In September 2023, astrophysicists questioned the overall current view of the universe, in the form of the Standard Model of Cosmology, based on the latest James Webb Space Telescope studies. An alternative view to extend the Big Bang model, suggesting the universe had no beginning or singularity and the age of the universe is infinite, has been presented. If you look at the starry sky, you start to wonder how far the Universe extends, what is out there, where we have come from, how things come to exist. These philosophical questions are no longer just philosophy; there are in the realm of scientific endevour. This fuzzy red dot in the inset box at right is Maisie’s Galaxy as seen with JWST. If new measurements of the wavelengths of light it is emitting confirm its distance, astronomers may be seeing this galaxy as it was less than 400 million years after the Big Bang.

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At the time of Big Bang, there were equal amount of matter and anti-matter. There was, however, one out of ten billion excess matter over anti-matter, and this tiny excess survived The Great Annihilation. What caused such a small excess of matter over anti-matter so that we can exist? Experiments that study subtle difference between the behavior of matter and anti-matter, in particular in neutral K and B mesons, may also reveal the origin of this tiny excess matter. ‘study of’) is a branch of physics and metaphysics dealing with the nature of the universe. The term cosmology was first used in English in 1656 in Thomas Blount’s Glossographia, and in 1731 taken up in Latin by German philosopher Christian Wolff, in Cosmologia Generalis. Religious or mythological cosmology is a body of beliefs based on mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and traditions of creation myths and eschatology.

Cosmologists have predicted that stars didn’t form for another 180 million years. It’s a fitting description for the day when all heat and energy is evenly spread over incomprehensibly vast distances. At this point, the universe’s final temperature will hoverjustabove absolute zero. About 10 years ago I was on a panel at Stanford University where we were asked by someone in the audience how much we would bet on the multiverse concept.

Read more about Cosmology here.

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It also shares many ideas and concepts, such as those about Mount Meru. The Buddhist thought holds that the six cosmological realms are interconnected, and everyone cycles life after life, through these realms, because of a combination of ignorance, desires and purposeful karma, or ethical and unethical actions. Like others described here, Hipparchus was one of the many influential Greek astronomers that attempted to explain the cosmos through strict mathematical formulations and empirical observations. Further discoveries were made by Hipparchus that detailed the phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes.

But some of Webb’s observations challenge fundamental assumptions in our timeline of the universe. Six galaxies in particular are so bright that in order to fit into our current thinking about galaxy formation, every single atom in the area that they were forming would have had to become a star. If the sigma-eight tension ascends to the same level of statistical relevance as the Hubble tension, the pressure to reevaluate the standard model of cosmology could become too enormous to ignore. At that point, cosmologists may be forced to invoke new physics to bring the Planck estimates in line with the direct measurements of the parameters of the present-day universe.

A crucial strength of all cosmological arguments are the justifications its proponents provide for the premise that an infinite series is impossible. This is essential, for if there is an infinite regress going back in time forever then all forms of the cosmological argument fail. God could not be concluded to exist as the origin of what exists if there was no origin. These arguments attempt to show that the idea of an infinite regress leads to paradox or absurdity and therefore must be false. A better understanding of dark energy is likely to solve the problem of the ultimate fate of the universe. In the current cosmological epoch, the accelerated expansion due to dark energy is preventing structures larger than superclusters from forming. It is not known whether the acceleration will continue indefinitely, perhaps even increasing until a big rip, or whether it will eventually reverse, lead to a Big Freeze, or follow some other scenario.

JWST captures immense, rare explosion a million times brighter than our galaxy

Any significant change in its understanding raises deep philosophical questions. Some 13.8 billion years ago,our universe was born in the Big Bang, and it’s been expanding ever since.