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December 1, 2011

Faster-than-Light Galaxies and the Cosmic Magnifying Lens

My two latest posts at Degrees of Freedom describe how the universe acts as a giant magnifying lens, so that very distant galaxies appear larger in the sky than closer ones, in a reversal of the usual laws of perspective.

The Cosmic Magnifying Lens describes the phenomenon (check out the videos!), and

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cosmology’s Best-Kept Secret explains the physics behind it, which has to do with stuff receding from us faster than the speed of light. Because of the expansion of the universe, distant objects can indeed be superluminal.

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