Curious Kids: what will come after space?

What is right after room? – Pip, aged four, North Yorkshire, United kingdom

When we search up at a crystal clear evening sky, we see place: a vast, seemingly infinite expanse that incorporates almost everything we know to exist.

To come across out what is over and above room, a superior place to get started would be to figure out exactly where area – our universe – ends. The problem is we never know where by room ends, or even if it ends at all.

The furthest we can see out into area, using all the technologies we presently have, is 46 billion gentle years absent. The volume of space that we can see is identified as the observable universe. We don’t know what is out there over and above this. Perhaps it is far more galaxies and stars and place. Maybe it is the edge of the universe.

Circular image of space, with our solar system Sun and planets largest in centre

A scaled illustration showing the length and measurement of the observable universe, with our Sunshine at the centre.
Pablo Carlos Budassi/Unmismoobjetivo/Wikipedia, CC BY-SA

Some individuals imagine that the universe is infinite – that means it goes on endlessly, in each individual course. In this case, there is nothing soon after room, simply because area is almost everything.

But even if the universe did have an stop, it may well be really challenging for us to determine out wherever the edge is.

Curious Children is a series by The Discussion that gives kids the opportunity to have their concerns about the earth answered by authorities. If you have a dilemma you’d like an pro to respond to, deliver it to [email protected] and make sure you consist of the asker’s to start with title, age and town or town. We won’t be capable to reply each and every query, but we’ll do our pretty greatest.

Believe about our home on earth Earth, for instance. We know that the Earth doesn’t go on infinitely: it ends and area begins. But if you were to set off going for walks, looking for the edge of the Earth, you’d never get there even if you walked endlessly. This is for the reason that Earth is a sphere. To figure out that the Earth has an edge, and the place it is, we need to have to know its shape.

Understanding the condition of the universe, might help us figure out exactly where its edge is. Astronomers are finding out the universe suitable now, seeking for clues that might inform us far more about its shape.

Knowledge the universe

We know what the total of the Earth appears to be like like because we have been equipped to consider photographs of it from place – and some astronauts have been up to place to see it. Most likely we would be able to see the edge of the universe much too, if we understood exactly where to go to seem for it.

There is a different dilemma, though. The universe is growing – and at quicker speeds. The place among us and other galaxies is rising. As they get even further away, it usually takes extra time for the gentle from these distant galaxies to attain us.

At some level they will be so much absent that the light-weight won’t achieve us at all. The night time sky will be entirely darkish, and we will have incredibly minimal likelihood of seeing an edge if one particular exists. This growth of the universe could suggest that the edge – and regardless of what is following it – is getting more away from us, far too.

Even while we don’t know the place the edge of our universe is, scientists however commit a whole lot of time wondering about what comes just after it.

A multiverse?

It is attainable that there isn’t just 1 universe, and that past our universe there are others. We could be dwelling in just one particular modest portion of a “multiverse”.

Cosmic-looking soap bubbles against a black background
Universes may well overlap or merge.

Probably our universe is contained inside its individual distinct location of house, divided from other universes by huge expanses of nothingness. Or perhaps there are parallel universes squashed up shut to a person another, or even overlapping. This would mean there is no actual “edge” at all, but universes mixing into one particular a further.

The true mother nature of the universe could be further than our latest capability to visualise or comprehend. Being familiar with the shape of the universe may possibly enable us to discover out whether it goes on without end or has an finish. What comes right after that could be an even increased thriller.

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