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How Old is the Universe?


According to scientists, despite the many hypotheses as to the birth of the Universe, its exact age cannot be determined due to the speed of light. Tests indicate that depending on the location, estimates would vary as to how many billions of years ago the Big Bang occurred.

Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel gives us in-depth clarification that if we were to take into account a number of indicators, the Universe would have to be approximately 13.8 billion years old. The margin of error is plus-minus 120 million years, which is within the permissible range.

Siegel bases his thesis on the fact that the starry sky we can see above our heads every night has nothing to do with reality, it is rather light that has been emitted by the stars several million or billion years ago.

He explains that if calculations of the Universe's age are made in any constellation in a radius of 100 000 years from Earth, the result is always the same - 13.8 billion years.

But the variations in the calculations appear when and if the math is done on a more distant planet. Siegel states that if there are planets traveling at several thousand miles per second - or near the speed of light, the Universe will appear much different from their point of view.


According to him, such planets would have to be young. If you began traveling at 99% the speed of light when the Universe was 1 billion years old, you would only have lived 1.8 billion years, not 12.8. Siegel is of the opinion that if the planets harbor intelligent life, capable of calculating the age of the Universe, ours and their results would differ substantially.

We might assume that the Universe would look the same for observers everywhere but for those who have spent a lot of time traveling at a speed approaching the speed of light, relative to the cosmic background radiation, the Universe will look quite different.

"The moment they slow their movement, relative to the cosmic background radiation, they will appear to be incredibly young in an incredibly old Universe, " explains Siegel.