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Age of the Universe

Postby adeville32 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:29 pm

My son is wanting to do his science fair project on determining the age of the universe. I know there is no definitive answer and I know there are many theories out there but how can we conduct an experiment? Are there any that can be done by a 12 year old? Any ideas are welcome. Thanks in advance

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Re: Age of the Universe

Postby stephaniebie » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:34 pm

Hello adeville32,

This sounds like a fascinating idea for a science fair project. I was able to find this project on Science Buddies that uses previously collected data to estimate the age of the universe: ... e-universe

Another suggestion for your son's project could be that he can explore the different methods astronomers use to estimate the age of the universe. For example, in the website below, they explain that the age of certain planets can be determined by seasonal rings or layers. Perhaps your son could analyze tree rings and determine the age of a tree and relate it back to the cross-sections of planets by mentioning how astronomers use a similar method to find out the age of planets. ... d-universe

Hope this helps.
Good luck and feel free to write back with any more questions! :D
Stephanie Bie

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Re: Age of the Universe

Postby cumulonimbus » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:11 am

Hi adeville32,

In addition to doing the actual project suggested by stephaniebie, your son can also research cosmology and related topics if he has an interest. There are many books he can read that make cosmology and astrophysics pretty understandable, such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. He could also check out some videos on Youtube such as the Astronomy Crash Courses, which really break down astronomy and cosmology into everyday language. Here's the one on cosmology:
Good luck with the project and I hope this helps!


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