What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe?
We can define the universe as everything there is, so in that case there is nothing outside of it. We also say that space and time both started at the Big Bang and therefore there was nothing before it.
Another definition for the universe is the observable universe - which is the part of it that we can technically see. We cannot know what is outside of that (since we can't observe it), but we think that physics works the same everywhere and so we think that it should be very similar to the observable universe. We actually think that the universe might be infinite in extent, and so goes on forever, even though we can only see a finite part of it.
We can speculate in meta-physics or in religion about what was before the Big Bang, but again, we cannot use science to tell anything about it as physics as we understand it breaks down at that point.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- What is at the end of the Universe?
- What does the term "visible universe" mean?
- What is the universe expanding into?
- Why is it difficult to understand the expansion of the universe?
- Where did the Universe come from?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 106125 times since November 1, 2002.
Last modified: November 1, 2002 12:14:07 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)