If we had a big enough telescope, could we see the Big Bang as it happpened in the past?
- cosmoLv 78 months agoFavourite answer
No. The Universe was opaque to photons for the first 300,000 years. When the photons were released, they became the Cosmic Microwave Background, which is well observed.
In principle, there are other particles besides photons that started streaming free at earlier times --- the neutrinos in the thermal neutrino background, for example. Those particles could show the Big Bang at a time even earlier than the Cosmic Microwave Background. Dark matter may, in part, be such a particle.
- Bulldog reduxLv 78 months ago
No, because the universe was opaque to light until about 380,000 years after the big bang. It became transparent when temperatures dropped low enough for electrons to join with protons to form the first atoms.
- CliveLv 78 months ago
It's already been done. The cosmic microwave background is the echoes of the Big Bang, so red-shifted that it is now only visible in radio telescopes.
- daniel gLv 78 months ago
The size of a telescope only equates to its resolving power. We have long had telescopes that can see the visible universe, going back 300 some odd million years for light to reach us. The only way to see 'the big bang' would mean going a distance greater than the number of years then viewing the light as it reached you.
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- 8 months ago
Not even close. We're still trying to see our closest intergalactic neighbor with sufficient resolution and clarity to be able to make out bodies as anything more than small dots of light. We have only just recently begun to venture into interstellar space (i.e. exiting our own solar system). That said, the big bang in the here and now is likely a massive black hole, given what we know of physics.
- Jeffrey KLv 68 months ago
Light could not travel thru space til 300000 years after big bang. But a gravity wave or neutrino telescope would work.
- oldprofLv 78 months ago
No. But in fact we can and do see to within about 380,000 years of the big bang. And if it were physically possible to see all the way back, we have the telescopes that can do it.
But it's impossible to see all the way back. Why?
Because in those first 380,000 years of existence the density of the universe was so tight that photons (light) could not move. So they remained trapped in the baby universe and that baby universe remained dark. Check this out:
"380,000 years after the Big Bang - The temperature of the universe had cooled to about 3000 K. Electrons began to combine with hydrogen and helium nuclei. High energy photons from this period rushed outwards. The early universe was so hot, that as it has expanded and cooled, the highly energetic photons from that time have had their wavelengths stretched tremendously. The cosmic microwave background we observe today is evidence of what the early universe was like. The temperature of the cosmic microwave background is now only a few degrees above absolute zero and radiation left over from this period has wavelengths of about 1 mm which is in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This cosmic microwave radiation is what astronomers study with telescopes like Planck and others." [https://lco.global/spacebook/cosmology/early-unive...
- Ronald 7Lv 78 months ago
To do that, the lens would have to be wider than the width of the Oort Cloud
- ANDYLv 58 months ago
Light that was emitted during the big bang was not able to propagate into the universe: the photons were sort of "clasped" to matter because of the massive density. It took more than one hundred thousand years after the big bang for light to start "moving" along the newly-formed universe.
This is the reason we can not see the big bang itself. Our telescopes reach a "wall" beyond which nothing is seen anymore.
- AcetekLv 48 months ago
- Anonymous8 months ago
Not likely. Wed have to ain it right and even then it happened soo lonh ago theres no guarantee that the light from the event is stil hanging around the origin point