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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Would we find more exoplantets if the galaxy Is flat?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (12958points) 2 months ago

Is the solar system flat? Is the galaxy flat? The universe? Seems like a lot of wasted space. Why is the universe 4 dimensional and not 10th dimensions.

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12 Answers

ScienceChick's avatar

We currently find most exoplanets based on how they affect the light around them, (known as Transit Photometry), so revolving around a sun helps, but there are also rouge planets that are not orbiting around a sun. Not all galaxies look like ours, The Milky Way, that is sort of flattened and spiral. I’ll see if I can find a good video to help explain. As for your idea of 10 dimensions, that is not in anyway provable. Colleagues working on String Theory are working hard to make the math work and they love to talk about all the dimensions and parallel universe theories, but it is in no way provable or testable at the moment (but neither is Cyclical Time, but it seems to fit better with what we currently know) There are two main schools of thought when it comes to this. One is based on Cyclical Time and the other is String Theory. I’m team Cyclical Time, until something better comes along, simply because when they start talking about the creation of infinite parallel universes, it is totally a anthropocentric construct, and we know the Universe, and what is has always done, doesn’t give a damn about one human’s decisions on this insignificant planet. Decisions one tiny human makes on this planet is not going to splinter the Universe off in a new direction. Anyway, here is a good video about finding Exoplanets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt7WPXZVzFA Here is a video that explains different types of galaxies we have identified (three main types). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7q0Z19sKdM

stanleybmanly's avatar

find more planets? If the galaxy is flat probably not. After all, your chances are much better of finding planets if you are surrounded by stars in all directions.? The solar system has the bulk of its observable mass rotating in a plane—thus the word planet However there’s a huge sphere of junk surrounding the relatively flat solar system. The curvature of the universe will be determined by the amount of mass inhabiting it. Enough mass and it will be positively curved like the surface of a ball. That is the universe would be closed but unbounded. Too little mass and the universe would be negatively curved or saddle shaped. That’s an open universe that extends forever. If the mass is just right, you get your flat universe which also is open and extends forever. It’s now believed that the universe is very close to having the perfect amount of mass to render it flat, meaning that open or closed, it is almost indescribably huge.

ScienceChick's avatar

@stanleybmanly I thought he was referring not to the shape of the Universe, but of the galaxies. I’m not sure what you’re getting about the shape of the Universe in relation to finding exoplanets. Also, I don’t think we’re pointing to anything specifically outside of the Milky Way in search of exoplanets. Our galaxy (that is in the shape of a warped disk) is pretty big and, as we are discovering, packed with planetary systems around other stars. But here is an article I just found about the search outside of our galaxy…. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/exoplanets-discovery-milky-way-galaxy-spd/

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t know what you mean about the galaxy being flat. Individual galaxies are finite, though there may or not be an infinite number of them.

We can make measurements of sufficient accuracy only for relatively close stars in the Milky Way.

The Universe can be finite or infinite in four dimensions as well as 10 dimensions.

ScienceChick's avatar

@LostInParadise 10 dimensions? Can you explain to me how that works?

flutherother's avatar

Our solar system is lies on a plane and is pretty flat. Our galaxy is also quite flat but with a bulge like the yoke of a fried egg. We will never be able to see exoplanets in other galaxies as they are much too far away but there are likely millions of them in our galaxy. The Earth is on the edge of the galaxy. If we were closer to the galactic centre we might be able to see more exoplanets but if the galaxy were flat and all its stars and planets were lined up on a plane we wouldn’t see so many.

LostInParadise's avatar

@ScienceChick, In theory, what is so special about 4 dimensions? Just as we can use four numbers to represent a position in space and time, why couldn’t there be some universe that requires 10 numbers.

ScienceChick's avatar

Here is Brian Greene on more than 3 dimensions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wVRfxCvTuE But, as he says, is totally theoretical. And he studies String Theory, which requires the mathematics gymnastics with something like 11 dimensions for it to demonstrate a Unified Theory. The problem seems to lie with laws of thermodynamics. Could we end up understanding the Universe with it’s dark matter et al and it includes some extra dimensions? I absolutely don’t rule it out. But throwing out these types of theories as if they have been proven detracts from the open ended research in this field. We just don’t know yet, but we need to keep a focus on what we don’t know, so we can solve it. (If that makes sense…..) If you have an hour here is another good discussion among a panel. https://www.c-span.org/video/?433414-15/panel-discussion-science-time

ScienceChick's avatar

(@LostInParadise also, since the 1958 convention, we use a combination of coordinates to identify the location of things in the Universe, but essentially, using the Galactic Coordinate System, we identify them with latitude and longitude coordinates, because we’ve agreed upon standardised assumptions about where the middle and north and south is in our own galaxy, but we use references to the old system called the Celestial Coordinate System for clarification. The Galactic Coordinate system explained better: http://www.thinkastronomy.com/M13/Manual/common/galactic_coords.html
The 4th dimension is time and would take considerably more numbers.)

LostInParadise's avatar

This article reminded me of this question. I hope you appreciate the humor in it.

ScienceChick's avatar

@LostInParadise Sure….There is plenty to unpack there. I’m sure there is some dark matter between his ears, his endless windbag characteristics defy the laws of thermodynamics and his insistence that he only weighs 239 pounds is a perfect example of early quantum physics entanglement. A split in the time/space continuum exposing multiverses seems inevitable.

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