 13.3 billion light-years away, then it’s taken 13.3 billion years for its light to get here, right? Which means we’re seeing it as it looked 13.3 billion years ago, right?

Well, according to the big bang theory, the universe was one helluva lot smaller back then. So can someone please explain why that galaxy still looks so damned far away?!?! 🙄

I want ice water.

More from the Visual Treats volume

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20 thoughts on “Amazing Huff-Post Science Visuals

  1. Seriously IzaakMak, you want me to answer that? I hardly understand what they are saying in the Big Bang Theory, let alone real science. I managed to get through highschool and University without ever doing a science class. It messes with my head and scares me.


    • Hell, not to worry Loon. Metousiosis tried to give me the answer a long time ago but it just whizzed right on over my head! I guess what I was really hoping for was an explanation I could actually understand! 😳


  2. An answer?? Yeah right… I will stay bemuffled and downright stupid when it comes to those questions. Probably someone can explain it but probably will leave me just w a grin and a strange vacant expression while my brain goes ‘Que?’ 🙂 love the videos, great as usual.


  3. I’ll give it another shot.

    The light from that distant galaxy is 13.3 billion years old, which is akin to seeing into the past. The observed distance is due to the expansion of universe, where ‘inflation’ rapidly expanded the universe (at likely greater than light speeds) much like when you blow up a balloon, the surface expands in all directions. The ever accelerating universe is undergoing a similar expansion in space-time but in 3D. Due to the uniform nature of the expansion, every point appears to be central, giving us the illusion that we are in the middle and everything is moving away from us. The universe is literally stretching the space in it, making two points more distant from each other; there isn’t more stuff between, nor is the universe expanding into ‘anything’ – it’s kinda like those expanding spheres ( which have the same total mass, but changing diameter.
    Hopefully, that’s not gibberish; it’s early.



    • To avoid redundancy, this response is for both Met and Jim.

      First of all, I apologise for the delay in responding. I jumped right into this morning’s post as soon as I was up and without checking my comments first. By the time I was done, I had both a seriously aching back and a need for for that could no longer be ignored. I only took the time to look through the comments before taking care of those thing.

      The delay did, however, have the fortunate side effect of allowing me time to mull over what you’d said. And while there wasn’t much in your comments that I didn’t already know, I think, assuming I understood them correctly, the answer is that the galaxy in the image looks so far away because it was that far away, relatively, due to the much, much greater than light-speed expansion of the early universe.

      Of course that answer raises other questions. The big bang theory grew out of “Edwin Hubble’s observation that distant objects show correspondingly high redshifts because of the expansion of the universe.”. Since there was no mention of any extraordinary degree of redshift in the image in question, it must be assumed that the highly accelerated part of the expansion was over when the observed light left the objects in it. Furthermore, with those objects being, at that time, 13.3 billion light-years away, relatively, from other points from which they could be observed, the implication is that the actual “diameter” of the universe (from “edge to edge,” so to speak) was much greater than a “mere” 13.3 light-years – at just over 1% of the age we estimate it to be now!

      Imagine how big the universe must be now, even with its slower (yet accelerating) rate of expansion, after the full 13.7 billion years it’s thought to have been around!!! 😯


  4. Met is right on with his (?) explanation, in my opinion, but I would add this: the universe has continued to expand at an accelerating pace during the 13.3 billion years that light was traveling from there to here, so the galaxy in that fuzzy image is all that much farther from us at this instant, and, due to the time elapsed, would look much different if we could see it in real time. In fact, many of it’s stars would likely be extinguished by now. The average life span of stars the size of our sun is, very roughly, 13 billion years. Larger stars die more quickly and smaller ones last much longer. Kinda makes a person feel small, doesn’t it?


  5. I’m inspired to comment on the NASA ocean-current video as well. Amazing! As a submariner I have been aware of the complexity of the ocean as it affects sonar reception and transmission, navigation, and, to a lesser extent, buoyancy. Currents such as the Gulf stream present practical challenges to all those factors because they cause variations in both temperature and salinity. Seeing all the currents like this is remarkable, and especially so because, like the Gulf stream, they are remarkably consistent. This video is better than a textbook full of description. But when the currents do change, they change the weather. Wow, is all I can say. Great post, Mak.


    • Thanks Jim. I was blown away by that video too. I wonder if there have been measurable changes in the Gulf stream, changes that might forecast more weird weather for the northeast like they’ve had over the last couple of years? 😕


  6. To add further fuel to the fire… Should we reach a time beyond our sun going supernova, we have the hypothetical potential of reaching a point in time where the night sky is truly dark.
    This could be manifested through two different mechanisms:
    1) That the expansion of the universe expands to such a degree that the ‘red shift’ grows so large that it is no longer visible by humans (going from red to infa-red).
    2) In the very distant future (10^50 years) the current stars will burn out. Should we be able to populate some ‘rouge’ planet, our species might be able to see a blank night sky.

    These are of course hypothetical given our current understanding. But non-the-less interesting to contemplate.



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