Universe: Beginning to the End


Ashlee Santos

The universe is ever expanding and infinitely large, but guess what? You are nothing but a speck of dust compared to the size of the observable universe. Let’s get a feel for just how immense the universe is.

 The distance between the Earth and the Sun is ninety-four million miles, the distance between our Solar System and the center of the Milky Way is twenty-seven thousand light years, the Milky Way is two and a half million years away from our neighboring galaxy(the Andromeda Galaxy), the observable universe is forty-six and a half billion lightyears away, and you are only a mere couple of feet. Feel small yet?

Don’t fret; there is so much more to the universe than distance. Things like quasars, blackholes, supernovas, and exoplanets make up our beautiful and strange universe.

First off, how did the universe come to be? Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started, wait,Big Bang Theory Theme Song. I could not have said it better myself, thanks Big Bang Theory!

Most astronomers believe our universe began as a small, dense fireball that suddenly exploded and rapidly expanded. This theory is called the Big Bang Theory. Yes, it’s a real theory, not just a TV sitcom.

Other theories about how our universe started include Evidence, Steady State Theory, Bouncing Cosmology, Eternal Inflation, The Cyclic Model, and Black Hole Theory, all of which can be read about here.

Going back to the Big Bang Theory, everything in the universe came from that dense fireball. This includes planets, stars, asteroids, and even you. Because of this, we’re all technically made of stardust. Isn’t that cool?

You know what isn’t cool? Asteroids. Why? Because they killed the dinosaurs. Of course, the dinosaurs being extinct benefits us humans as a species, but their extinction shows how destructive asteroids can be. Asteroids can destroy small pieces of a planet or even the entire planet itself; kind of like the Death Star from Star Wars

Much like our knowledge of the ocean, we don’t actually know a lot of what’s in our universe. Scientists say we have only explored about 4 percent of the visible universe. There’s stress on the visible part because there is an unobservable part to our universe that surrounds us. 

  In this unobservable part of the universe lies stars, planets, and galaxies we will unfortunately never see. What event causes this unobservable part of the universe? Answer: the expansion of the universe. 

We will never get to see many celestial bodies because they have moved far beyond the horizon of which the visible universe ends. We too will eventually cross this horizon, but we as a species will most likely be extinct. Gee, thanks expansion.

Quick fun fact: while no one can agree on how fast the universe expands, there are patches of the universe that expand faster than light. Sounds absurd, right?

Some astronomers believe there is more past the unobservable universe; other universes. This may sound completely made up, but this is known as the Multiverse (no, not like the DC Comics). Believe it or not, it’s a completely real theory that is supported by physics. However, explaining this theory will open another can-of-worms that Sultana Insider simply does not have the funds for. Kidding! Sultana Insider Staff just doesn’t get paid at all.

Jokes aside, let’s bring it back to a more comfortable part of space, a part that doesn’t make us feel so- insignificant. Let’s reel back the Milky Way. Quick sidenote: what an adorable name for a galaxy, don’t you think?

The Milky Way contains at least 100 billion planets. Given that number, many astronomers believe there is another habitable Earth-like planet out there somewhere and many search for this Earth-like planet in hopes of two things: a planet humans may relocate to and/or extraterrestrial life. We won’t be discussing extraterrestrial life, or “aliens”, as that’s quite the shifty topic. Moving on!

One of the greatest wonders of our universe are Black Holes. These destructive, hellish, “space vacuums” are not only found randomly in the universe, they also tend to be found at the center of most galaxies. In our galaxy, there are an estimated 10 million black holes. That’s 10 million chances for anything to be completely obliterated!

Black holes form as a result of gravity collapsing in on itself after a supernova, or the death of a massive star. These phenomena of space have a very strong force of gravity that pulls surrounding objects straight into it, never to be seen again.

A black hole is literally a place where both time and light cannot escape. Black holes break all laws of physics and leave scientists completely stumped. Definitely do not recommend booking your next vacation here as you’ll probably be met with a very grim death; being ripped apart molecule by molecule. If that doesn’t give you the shivers.. sweet cheese, are you made of steel?

Anyways, speaking of death, what about the death of our universe? How will it all end? There are several theories but none are quite as scary as the universe collapsing in on itself in a matter of milliseconds just like a black hole. That’s it. Everything gone in the blink of an eye. The universe will condense so quickly and fiercely that it will become a dense fireball and.. Hey, doesn’t that sound familiar?

Space is quite fascinating and almost seems as infinite a topic as the universe. If you ever feel sad about the universe or question your existence in the universe, remember that scary black holes are billions of miles away, the death of the universe is a googolplex away, and there is nothing you can do to change the course of the universe. 

The only thing in the universe we can control is our life here on Earth, so forget about all this scary space stuff because it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you spend your years because although the universe is infinite, your time on Earth isn’t.