The Age of the Universe and the Scientific Method
Created September 30, 1997
- The universe, space itself, is expanding/stretching carrying
the galaxies along with it.
- all of the galaxies are moving away from one another
- the greater the distance the greater the velocity
- Running the expansion backwards at
the current rate, everything was on top of everything else 15 billion
- The universe "began" 15 billion years ago.
- The oldest stars that we can find should be younger
than the 15 billion year age of the universe.
- A few years back astronomers announced that they
had found stars that were 18 billion years old.
- How could the universe contain stars that were older
than the universe itself?
- Do we throw out our models of the universe?
- Astronomers have great scientific faith in their models of
the age of the Universe.
- Few, if any, were prepared to throw out the basic
assumptions of how the universe got started and evolved without
extremely compelling evidence.
- Shortly thereafter, the observations which showed that the oldest
stars were 18 billion years old were found to be in error. New
ages assigned to these stars are consistent with the age
of the universe derived from its expansion.