The reality of seeing the beginning of time

One of the most enduring and unanswerable questions concerning our reality is that of our true beginnings. What did happen in the moments after the so called big bang? Could we really have our origins in the energy that exploded out from a singularity all those billions of years ago? Did this big bang actually happen, or were our origins quite different?  Whatever our best guesses these questions have always been impossible to actually answer.

Science has, of course, been trying to do its best to answer these questions. All they can do, apart from theorising, is to study the night sky for clues. Light from the stars  that we are looking at now, set out on its journey billions of years ago. Light travels at a certain speed so there is limit on how far even the most powerful optical telescope can see. We are actually looking back, as far as we can,  to the beginnings of time.

A great leap forward

Just last week  the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA was officially unveiled.

This is a large radio telescope array of 66 dishes, each gathering faint radio waves from space, which are then synthesised into digital information. A huge super computer then analyses and converts the information into images. These are said to be ten times sharper than those obtained from the Hubble space telescope.

The hope is that astronomers will get a glimpse of galaxies from just after the big bang. It can also look to try and see how stars and planets are actually formed.

Will their existing theories be proven?

Who can tell, it is certainly very exciting though.

What do you think?

Marian

 

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