If the universe is only 14 billion years old, how can it be 92 billion light years wide?

The size and age of the universe seem to not agree with one another. Astronomers have determined that the universe is nearly 14 billion years old and yet its diameter is 92 billion light years across. How can both of those numbers possibly be true? In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln tells you how.
For further information, see www.fnal.gov



  • Quick drunken theory without watching this.... it's ducks. Slightly more thought out theory, space expansion happens in parallel with time since space and time are connected.

    Oscar TheGrouchOscar TheGrouch27 นาทีที่ผ่านมา
  • 3 billion years from now - You know how in the far past they were talking about billions of galaxies? - Yeah! Crazy, cause there is only five galaxies in the universe - But what if there were more galaxies back then? - Look, back then they followed kings and not science. You remember our history class? The last great king of the world was called Burger. We have many relics from that time to support our thesis. If Burger said there were billions of galaxies, no one would question him

    Ronnie AspbäckRonnie Aspbäck6 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Bcos some parts are moving faster than light from the begining of time

    warz Universitywarz University8 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Now they're saying it's 12.5 billion years old. It was 18 billion years old in the 60s and 15 billion years old in the 90s. Stay tuned folks.

    Dr. George AntoniosDr. George Antonios11 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Why it can't be Your explanation is illogical Tnx

    clan lordclan lord13 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • thank you more please

    Doug JDoug J13 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Ahhh because one is a period of time and the other is a distance

    Michael SherwinMichael Sherwin16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • It's the accelerating expansion of the universe.

    cyst 24cyst 2417 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • My question where is this universe ?

    GyanPrakashGyanPrakash17 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • The only bigbang I believe is the time when I was created

    toybot batotoybot bato18 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • If it's 92 billion light years wide and only 14 billion light years old then by logic it cannot have started from a singularity . As 92 -14 > 0 The more I look at science the more confused I become .

    buzz magisterbuzz magister20 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • because space/time itself has expansion that is not limited to space/time constraints of relativity laws. You must be outside space/time to be superluminal, then even inertia has no bearing.

    Paublus Americanus AMERICANUSPaublus Americanus AMERICANUSวันที่ผ่านมา
  • Wrong no more then 7000 years old as per bible. Stop the lies.

    Dennis SavageDennis Savageวันที่ผ่านมา
  • Because it is accelerating duhh..

  • It takes you 8 minutes to make toast ?

    Dajuan A.P.Dajuan A.P.วันที่ผ่านมา

    jaden summerjaden summer2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • All "space" involved math is squishy... Groups of authorized "scientific" men adjusting for the b.s. spread by the previous groups of authorized "scientific" men. Public schools just push "scientific" bibles on children to take as gospel. All stars and galaxies move in unison across the sky yet all "scientific" models should show the sky far more theatrical. Stars can be seen through a translucent moon. How numb the public have become. Why is this in my feed?

    Auto Sear BearAuto Sear Bear2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 2+2= 😬😳😵

    Dean GearhartDean Gearhart2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • If our universe is 14 billion years old, then what was it at the beginning 14 billion years ago? What about inflation theory? Can the universe expand faster than the speed of light?

    Don BakerDon Baker2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Nothing travels faster than light, it is very, very convenient......only the universe doesn't care with what is conveniente to human science. Why does mainstream science have to be all dark, like dark energy, dark matter, black holes........there is something wrong with you people. What a waste of perfectly good brain power. Even Einstein himself doubted of human intelligence.

    lmwrtlmwrt2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • If light speed is the top end for light and light travels no faster even when seen from a light sped traveling object, the light we see now, whether seen from the surface of the Earth, or from a telescope point of view, should be approximately the same, except the diffraction of our atmosphere might render the view a bit fuzzy. Light is light and time is time. Wedded together to provide a web of sorts to hold our physical reality in place.

    charles robbinscharles robbins2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Or this is all just theory ...

    David TackettDavid Tackett2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Its not 92 billion light years wide rather it is the calculation of the observed universe but universe is beyond your and our imaginations... Its expanding with the speed of light we can't even try to imagine ...

    JATT syed ShahJATT syed Shah2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Hello Dr. Don. I have some questions: 1. The big bang singularity should have a minimum size of Planck's length, isn't it? Since a size smaller than this isn't possible or can we go smaller than this? 2. I am confused about this 13,7 billion light year age of the universe. Wasn't time supposed to tick slowly towards singularity of big bang and faster now? So would the age of the universe change? 3. I don't understand bug bang: was the singularity so unstable to have caused a bang. If so what about blackholes with singularities that remain so stable until eternity? Thanks for your responses and for the wonderful videos.

    Amit AgarwalAmit Agarwal3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • "Indeed, we lose about 20,000 stars per second." We also lose their gravitational attraction, as that, too, travels at the speed of light. So what effect does this loss of mutual gravitational attraction have on ever-increasing rate of universal expansion?

    Justin CaseJustin Case3 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Well, whatever effect it has, I'm pretty sure that it does not cause the universe to be larger in light years than its size in light years is supposed to be... 13.7 billion light years is top end. However, is that 13.7 billion light years actually 6.85 billion light years in all directions from where we are now, or are we some undisclosed area in between?

      charles robbinscharles robbins2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • How did the big bang occur in the first place? The gravity of that single point of the big bang would create a black hole right? All that mass was ejected out and therefore strong enough to overcome the infinite gravity point of the big bang?

    prjgrudgeprjgrudge3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • u gotta be kiddin me i was thinking about this last night. WTF

    Leandro E. LouderLeandro E. Louder3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Wrong ...thought travels faster than light my friend.

    Mr. WizardMr. Wizard3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • That’s a lie the sun is 93,000,000 miles away. It’s close and local. th-vision.net/detail/%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%B5%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%82%E0%B8%AD-9IXR1NntvnA.html

    Johnnie CharltonJohnnie Charlton3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I really hate it when they say "nothing can travel faster than the speed of light." They should say, "As of today, with our technology we don't know of anything that travels faster than light." It's been said that at the very beginning, the universe expanded faster than the speed of light.

    A PA P3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I got another question. Why is there a debate on the universe being finite or infinite? If the singularity was infinitely dense then the universe is infinitely large?

    Gareth WigglesworthGareth Wigglesworth3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Someday we'll see nothing cause nothing will see us

    herrbetto 55herrbetto 553 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I wonder what the cosmos feels during orgosmos?

    PianoGesangPianoGesang3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I always thought I was a smart mf but this lecture outsmarted me big time!

    PianoGesangPianoGesang3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • the universe in not 14 billion years old. its an assumption. there is no proof at all. I rather believe in buddism. it makes more sense.

    EclipseEclipse4 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Buddhism, by the way, is not a "thing to believe in." It's not deity-based. There is no magical thinking. Buddha was a man, not a god and said so himself. He claimed no extraordinary power beyond saying that he had become "awake." Buddhism (it shouldn't even be an "ism") says nothing about the age of the universe. It is simply a collection of practices passed down for a couple of thousand years designed to reduce suffering and induce in humans peace, kindness and a sense of being one with everything. So, ya, it makes sense, but it has nothing to do with astrophysics.

      James BadhamJames Badhamวันที่ผ่านมา
  • Is it possible to get someone to turn the good old faithful hubble telescope round point it at earth and show us real time footage of this planet and zoom all the way down to some hot chick laying on the beach.

    smithy georgesmithy george4 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Or you could just go to the beach.

      James BadhamJames Badhamวันที่ผ่านมา
  • This is the bizarre thinking that happens when you believe the Jesuits lie of the Spinning ball orbiting a huge sun 😻

    trouble with the curvetrouble with the curve4 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • No, it's not bizarre, it's rational and he explained it so simple a child can understand. If your personal incredulity gets in the way well, that's your problem. If you have trouble understanding a spherical planet orbiting a star why are you watching this? I can imagine it hurts your brain.

  • My problem is that for space to expand that quickly, it must exceed the speed of light, which immediately and permanently decouples it from all forces particularly gravity, and NO deceleration ever occurs. BUT because space/time is continuous, the particles and photons between can still interact within their nonrelativistic local neighborhood that permit those forces. That is a thread of continuous force running between the particles in between just is obliterated at the edge. And space has no edge.

    Donald PiniachDonald Piniach4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The light rays hitting the Earth were created the same day from which they derive...No?

    David MorrowDavid Morrow4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Every object is expanding so light travels at different time rate

    Zakaria AbdiwaliZakaria Abdiwali4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I like how you explain and very cute!

    Samuel ProcopioSamuel Procopio4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • ...burn toast...burn...

    John StenborgJohn Stenborg4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • One of THE WORST explanations- where’s Neil?! Fire this guy - he is a turn off!! Lame educator.

    SooperTooberSooperToober5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • That toast was black as fuck

    jukijunkjukijunk5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • If that's the case then it's because light builds up as solids and so is thinner than time allows pure darkness to travel the same distance.

    Gen VinsGen Vins5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • so what is the point in the 10 billion $ web telescope again? because they claim they Will see the 1st stars?

    peter clarkepeter clarke5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Scientists decided that to prove that reality was not, in fact, simply an illusion, they had to discover the “point particle”, and this would be accomplished with innovations like the Large Hadron Collider. By discovering the "Point Particle" scientist were able to prove that reality was, in fact, an illusion. Through the data, they received from The Hadron Collider (LHC) which was built to smash particles together then monitor the outcome. By doing this, scientists were able to make some incredible discoveries. According to research conducted through the particle accelerator, they could see that the physical world is not as physical as we think it to be. Reality is, in fact, an illusion. We are only surrounded by energy. Natalie Porter 16 April 2018 In Life, Metaphysics

    John BerbatisJohn Berbatis5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • So, what you’re saying is, our universe is in a black hole.

    Matt EMatt E5 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • I think so not only is it perceived as expanding it must be shrinking in all directions as well. “Looking at a drawing of a 2d black hole regarding the curvilinear of space time”It must be perceived we live on the sidewall as so to speak,(A black hole) flying infinitvely towards the singularity and being stretched “Expanding universe”, like we know we do live near the edge of are own galaxy”The Milky Way”, “I’m currently on a break though “discovering the properties of gravity propulsion” And how within a decade in technology will have the ability to curve space time for intergalactic travel of the known universe.

      Wayne BrindleyWayne Brindleyวันที่ผ่านมา
  • It's all infinite..time doesn't exist & no end will ever be found to space!

    Mark HollingsworthMark Hollingsworth5 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • All good things come to an end but all's well that ends well.

      PianoGesangPianoGesang3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • History shows the distance of the Sun is not set science or a verified fact, but a modern consensus. There has been a lot of THEORIES about that distance. Same goes to the model of the called “Universe”. Just another THEORY, not verified, not set knowledge. Same goes to the Big Bang... it’s a theory, an idea, it’s not a truth. Open tour mind....

    Movimiento de F.E.Movimiento de F.E.5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Great video!

    Bill 8210Bill 82105 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Does that mean that objects that are 15b light years away would be seen only after almost ifnfinite amount of time? If objects at 15.1b are after more then infinity? I mean never?

    Franco TheHatingFranco TheHating5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • RAPID expansion??

    Fine MusicFine Music6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Idgaf what anybody says. Scientist can't prove the universe is 93 billion lys

    Mark ColemanMark Coleman6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @James Badham prove it then bud.

      Mark ColemanMark Colemanวันที่ผ่านมา
    • @Mark Coleman No, it doesn't. It's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Your comment reflects nothing but total ignorance.

      James BadhamJames Badhamวันที่ผ่านมา
    • @mrkiky probably but depends what you beileve

      Mark ColemanMark Coleman3 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • But can they prove the Earth is not flat?

      mrkikymrkiky3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Universe is speeding up not slowing down dude..

    Chris getoutflgbrnrChris getoutflgbrnr6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Universe is endless

    Oslec LiedbagOslec Liedbag6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • One day nothing exploded and bingo there was a billion something's. How does something come from nothing and how does nothing explode? One night a invisible guy living somewhere up in the freezing vacuum of outer space just decided to make it all in 6 days.Where did he come from? There is however a 3rd option which makes much more logic to me. The Universe has always been and it will always be. It had no beginning and it will have no ending. This is called eternal. continued

    Thelma LynneThelma Lynne6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • When one looks out into the night sky those beautiful stars go forever and ever and ever with no ending. This is called infinite. The Universe is the Always, the Never-ending, the Forever, the Eternity and the Infinite. It needs neither a creator or a creation to exist. If it is not forever then what is? If it is not then we can eliminate the words Always, Forever, Never-ending, Eternal and Infinite from our vocabulary. Think about it.

      Thelma LynneThelma Lynne6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Damn this simulation sucks, the draw distance is too low

    EhEh6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • And apparently there's a memory leak somewhere which causes the draw distance to be lower and lower the longer the simulation is running.

      mrkikymrkiky3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • So basically Don is saying that the galaxies that will be detected by the James Webb Space Telescope will appear to be no further than 13.7 billion light years away but in reality their location now is some 42 billion light years away? That doesn't change the distance of the VISUAL UNIVERSE because light travels at a set speed. The light we see coming from an object is younger and younger the further we are able to see. Then theoretically the James Webb Space Telescope should be able to see further than the Hubble Space Telescope and should be able to see "The First Light", or the moment in the past when stars first formed and began to emit their light, a distance of about 42 billion light years away. The JWST is designed to see further than HST. Actually it should see galaxies further than 13.7 billion light years away from us. And if we are actually seeing the light from the past then galaxies should appear to be smaller and smaller the further away they are from us. What would happen though if the opposite was measured by the James Webb Space Telescope? What if the telescope discovers that the further away a galaxy is the larger and more massive it appears? Then what? Wouldn't that actually prove that light information happened in an instant, per quantum entanglement experiments? The way that I interpret Maxwell's equations is that when the observer or measuring device is contained inside the electromagnetic field (light) being measured, time is always zero. The wave is the field from which potential information is located. See quantum entanglement as a reference. Time has to be removed from the field equation else weird situations arise. Photons or light particles would appear to know what their twin or in this case it's distant electromagnetic source, was doing before the information was even established. Possibly why Einstein called quantum entanglement "Spooky action at a distance". Thus my prediction for the James Webb Space Telescope is it will detect larger and larger galaxies the further away they are from us. It will be empirical evidence that light information does not travel in sync with the photon or light particle. That the information is potential in space and time and does not yet exist until the distant object, say a galaxy is measured or observed. Remember, the light from the distant galaxy has already passed us so we and our solar system is inside it's electromagnetic field. Else we would not be able to measure that distant galaxy. Even if that galaxy was 100 billion light years away and we had a means to measure it we would see how it looked today, not how it looked in the past. Light information happens in a quantum instant. Believing you can use a telescope to look into the past is as silly as believing you can use a microscope to look into the future.

    BigNewGamesBigNewGames6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 3 things 1st 92 million light years is know more than a theory. And these idiotic people trying to figure basic physic with complicated ways. 2nd lets not mix up distance with time it will never work. 2 different entities altogether. Finally big bang theory is nothing more than just that. With absolutly no physical proof other than someone thought it up in their head. Perhaps I have a more simpler explanation Creation. Creation has plenty of physical evidence and has been proven over and over. Science up until the 1970's in this country supported Creation. The reason for the change had nothingb to do with revelation in some one's head and everything to do with denouncing God to society. With an even bigger picture painted behind it. You see the Bible and God points to individualism as where todays Atheist points collectivism. One the one hand everything in Ceeation is tried and true, you have rules in laws placed inside of you that you know it is wrong when you break them. Big bang theory puts that as a sham and further teaching you that you need someone to control you cause you are not smart enough to control yourself. They want to tell you do this don't do that, sag this don't say that. You can own this but not that. I am not a robot so the choice is simple for me. What is you choice???

    Joseph CocchiolaJoseph Cocchiola6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Did anyone else have trouble following this? Am I stupid?

    Norma DaileyNorma Dailey6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • If this didn't do it for you, check out PBS spacetimes video on the observable universe.

      Kellen RuppeeKellen Ruppee3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The question is do you have any proof to back up these extraordinary claims

    fawQmanfawQman6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Marcin Widz It’s a common misconception, but science does not provide proof.

      Zesta ZestaZesta Zesta3 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @fawQman Well, that makes it PROVED.

      Marcin WidzMarcin Widz5 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • That don’t make it true

      fawQmanfawQman6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Lol, it's mainstream science dude

      Marcin WidzMarcin Widz6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • It's imploding...

    Emerald absolutionEmerald absolution6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Because space and time are not real...they are expanding faster...thats existence is expanding faster than non existence can pressurize it like the Earth's atmosphere i still am working on the whatever...that space outside space exists of if not space and time ...i think..it's a trick of the eye type of thing...there is motion...of you walking towards the camera..but not the same physics as you walking towards a wall sized mirror...the universe i think is you...in front of a mirror... walking backwards towards the camera behind you...you would be approaching the camera..but you...can only see the mirror reflection moving away...

    Emerald absolutionEmerald absolution6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • magic mushroom?

    szolanekszolanek6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Nonsensical, theoretical, poppycock farming is what this is. Wakey, wakey.

    Joe SullivanJoe Sullivan6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • right on!

      kikovisionkikovision4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • "If the universe is only 14 billion years old, how can it be 92 billion light years wide?" Because light years have nothing to do with time, but distance. Problem solved :)

    Michal SvozilMichal Svozil7 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Light years have everything to do with time...thus the word "years" ...

      00 0000 006 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Did anyone notice they have Earth is rotating the wrong way?

    Charlie MoskowitzCharlie Moskowitz7 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • yeap, rookie mistake. The Sun would have risen in West.

      MyYTwatcherMyYTwatcher10 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • @Charlie Moskowitz yes ur right

      Franco TheHatingFranco TheHating4 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @Franco TheHating no it's not upside down.

      Charlie MoskowitzCharlie Moskowitz5 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Its upside down i guess

      Franco TheHatingFranco TheHating5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • NASA is a fake propaganda department

    Zulfiqar AliZulfiqar Ali7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I was thinking same today.

    Adeel HassanAdeel Hassan7 วันที่ผ่านมา
If the universe is only 14 billion years old, how can it be 92 billion light years wide?