What is the edge of the universe like? Is it a brick wall or
what? Will we be able to go past our universe someday?
Too bad it's not a brick wall or something like that. Actually, there
really is no "edge" of the universe so we can't go past it.
Scientists don't know what will happen to the universe. One possibility
is that the universe will expand forever. This means that the
universe is infinite in size so it doesn't have an edge. It just goes on
and on and on.
The second possibility is that the universe will end in a Big Crunch. In this case the
universe is finite in size because of gravity.
So if it's finite in size, why isn't there an edge we can go to? That's
because of a weird little thing gravity does to space--it curves it!
Einstein first came up with the idea of gravity curving space. That's
how the Earth orbits the sun. It wants to go straight but the Sun curves
the space around it so the Earth can't go flying off.
There is so much matter that space is bent back on itself! It's sort of
like how you can bend a wire so much that its ends will touch. You bent
the wire back on itself and came up with a circle. When you walk around a
true circle you can go forever without coming to an edge. That's the same
with the universe.
Submitted by Lance (age 13, Utah, USA)
Submitted by Brent (age 9, Tenessee, USA)
Submitted by Alyssa (age 12, California, USA)
(August 21, 1997)
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