“On a cosmic scale, our life is insignificant, yet this brief period when we appear in the world is the time in which all meaningful questions arise.” –Paul Ricoeur

What you see is what you get, except when it isn’t. We’re all familiar with Hubble’s law, or the notion that the Universe is expanding, and that the farther away you look, the faster you’ll see that distant galaxy moving away from you. This relation would be exact, if only the rest of the objects in the Universe didn’t exert gravitational forces on one another.

Image credit: Cosmic Flows Project/University of Hawaii, via http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/.

Image credit: Cosmic Flows Project/University of Hawaii, via http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/.

They do, however, leading to distortions that aren’t really there when we try and reconstruct maps of the Universe, known as “fingers” and “pancakes” of God. Thanks to some amazing physics, however, we can understand and remove these artifacts, allowing us to map the Universe on the largest scales to unprecedented accuracy.

Image credit: Tegmark, M., et al. 2004, ApJ, 606, 702.

Image credit: Tegmark, M., et al. 2004, ApJ, 606, 702.

Find out how on our Throwback Thursday (with some amazing videos), Past the Fingers of God.


  1. #1 mansour daftarian
    Tehran, Iran
    March 29, 2015

    This continuous repositions, rearrangements and the interrelations of all the objects, energies, gravitational forces as well as other unknowns, by an obviously programmed management, all within certain laws and rules implies an intelligent governance of the universe.
    Considering our notions of certain known velocity limitations, I incline to consider the possibility of the total reverse phenomena of expanding universe, in certain time in future and will highly appreciate to read your views on this issue.

  2. #2 Wow
    March 29, 2015

    |n obviously programmed management WOULD imply an intelligent governance of the universe.

    However, there no obvious programmed management, therefore there’s nothing to imply an intelligence in governance over the universe.

    This really is the problem with the religous mind: you make an assertion as of fact that is nothing more than self deception and opinion.

  3. #3 Lize Claassen 15112595
    April 1, 2015

    Hubble’s law states that the farther a galaxy is from an observer, the faster it would move.


    Access granted 01.04.2015

  4. #4 Mansour Daftarian
    Tehran, Iran
    April 2, 2015

    We know the expansion of the universe is experiencing continual velocity increases with further expansions. What would happen to the galaxies at the velocity limits? Do all the matters in the universe, eventually convert to waves and energy?

  5. #5 Dalton Moller
    South Africa
    April 2, 2015

    If all galaxies are moving faster and velocity limits do exist, converting matter into energy, does matter have a “border” in the universe of which all matter is simply converted into energy?

  6. #6 Wow
    April 2, 2015

    Your predicate, the opening “If” is followed by a conditioned statement that is false. Velocity limits don’t convert matter into energy.

    Galaxies aren’t moving with greater velocity, the space between us is getting bigger, and the more space, the more bigger it gets.

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