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Rangie's avatar

What is your image of Space going on forever?

Asked by Rangie (3661points) April 10th, 2010

I can’t fathom space going on forever. And if it doesn’t then what is at the end of it. But then, what is on the other side of what is at the end of it? I simply cannot wrap my head around the idea that something never ends.

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40 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

The only way I can translate the image in my head to text is this: ∞.

Rangie's avatar

But you must admit, it does make you wonder.

Rangie's avatar

@lilikoi that is a great image. How do you imagine nothing?

Rangie's avatar

This isn’t a stupid Q, but I think it is impossible to come up with a viable answer. Food for thought though. Bigger than life. Helps put the small stuff in perspective.

Seek's avatar

Our brains aren’t designed to fathom infinity. We live in a very, very small place. It’s akin to explaining to a puppy that “mommy will be right back”. They just don’t have the concept of time we do. and they don’t speak our language, but that’s beside the point.

Sarcasm's avatar

Well. It’s like a normal thing. Except, instead of stopping, it keeps going.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Actually you can. Believe it or not, you’d have a much harder time coming to a barrier and trying to conceive of nothingness beyond it. You’d have a great deal of trouble understanding that there wasn’t another side on the other side of it.

Believe it or not, humans are indeed wired for concepts of infinity. Can you imagine yourself not existing? I think not. But you can try… I certainly can’t.

Rangie's avatar

@Sarcasm like the pink bunny? lol just kidding. any answer is a good one, because there is not real true answer. fun to hear what others imagination is.

j3fr0's avatar

Imagination is the key.. Some scientific background helps too… =D

Rangie's avatar

I have tried visualizing space going on and on, but then sooner or later, I seem to have to put an end to it. So I make a wall, and then it starts all over again. I find it so fascinating. I hope scientist will be able to give us something to chew on one of these days.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Think of it like this… My dog cannot fathom concepts of Outer Space… He can’t even fathom concepts of why I tie my shoe. He’s extremely intelligent, but he is incapable of understanding why I brush my teeth.

Likewise, I well reckon that there are an endless number of cosmological mysteries that I will never be able to fathom as a human.

But as a human, with a finite lifespan, I can conceive of eternity with real world examples. For instance, I cannot fathom ever running out of air to breathe. There is an endless supply of oxygen for me to inhale on this planet. My air is an eternal provision.

TheOnlyException's avatar

Whenever I think about it my brain does little flip-flops. It is more than the human mind can ever comprehend.
But then again, it is more than we ever actually NEED to comprehend. It would serve no purpose at improving our quality of life, rather distract from whats right here in front of us.
It is rather amazing though.
I like how insignificant we are in comparison to it.
just look at the size of our world
alone 0_o
there was this other wonderful link where you could keep zooming in from way out in space, all the way to earth, then into the dna of leaf on a tree.amazing

Rangie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Your concepts are very thought provoking. Great stuff thanks

Rangie's avatar

@TheOnlyException You are right, it serves no purpose except to maybe help us to put things in proper perspective. And sometimes I think it is good to use your imagination beyond the
fathomable. Who knows it might trigger action from unused brain cells. Love the site you directed me to. Thanks , I am glad you took the time to give your input to this Q.

kittybee's avatar

Space isn’t infinite. It was created along with time and matter in the big bang!

Rangie's avatar

@FionaMarieQueen I am so glad you came along. Now I can find out what is really out there. So, what is it?

kittybee's avatar

Well, no-one knows. Einstein said it was curved, so it could be similer to finding out the world is round…you don’t just fall off, you end up back where you started. But there is still the problem of what the universe is suspended in if not space, it could well be, it seems, that that could be infinite, but no-one knows, ‘beyond the observable universe it’s all theory’ (according to my boyfriend). But you can’t imagine it because as it was suggested above, our minds didn’t evolve the ability to comprehend such things.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

You’re thinking of the universe in terms of volume but to contemplate the entirety of the universe, you need to take the concept of time into account too.

Rangie's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy Yes, and if the universe is considered to be so many light years in diameter, what is past that? I guess you could repeat that old saying ” the greatest nation on earth is our imagination” Thanks Captain Fantasy, you give more food for thought.

AstroChuck's avatar

Think of space-time as the surface an ever expanding balloon covered with dimes. The dimes represent galaxies. There is no real center or end to it and all the galaxies are continuously moving away from one another.

Rangie's avatar

@AstroChuck Now that’s creative. I think I can picture what you are saying. Thanks

Silence04's avatar

It’s even harder to fathom the end is actually the begining.

Rangie's avatar

@Silence04 yeah, I guess you could say that. that is sort of what I think of far left democrats & far right republicans. They don’t seem to know it, but they are meeting on the opposite side of the moderate circle.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@AstroChuck hey buddy… can ya spare a dime?

Anyone care to describe what is or is not on the inside or outside of that balloon? We ride the surface, and I concur. That’s all we base our known ISness upon. Shall we deem the inside and outside of that surface NOTness?

I say, nothing is there. In fact, there is no there. Nothing is no thing… no physical thing. And thus the question begs… Is now here nowhere?

deni's avatar

when i try to think of it i get a weird feeling because it is literally unimaginable.

Mariah's avatar

I apologize for the copy-paste but I recently wrote out a long, long comment over on another thread about the possibility that space neither goes on forever and ever nor has a boundary or “wall” where the other side contains nothingness.

My train of thought is (and obviously this is just speculation, and but one of many many possibilities) that there could be a fourth spatial dimension that we don’t perceive. I can’t think of any way to explain the looping effect this could have without using this metaphor: imagine that there’s a creature who thinks he’s living in two dimensions that exists on the surface of the Earth. He wouldn’t be exactly two dimensional because of the Earth’s curvature. However, since the Earth’s radius is very very large in comparison to him, the curvature is very gradual and he therefore doesn’t realize it exists. Now, he plants a flag in the ground and starts walking in what he thinks is a straight line leading directly away from the flag. In due time, he circles around the Earth and ends up right back where he started at his flag. It’s very hard to think about four dimensions, but I’d suppose by extrapolation that it’d be possible that space itself could have a slight curvature in the fourth dimension that would bring us right back to Earth if we sent a spacecraft far enough away. No boundary, no “wall of the universe.” Just walking in circles. It’s a kind of neat concept to think about.

Rangie's avatar

@Mariah So, does the speed of light catch up with itself?

Mariah's avatar

@Rangie Eek. I am by no means an expert on this. But it is my understanding that the speed of light is unaffected…?

Rangie's avatar

@Mariah I am not an expert on any of it, but I am very curious. I find it a neat thing to think about whatever anyone comes up with. So my vision of what you are saying is, you send out a spacecraft so far that it will eventually wind up where it started?

Rangie's avatar

@Mariah whoa, thanks, more for me to think about. My dad would have loved to participate in this topic.

Mariah's avatar

@Rangie Hehe, I love to think about this stuff. The more it makes my brain hurt, the better!

Rangie's avatar

@Mariah who knows, maybe we will start using new unused brain cells. Maybe they will hold the answer. Me too. love it. thanks.

slick44's avatar

@Rangie .. me too, its like forever has to end somewhere. And then what?

Rangie's avatar

@lilikoi I am sorry , but being new, I am afraid I do not know our symbols yet. I understand the happy face, but what is the big 0? I don’t know whether to give you a great answer or not. so I guess I won’t, sense I don’t. Help me out here.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


I think @lilikoi is illustrating a “0” as how “forever” is “defined”... continuously over and over and over forever.

Rangie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies thanks, I honestly would never have thought of that. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. An 0 is as good an any of us can come up with. It is a bit of a mind blower when we really give our attention to it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Concepts of forever, infinite, eternity…

I Am Is What All Will Be.
What Was All Will Be I Am.
All I Am Will Be What Is.
Will Be Is All I Am Was.

Was What Is As All Will Be?
Will Be Is As What All Was.
All Is As What Will Be Was.
I Am Will Be As All Is.

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