Kirk wrote: TOS wrote: Kirk wrote:
i saw that story and was blown away
imagine being able to see individual solar systems, planets in that galaxy
that's a hell of a long time for evolution to tinker and tweak ...
I was more amused how it affects our understanding of the 'Dark Ages'. Supposedly there should not be any visible galaxies from that long ago. The hydrogen was not supposed to be ionized yet. Ionization of the diffuse hydrogen cloud spread around the universe being required for light to travel any significant distance. Since we can see a galaxy, that means the hydrogen was ionized in at least that one area. They'll have to modify the theory.
Though yeah, if life got started that long ago, they certainly should have been able to populate their galaxy by now. Not that we can see their galaxy as it is now to check.
Yeah, estimates are that this galaxy would be about 45 billion light years from Earth AT THIS MOMENT due to the expansion of the universe.
Understand that views like the one Kirk posted are very much a time machine. Life (well, as we know it) would have been extremely unlikely back then because the stars inside that galaxy hadn't had enough time to significantly process the initial composition from the Big Bang of about 90% hydrogen, 9% helium and most of the remaining 1% being lithium. While much of that early lithium would get "cooked" relatively quickly by fusion in those early stars into heavier elements, contrast those numbers with the Sun's current composition of about 75% hydrogen, 23% helium, 1% oxygen and the remaining 1% assorted other elements mostly from the light end of the periodic table.
Any planets that might exist within this galaxy that we could "see" (if such were possible) are likely to be Jupiter-like gas- and ice-giants BUT without the interesting colored bits due to the relative lack of oxygen (for ice), carbon (for methane and other hydrocarbons) and nitrogen (for ammonia). Perhaps visually planets there would be more like Saturn without its rings (no ice) and its occasional storms, or like Neptune without its blue color (which is due to methane in its atmosphere removing most of the reflected red light).