The Friedman-Lemaître cosmological models are based on a very simple world picture, and it is unfortunate that the standard approach to the models brings to bear theoretical machinery much more complicated than this world picture. The purpose of this paper is to give an alternative and perhaps more illuminating approach to the model results from a discussion of how a local observer would describe the expansion of the universe. This treatment of the models is rigorous, according to the theory of general relativity, but hopefully simpler than the standard one, because it deals with quantities that are in principle directly observable.

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