“So what is the universe, which itself already contains all the material reality there is, expanding into?”
The scientist merely shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “Who knows?”
Like me, I suspect, a lot of people lately have become amateur cosmologists thanks to a marvelous product of scientific and technological genius called the James Webb Telescope. Launched on Christmas, the telescope last month slipped successfully into orbit around the sun, nearly 900,000 miles from earth.
If all goes well (and its creators and managers keep reminding us that a lot could still go wrong), the Webb Telescope next summer will start beaming back to earth images from deep space of events occurring more than 13 billion years ago – things relatively close to when the universe began to be formed.
And then? For now, the answer is best put in the form of a question, as one scientist did: “What are we going to discover that we had no idea was there?”