Does the Universe Have Borders and What They May Look Like

Shape of the Universe.

Going out onto an even, clean plateau and trying to look beyond the horizon with binoculars or even a telescope, you will see the same thin line where the sky merges with the earth. This boundary is called the visible horizon and is determined not by the vigilance of the eye and not by the optical power of the device, but by the curvature of the earth's surface. 

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Our Universe also has a visible horizon 

but unlike the Earth’s horizon, it is associated not so much with the geometry of space as with radiation reaching us from the cosmic depths.

What we conventionally call the boundary of the Universe is just that part of space from where the light managed to reach us, it is also called the Hubble volume.

But what is beyond its borders and in general, does our Universe have a true border, and if so, what does it look like?

Many astrophysicists are inclined to believe that the Universe has no boundaries in the usual sense of the word, but at the same time it is finite, because otherwise the macrocosm would have to be in a stable state.

According to one model, it looks like a donut, in only three dimensions. If any microscopic creature begins to move along the two-dimensional surface of the donut, sooner or later it will return to the same point from where the movement began. The surface is closed to itself, the edge does not exist.

Doughnut theory of the universe.
Doughnut theory of the universe.

Another model is a little more difficult to understand. 

The Universe does not lock itself, instead, it continues indefinitely in all directions, forming the very fabric of space-time, and where there is no space, there is no movement, there are no coordinates. An attempt to reach a hypothetical boundary in such a model will be comparable to an attempt to reach the horizon on Earth, which although it seems to be the edge, but in reality it is not.

The boundaries of the Universe can be discussed for a long time, but since we do not have real data that can be studied, all discussions on this subject will remain speculative. The powerful telescopes at our disposal allow us to look not so much deeper into the Universe as into its past.

Due to the fact that the Universe is expanding, the most distant observable objects are now much farther than at the moment they emit light, which is captured by telescopes. It turns out that the Universe is much larger than the observed Hubble volume, and its physical boundary, if it exists, is outside the scope of the tools of cognition.

Data on the edge of the universe.
Visible edge of the Universe.

The homogeneity of outer space also introduces a certain difficulty in understanding the phenomenon. From what point of the Universe we would not look, everywhere and in all directions there will be one and the same thing - stars, galaxies and superclusters, moving away from the observer, to whom their own coordinates will be represented by the center of the universe.

So is the universe finite?

If the initial amount of energy was definite, then we can talk about a certain limitation of the universe, but it does not equal the limitation of space. Perhaps we could discover this mystery if we could find a way to move faster than the speed of light or circumvent the course of time. And so, who knows, there can be a boundary of the universe just where the physics ends and the overcoming of the boundary itself is possible only at transition to a higher level of consciousness.