The Webb Telescope – High Hopes

The big news in astronomy right now is that this Christmas Eve they’re going to launch the Webb space telescope that will apparently be able to see galaxies whose light has been travelling ever since the theoretical birth of the universe 14 billion years ago (from a point of “singularity” in the Big Bang) to reach Earth today. I have a real hard time wrapping my head around this dramatic claim, not with galaxies being that far away, but with such a birth of the universe.

Sombrero Galaxy

Supposedly, the earth (or at least its environs in space) and all those galaxies 14 billion light years away (presumably in every direction) have been moving apart for 14 billion years. Doesn’t that mean they’d have to moving at least at twice the speed of light (a theoretical impossibility) for their 14-billion-year-old light to be reaching us today? But I don’t think astronomers have observed any closer galaxies moving away from us at even half the speed of light. And galaxies moving away to our right would be 28 billion light-years away from those moving away to our left. In terms of velocity and distance, none of this computes.

For it to make even a grain of sense at all, the environs of Earth would have to be the center of that primordial Big Bang, which I seriously doubt. They say our own Milky Way galaxy is also moving away from everything else—but in what direction? Or are galaxies simply drifting around? If, as has been observed, some galaxies collide, the heavenly bodies must be doing just that. Astronomers have found Doppler Effect blueshifts for approaching systems and variations for rotating and lateral movements. So where’s this proposed redshift outward expansion of the universe emanating from? And why at differing speeds?

There’s tremendous excitement about the Webb space telescope “seeing” the moments right after the purported Big Bang. But what if it sees galaxies 15 billion light-years away? Or 20? (Or some of them approaching us instead of departing?) I believe the Webb is going to conclusively disprove the Big Bang theory—and prove that the universe is literally infinite in space and time.

This may sound too mystical for science to deal with, but the simplest explanation (Occam’s razor) is that there are no spatial or temporal limits to creation. The universe is now, always was, and ever shall be!