Is there any theory that states that the universe is moving? By that, I mean the universe is moving relative to a point in a different space containing the universe. By analogy, the universe would then be like a moving train with the planets inside of it its passengers. Is there any theory or idea that expresses this possibility?

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    See brane cosmology, where our spacetime is embedded into a higher dimensional one.
    – Conifold
    Jul 20, 2021 at 23:25
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    The idea of the universe being "into" something is problematic, let alone it moving. If the universe is inside something, wouldn't that something be, in fact, the universe? If not, what is the criteria to fix a border between the universe and its surroundings?
    – armand
    Jul 21, 2021 at 2:18
  • Can see this. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gödel_metric#Properties
    – Ajax
    Jul 21, 2021 at 7:10
  • @armand: Lots of theories propose explanatory higher dimensions, which we think might be impissible to reach or causally disconnected from our future eg 'Our Universe Could Be An Expanding Bubble in an Extra Dimension' livescience.com/… Given cosmological event horizons, much of what came out of the Big Bang would no longer be in 'our universe' were we to use this type of definition. There are ways to parse it though, is all I'm saying. & universe now conventionally means cosmos we can detect history of.
    – CriglCragl
    Jul 22, 2021 at 14:54
  • Lots of speculations, yes.
    – armand
    Jul 23, 2021 at 3:48

1 Answer 1


Yes, brane collision in M-theory, where our universe is pictured as the collision 'line' between higher dimensional surfaces.

Compare to angular momentum, which in non-higher dimensional theories is widely considered to only exist relative to the restframe of the whole universe (ie, net zero over all). Edit: To clarify, in this picture the universe spinning would not create any change, in fact it would be meaningless, and similarly any translational momentum/velocity of the universe as a whole (in an open, 'saddle shaped' cosmological spacetime, this would seem possible).

Our star is slowly orbiting the Milky Way galaxy's centre, so our solarsystem's planetary orbits are spirals not circles, relative to the galaxy as a whole.

Relativity favours no specific frame of reference, it only provides a recipe to convert between different inertial (non-accelerating) rest frames.

You may find this discussion interesting: Can space be distorted without things that occupy the space being distorted?

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    Hmmm. If we define universe as everything, ie the multiverse, is that moving? After all your answer needs to redefine "the universe" as only a sub-universe. Not that you're wrong, only that this is subject to interpretation. Not a bad answer though.
    – user4894
    Jul 20, 2021 at 23:45
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    @user4894 for the universe to be moving, it has to be moving with respect to something. If the universe is everything, then it can't be moving, because there's nothing left for it to be moving with respect to. At best you could argue that it's edges are shrinking or growing.
    – TKoL
    Jul 23, 2021 at 16:09

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