The "Dark Flow" & the Existence of Other Universes --New Claims of Hard Evidence
- Possible evidence of alternate universes.
Sent: 6/1/2013 6:04:58 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: The Daily Galaxy: News from Planet Earth & Beyond
_The Daily Galaxy: News from Planet Earth & Beyond_
_The "Dark Flow" & the Existence of Other Universes --New Claims of Hard
Evidence (Weekend Feature)_
Posted: 01 Jun 2013 10:33 AM PDT
Is our universe merely one of billions? Evidence of the existence of
'multiverse' revealed for the first time by a cosmic map of background radiation
data gathered by _Planck telescope_
(http://www.rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=PLANCK) . This past week, the first 'hard evidence' that other
universes exist has been claimed to have been found by cosmologists studying the
Planck data. They have concluded that it shows anomalies that can only have
been caused by the gravitational pull of other universes."Such ideas may
sound wacky now, just like the _Big Bang theory_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang) did three generations ago," says George Efstathiou, professor of
astrophysics at Cambridge University."But then we got evidence and now it
has changed the whole way we think about the universe."
Scientists had predicted that it should be evenly distributed, but the map
shows a stronger concentration in the south half of the sky and a 'cold
spot' that cannot be explained by current understanding of physics. _Laura
Mersini-Houghton_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Mersini-Houghton) ,
theoretical physicist at the _University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill_
,-79.05 (University%20of%20North%20Carolina%20at%20Chapel%20Hill)&t=h) ,
and Richard Holman, professor at Carnegie Mellon University, predicted that
anomalies in radiation existed and were caused by the pull from other
universes in 2005. Mersini-Houghton will be in Britain soon promoting this theory
and, we expect, the hard evidence at the Hay Festival on May 31 and at
Oxford on June 11.
Dr Mersini-Houghton believes her hypothesis has been proven from the
Planck data that data has been used to create a map of light from when the
universe was just 380,000 years old. "These anomalies were caused by other
universes pulling on our universe as it formed during the Big Bang," she says.
"They are the first hard evidence for the existence of other universes that
we have seen."
Columbia University mathematician Peter Woit writes in his blog, "Not Even
Wrong," that in recent years there have been many claims made for “evidence
” of a multiverse, supposedly found in the _CMB_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background_radiation) data. "Such claims often came
with the remark that the Planck CMB data would convincingly decide the
matter. When the Planck data was released two months ago, I looked through the
press coverage and through the Planck papers for any sign of news about what
the new data said about these multiverse evidence claims. There was very
little there; possibly the Planck scientists found these claims to be so
outlandish that it wasn’t worth the time to look into what the new data had to
say about them.
"One exception," Woit adds, "was this paper, where Planck looked for
evidence of 'dark flow'. They found nothing, and a New Scientist article
summarized the situation: 'The Planck team’s paper appears to rule out the claims
of Kashlinsky and collaborators,' says David Spergel of Princeton
University, who was not involved in the work. If there is no dark flow, there is no
need for exotic explanations for it, such as other universes, says Planck
team member Elena Pierpaoli at the University of Southern California, Los
Angeles. “You don’t have to think of alternatives.'"
"_Dark Flow_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_flow) " sounds like a new
SciFi Channel series. It's not! The dark flow is controversial because the
distribution of matter in the observed universe cannot account for it. Its
existence suggests that some structure beyond the visible universe --
outside our "horizon" -- is pulling on matter in our vicinity.
Back in the Middle Ages, maps showed terrifying images of sea dragons at
the boundaries of the known world. Today, scientists have observed strange
new motion at the very limits of the known universe - kind of where you'd
expect to find new things, but they still didn't expect this. A huge swath of
galactic clusters seem to be heading to a cosmic hotspot and nobody knows
Cosmologists regard the microwave background -- a flash of light emitted
380,000 years after the universe formed -- as the ultimate cosmic reference
frame. Relative to it, all large-scale motion should show no preferred
direction. A 2010 study tracked the mysterious cosmic 'dark flow' to twice the
distance originally reported. The study was led by _Alexander Kashlinsky_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Kashlinsky) at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
"This is not something we set out to find, but we cannot make it go away,"
Kashlinsky said. "Now we see that it persists to much greater distances -
as far as 2.5 billion light-years away," he added.
Dark flow describes a possible non-random component of the peculiar
velocity of galaxy clusters. The actual measured velocity is the sum of the
velocity predicted by Hubble's Law plus a small and unexplained (or dark)
velocity flowing in a common direction. According to standard cosmological
models, the motion of galaxy clusters with respect to the cosmic microwave
background should be randomly distributed in all directions. However, analyzing
the three-year WMAP data using the kinematic _Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunyaev%e2%80%93Zel'dovich_effect) , the authors of the
study found evidence of a "surprisingly coherent" 600–1000 km/s flow of
clusters toward a 20-degree patch of sky between the constellations of
Centaurus and Vela.
The clusters appear to be moving along a line extending from our solar
system toward Centaurus/Hydra, but the direction of this motion is less
certain. Evidence indicates that the clusters are headed outward along this path,
away from Earth, but the team cannot yet rule out the opposite flow.
"We detect motion along this axis, but right now our data cannot state as
strongly as we'd like whether the clusters are coming or going," Kashlinsky
The unexplained motion has hundreds of millions of stars dashing towards a
certain part of the sky at over eight hundred kilometers per second. Not
much speed in cosmic terms, but the preferred direction certainly is: most
cosmological models have things moving in all directions equally at the
extreme edges of the universe. Something that could make things aim for a
specific spot on such a massive scale hasn't been imagined before. The
scientists are keeping to the proven astrophysical strategy of calling anything they
don't understand "dark", terming the odd motion a "dark flow".
A black hole can't explain the observations - objects would accelerate
into the hole, while the NASA scientists see constant motion over a vast
expanse of a billion light-years. You have no idea how big that is. This is
giant on a scale where it's not just that we can't see what's doing it; it's
that the entire makeup of the universe as we understand it can't be right if
this is happening.
The hot X-ray-emitting gas within a galaxy cluster scatters photons from
the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Because galaxy clusters don't
precisely follow the expansion of space, the wavelengths of scattered photons
change in a way that reflects each cluster's individual motion.
This results in a minute shift of the microwave background's temperature
in the cluster's direction. The change, which astronomers call the kinematic
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (KSZ) effect, is so small that it has never been
observed in a single galaxy cluster.
But in 2000, Kashlinsky, working with Fernando Atrio-Barandela at the
University of Salamanca, Spain, demonstrated that it was possible to tease the
subtle signal out of the measurement noise by studying large numbers of
In 2008, armed with a catalog of 700 clusters assembled by Harald Ebeling
at the University of Hawaii and Dale Kocevski, now at the University of
California, Santa Cruz, the researchers applied the technique to the
three-year WMAP data release. That's when the mystery motion first came to light.
The new study builds on the previous one by using the five-year results
from WMAP and by doubling the number of galaxy clusters.
"It takes, on average, about an hour of telescope time to measure the
distance to each cluster we work with, not to mention the years required to
find these systems in the first place," Ebeling said. "This is a project
requiring considerable followthrough."
According to Atrio-Barandela, who has focused on understanding the
possible errors in the team's analysis, the new study provides much stronger
evidence that the dark flow is real. For example, the brightest clusters at
X-ray wavelengths hold the greatest amount of hot gas to distort CMB photons.
"When processed, these same clusters also display the strongest KSZ
signature -- unlikely if the dark flow were merely a statistical fluke," he said.
In addition, the team, which now also includes Alastair Edge at the
University of Durham, England, sorted the cluster catalog into four "slices"
representing different distance ranges. They then examined the preferred flow
direction for the clusters within each slice. While the size and exact
position of this direction display some variation, the overall trends among the
slices exhibit remarkable agreement.
The researchers are currently working to expand their cluster catalog in
order to track the dark flow to about twice the current distance. Improved
modeling of hot gas within the galaxy clusters will help refine the speed,
axis, and direction of motion.
Future plans call for testing the findings against newer data released
from the WMAP project and the European Space Agency's Planck mission, which is
also currently mapping the microwave background.
Which is fantastic! Such discoveries force a whole new set of ideas onto
the table which, even if they turn out to be wrong, are the greatest ways to
advance science and our understanding of everything. One explanation
that's already been offered is that our universe underwent a period of
hyper-inflation early in its existence, and everything we think of as the vast and
infinite universe is actually a small corner under the sofa of the real
expanse of reality. Which would be an amazing, if humbling, discovery.
The Daily Galaxy via Peter Woit, New Scientist, and JPL. Related articles
) _Dark Matter --"The Tip of an Iceberg of Another World Unrelated to
Ours" --New Insights_
(http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/04/giant-elliptical-galaxies-of-the-universe-reveal-halos-of-dark-matter.html) _Giant Elliptical Galaxies
of the Early Universe --Reveal Massive Halos of Dark Matter_
(http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/05/voice-of-the-big-bang-sound-of-the-cosmic-microwave-background-760000-years-after-audio.html) _"Voice of
the Big Bang" --Sounds of the Universe 760,000 Years After (AUDIO)_
Map of Cosmos Hints at Universe's Birth_
(http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/05/update-the-higgs-boson-and-a-new-physics-could-make-the-speed-of-light-possible.html) _The Higgs Boson
and a 'New Physics' --"Could Make the Speed of Light Possible"_
_Was Existence of Our Solar System Triggered by a Supernova? (Weekend
Posted: 01 Jun 2013 08:56 AM PDT
The image above shows the _Cygnus Loop_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_Loop) supernova shockwave, created some 15,000 years ago a star in the
_constellation of Cygnus_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_(constellation)) exploded. The Cygnus Loop is an example of the shock wave from a
supernova explosion that may have triggered the formation of our Solar System.
According to this theory, the shock wave also injected material from the
exploding star into a cloud of dust and gas, and the newly polluted cloud
collapsed to form the Sun and its surrounding planets. The Cygnus Loop image
shows a portion of a shockwave from this supernova explosion still expanding
past nearby stars. The collision of this gaseous shockwave with a
stationary gas cloud has heated the gas causing it to glow in a spectacular array of
colors. This picture was taken with the _Wide Field and Planetary Camera
2_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide_Field_and_Planetary_Camera_2) on
board the Hubble Space Telescope.Traces of the pollution from the supernova
that truggered the birth of our Solar System can be found in meteorites in the
form of short-lived radioactive isotopes, or SLRIs. SLRIs—versions of
elements with the same number of protons, but a different number of neutrons—
found in primitive meteorites decay on time scales of millions of years and
turn into different, so-called daughter, elements. A million years may sound
like a long time, but it is actually considered short when compared to
other radioactive isotopes studied by geochemists and cosmochemists, which
have half-lives measured in billions of years.
The Carnegie Institute's _Alan Boss_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Boss) and Sandra Keiser provided the first fully three-dimensional (3-D)
models for how this process could have happened. When scientists find the
daughter elements distributed in telltale patterns in primitive meteorites, this
means that the parent SLRIs had to be created just before the meteorites
themselves were formed. This presents a timing problem, as the SLRIs must be
formed in a supernova, injected into the presolar cloud, and trapped
inside the meteoritic precursors, all in less than a million years.
The telltale patterns prove that the relevant daughter elements were not
the ones that were injected. This is because the abundances of these
daughters in different mineral phases in the meteorite are correlated with the
abundances of a stable isotope of the parent element. Different elements have
different chemical behaviors during the formation of these first solids,
and the fact that the daughter elements correlate with the parent elements
means that those daughters had to be derived from the decay of unstable
parent elements after those solids were crystallized.
One of these SLRIs, iron-60, is only created in significant amounts by
nuclear reactions in massive stars. The iron-60 must have come from a
supernova, or from a giant star called an _AGB star_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asymptotic_giant_branch) . Boss and Keiser's previous modeling showed that
it was likely that a supernova triggered our Solar System's formation, as
AGB star shocks are too thick to inject the iron-60 into the cloud. Supernova
shocks are hundreds of times thinner, leading to more efficient injection.
Boss and Keiser have extended those models to 3-D, so they can see the
shock wave striking the gas cloud, compressing it and forming a parabolic
shock front that envelopes the cloud, creating finger-like indentations in the
cloud's surface. The fingers inject the _SLRI_
(Samuel%20Lunenfeld%20Research%20Institute)&t=h) pollution from the supernova. Less than
0.1 million years later, the cloud collapses and forms the core of the
protostar that became the Sun and its surrounding planets. The 3-D models show
that only one or two fingers are likely to have caused the SLRI pollution
found in primitive meteorites.
"The evidence leads us to believe that a supernova was indeed the
culprit," said Boss. However, more detective work needs to be done: Boss and Keiser
still need to find the combination of cloud and shock wave parameters that
will line up perfectly with observations of exploding supernovae.
The Daily Galaxy via Carnegie Institute
Image Credit: NASA, HST, WFPC2, Jeff Hester Related articles
(http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/04/deep-sea-fossils-yield-traces-of-a-2-million-year-old-supernova--3.html) _Deep-Sea Fossils Yield Traces
of a 2 million-year-old Supernova_
(http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/05/image-of-the-day-supernova-red-giant-emerging.html) _Image of the Day: Supernova! Red Giant Emerging_
(http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2013/04/24/supernova-dust-fell-to-earth-in-antarctic-meteorites/) _Supernova Dust Fell to Earth in
(http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/05/first-biological-evidence-of-a-supernova-explosion-found-on-earth.html) _First Biological Evidence of a
Supernova Explosion Found on Earth_
(http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/04/thirty-supernovas-per-second-in-the-universe-is-red-giant-betelgeuse-next.html) _Thirty Supernovas Per
Second in the Universe --Is Red Giant Betelgeuse Next?_
Meteorite Grains May be from Supernova That Sparked Solar System_
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