Is it possible to see the same galaxy in different points in time?

So I’m no expert on astronomy by ANY means. But when I think about the correlation between space and time when looking at distant galaxies I asked myself if it was possible to see the same galaxy but at different times. Basically what I’m saying is that if you were to look at a galaxy 7 billion LY away you see it as it was 7 billion years ago. Now let’s say you look at a galaxy 12 billion LY away, could it be possible you are looking at the same galaxy but at different points in time? Could some older galaxies actually be the same galaxies as younger ones? I hope I worded that easy enough.

10 Answers

Relevance
  • 8 months ago

    Time and Distance

    The Time it takes for the light from a star at the opposite side of the Milky Way would be from a time when Dinosaurs existed

    Attachment image
  • 8 months ago

    No. If the 12 billion ly away Galaxy was the same Galaxy, it would have had to move 5 billion ly closer to us in 5 billion years. That is the speed of light, and nothing can move at that speed. If it was moving toward us at a high speed, we would see a huge blue Doppler shift. But we don't.

  • 8 months ago

    That would only be possible if the galaxy moved from one point to another faster than the speed of light. So... No - while we may see a galaxy *as it was* 7 billion years ago, we can't also see it as it was at 12 billion years ago also.

  • 8 months ago

    It's possible that a gravitational lens would cause light on one side to take a longer path than light on the other.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    If the universe has a geometry that is closed and curved, like a sphere, then you can theoretically see the same galaxy twice at different moments in time. The light will just loop around and hit you from the back at a different point in time. However, the amount of time would require considerably more than 7 and 12 billion ly. The curvature would likely be measured in the trillions of ly's.

  • Zardoz
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    If the legs of a gravitationally lensed galaxy are not of the same length we can see the same galaxy at two slightly different ages. Remember, "slightly different" might still be a few million years.

    But think of what one could do if it were only a few years different. We could see a supernova in one image and then watch the lead up to its onset in another image.

    Source(s): [n] = 10ⁿ
  • 8 months ago

    anything is possible

  • Tom S
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    No, but at different points in space, yes, due to gravitational lensing.

  • 8 months ago

    No. Those are 2 different galaxies. The galaxy that is 12 billion LY away is moving away from Earth faster than the galaxy that is 7 billion light years away. .  If you look at the Andromeda I (M31) , which is 3.5 billion LY away and we ate moving toward each other, 30 years apart from Earn, the Andromeda I galaxy will not have moved enough relative to other galaxies and stars in our own galaxy in 30 years to be easily detectable. It is still the same Andromeda galaxy observed 30 years apart in time from Earth. 

  • Mike
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    If you look at a galaxy 7 billion light years away, it is not the same galaxy as one that is 12 billion light years away.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.