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List of cosmological horizons

A cosmological horizon is a measure of the distance from which one could possibly retrieve information. This observable constraint is due to various properties of general relativity, the expanding universe, and the physics of Big Bang cosmology. Cosmological horizons set the size and scale of the observable universe. This article explains a number of these horizons.

The particle horizon (also called the cosmological horizon, the comoving horizon, or the cosmic light horizon) is the maximum distance from which particles could have traveled to the observer in the age of the universe. It represents the boundary between the observable and the unobservable regions of the universe, so its distance at the present epoch defines the size of the observable universe. Due to the expansion of the universe it is not simply the age of the universe times the speed of light, as in the Hubble horizon, but rather the speed of light multiplied by the conformal time. The existence, properties, and significance of a cosmological horizon depend on the particular cosmological model.

In terms of comoving distance, the particle horizon is equal to the conformal time that has passed since the Big Bang, times the speed of light. In general, the conformal time at a certain time is given in terms of the scale factor by,



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