Biga Cubensis Creative Commons License 2014.11.06 0 0 2014

Can objects move away from us faster than the speed of light?


"Again, this is a question that depends on which of the many distance definitions one uses. However, if we assume that the distance of an object at time t is the distance from our position at time t to the object's position at time t measured by a set of observers moving with the expansion of the Universe, and all making their observations when they see the Universe as having age t, then the velocity (change in D per change in t) can definitely be larger than the speed of light. This is not a contradiction of special relativity because this distance is not the same as the spatial distance used in SR, and the age of the Universe is not the same as the time used in SR. In the special case of the empty Universe, where one can show the model in both special relativistic and cosmological coordinates, the velocity defined by change in cosmological distance per unit cosmic time is given byv = c ln(1+z), where z is the redshift, which clearly goes to infinity as the redshift goes to infinity, and is larger than c for z > 1.718. For the critical density Universe, this velocity is given by v = 2c[1-(1+z)-0.5which is larger than c for z > 3 .

For the concordance model based on CMB data and the acceleration of the expansion measured using supernovae, a flat Universe with OmegaM = 0.27, the velocity is greater than c for z > 1.407."