Does the fact that the edge of our observable universe contains information from the beginning of the universe give us an ability to determine its age? The edge of our observable universe surely has to contain information from the beginning of the universe.

My reasoning is due to fact that light has been to said to travel at a constant speed; thus information from the Big Bang has been travelling in every direction in the universe from its creation. It was created everywhere and not from a singular point. Since information from the early universe has been heading in our direction from everywhere we must be able to see and determine what was there and how long ago it happened.

What have we learned from this information over the past 70-ish years?

I am trying to edit this question to reopen it.As I was posting the question I realised the consequence of of the statement of an observable universe so the tile of the question was probably incorrect the subsequent re-editing did reduce my content to a more coherent question however. The universe is proposed to have started from the big bang a singularity that happened everywhere and not what popular culture would lead us to believe from a point singularity. So what i am now asking in light of the question I posed originaly can the redshift of the light in the cosmic background microwave radiation,(since its emission was close to the bigbang) enable us to calculate a close approximation to the age of the universe as initialy at the big bang was no expansion at T=0 bearing in mind the recombination of particles and the time taken for matter being able to emit information that can be measured on earth.

And lastley arn't we limited in our approximation as to the expansion of the universe and the objects we can see and those further from us because we do not have an object to calibrate such observations in the local universe?


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    $\begingroup$ Yes. Cosmic Background Radiation has helped us determine how long ago the universe became cool enough to let light 'flow' freely. (because of the recombination of charged particles into neutral ones.) $\endgroup$ – Hritik Narayan Apr 29 '15 at 13:49

Let me clear up a few misconceptions. The edge of our observable universe would contain information from the beginning of the universe, since it is a particle horizon. However, the edge of the observable universe is not currently visible to us. What we can currently see only goes as far back as the recombination era, when electrons first joined with nuclei to make neutral atoms. The radiation from this time makes up the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, which is the background of space that is virtually the same in every direction. This corresponds to when the universe was about 380 000 years old.

Nevertheless, we can and do use this to help determine the age of the universe. I'll spare you the boring details, but looking at this background radiation helps us to determine how much radiation, matter, and dark energy is in the universe. This goes a long way to helping us determine the age of the universe.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer and as such i will look into posted questions and there answers on the cosmic background radiation, which as you describe is in virtually the same in every direction. This is what i had imagined. The information would be coming at us from every direction from a distance that is dependent upon the age of the universe. Is this the particle horizon you describe.I imagine this particle horizon would be moving further from us day by day revealing more of the universe to us, $\endgroup$ – 8Mad0Manc8 May 1 '15 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ @8Mad0Manc8State Actually, because of the way the expansion of space is accelerating, we are currently in the situation where less and less of the universe is visible to us. The size of the observable universe, as you would measure with a ruler, is increasing. However, the objects on the outer edges now will move outside our observable universe, so we will, in fact have more space but less things to observe. $\endgroup$ – Jim May 6 '15 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ Yes i had not factored in an expanding universe yes the light from the edge of the observable universe would take more time to reach us because of the expansion only events after the big bang that are closer to us would be able to be observed factoring in the expansion and the limit of the speed of light $\endgroup$ – 8Mad0Manc8 Jun 17 '15 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ And i will add if the expansion of the universe was greater than the speed of light at this distance then we would be unable to observe its expansion and our subsequent observations would be delimitted. Hopefully our universe expands at a limit that is below this and our observations can be beyond it. I hope my exesperations are within my exasperations and iam not talking a load of bull. I will not let my mental maschinations account for nothing further LOL. $\endgroup$ – 8Mad0Manc8 Sep 24 '16 at 21:05

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