Skip to comments.Scientists to Discuss Universe's Strange Dense Spot Wednesday -
Posted on 08/02/2013 1:05:34 AM PDT by lbryce
Original title:Scientists to Discuss Universe's Strange Dense Spot Wednesday: Watch Live
You can't watch it live anymore but you can watch the video of the event.
This map shows the oldest light in our universe, as detected with the greatest precision yet by the Planck mission. The ancient light, called the cosmic microwave background, was imprinted on the sky when the universe was 370,000 years old. It shows tiny temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing the seeds of all future structure: the stars and galaxies of today.
An odd dense spot in the universe populated by a surprising amount of matter has been puzzling scientists since it was revealed in March in an all-sky map made by the European Planck satellite. This feature and other mysteries in the observations may point the way toward new theories of physics, say scientists who met recently to discuss the implications of the findings.
Three Planck team members will answer public questions about the Planck data during a Google+ Hangout on Wednesday (July 31) at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), sponsored by the Kavli Foundation. You can watch the Hangout live here on SPACE.com.
Planck measures ancient light pervading the universe called the cosmic microwave background (CMB), which dates from just a few hundred thousand years old. This light records a record of what the universe like shortly after its birth in the Big Bang, and thus offers a test of theories of how the cosmos came to be. [Gallery: Planck Spacecraft Sees Big Bang Relics]
Ultimately, the spread of matter throughout space is thought to be due to slight variations in the energy density of the young universe that are evident as temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background light. Mostly, these density variations are evenly spread throughout the sky, but one anomalous spot is particularly dense, which shows up in the data as a particularly cold area.
"[T]his is very strange," George Efstathiou, a professor of astrophysics at the U.K.'s University of Cambridge and director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at Cambridge, said in a statement. "And I think that if there really is anything to this, you have to question how that fits in with inflation Its really puzzling."
Inflation is a leading theory suggesting that within the first fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the universe grew exponentially in size.
"[T]he theory of inflation predicts that todays universe should appear uniform at the largest scales in all directions," Efstathiou said. "That uniformity should also characterize the distribution of fluctuations at the largest scales within the CMB. But these anomalies, which Planck confirmed, such as the cold spot, suggest that this isnt the case."
By investigating the cold spot and other mysteries in the CMB, physicists hope to discriminate between different versions of inflation theory, and perhaps open the door to further theories.
"Perhaps we may still eliminate these anomalies with more precise analysis; on the other hand, they may open the door to something much more grand a reinvestigation of how the whole structure of the universe should be," Krzysztof Gorski, a Planck Collaboration scientist and senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement.
You can also watch Wednesday's Planck webcast directly at the Kavli website here.
Follow Clara Moskowitz on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on SPACE.com. - See more at: http://www.space.com/22153-planck-universe-strange-spot-webcast.html#sthash.MCTQnXOc.dpuf
Strange dense spot?
Nothing new: it’s called Washington D.C.
You might like to add this to any one of your space lists.
They probably miscalculated and had their equipment pointing to New Jersey and the bent over Governor..who was probably kissing Obama in the same spot.
The universe’s belly button, perhaps? :-)
Beat me to it by 40 plus minutes.
Although the Big Bang theory has been around a long time, it is still in its infant stages it seems. The red shift of distant galaxies and the CMB represent the most obvious clues pointing to a text book model: a primordial fireball exhibiting homogeneous and isotropic perfection right down to the quantum level, which at some point was the size of present day super galactic clusters. But like always, nothing in real life is ever a text book example. Science itself has no clue of the ultimate origin of the universe, nor will it ever. For every causal event, there are a thousand more that require a finer microscope to determine their cause.
Is that Washington, DC?
If this is what they discuss in the bar during happy hour, no wonder they can't pick up chicks.....
“1267 Days Left Until Obama Gets The Heave “Ho”: Inauguration Day 2017”
I would not take bets that he leaves.
“Scientists to Discuss Universe’s Strange Dense Spot Wednesday”_____Maybe it is the missing birth certificate.
“Scientists to Discuss Universe’s Strange Dense Spot...”
Who knew the space between Odumbo’s ears was of such interest to science. SMH.
aside from all the jokes here, what would be some alternative theories that this “anomaly” suggests?
Obviously that the Big Bang is not as homogenous as theorized. The “dark flow” discovered in recent years, for example. Overall measurement of the red shift shows a large portion of the universe is moving or being pulled toward another part of it, possibly a gravitational source. In other words, there is growing evidence for unexpected amounts of “clumpiness” in the universe that the standard model doesn’t predict. Our own galaxy is also being pulled at 600 kps toward what’s called the “Great Attractor” in approximately the same direction.
There are no real alternative theories of yet since for now they are just speculation with no supporting evidence. It could be that multiple Big Bangs are occurring, not just one. The “brane concept” is an interesting off-shoot of M-theory, but that’s still just speculation. In that, the universe is a collision beteween two multi-dimensional “branes” (short for “membranes”) in a greater 12-dimensional universe. That theory explains not only dark matter, but unexpected clumpiness as a result of gravitational forces from one universe affecting another. But who can say? Our ability to even test these ideas is maybe thousands of years behind the technology to do so.
No not the Gov! He’s the Great Attractor toward which all matter in the Universe is moving.
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Dr. Cramer took the data file from the Planck satellite and made a sound file, creating the “Sound of the Big Bang”.
Very interesting read.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the gravitational anomaly in the local universe. For the generalized mass concentration concept, see galaxy filament.
Panoramic view of the entire near-infrared sky location of the Great Attractor is shown following the long blue arrow at bottom-right.
The Great Attractor is a gravity anomaly in intergalactic space within the range of the Centaurus Supercluster that reveals the existence of a localized concentration of mass equivalent to tens of thousands of galaxies, each of which is the size of the Milky Way; this mass is observable by its effect on the motion of galaxies and their associated clusters over a region hundreds of millions of light years across.
These galaxies are all redshifted, in accordance with the Hubble Flow, indicating that they are receding relative to us and to each other, but the variations in their redshift are sufficient to reveal the existence of the anomaly. The variations in their redshifts are known as peculiar velocities, and cover a range from about +700 km/s to −700 km/s, depending on the angular deviation from the direction to the Great Attractor.
Dark spot on the sun and a new Big Foot video in the same week. Coincidence? I think NOT.
Thanks for posting that info on the Great Attractor. That was new news to me and so it was very interesting. I have never been a big fan of inflation theory so anything that brings that particular idea into question is always of interest.
One thing it suggests is that 'inflation' was something cobbled together to try to shoehorn current theories into something somewhat closer to reality.
Inflation has always seemed like so much hand-waving to me.
Actually it was both :)
If anyone here is interested in a good read explaining the physics and offering an explaination for the Great Attractor, Stephen Baxtor has a series of novels about this phenomenon: “Ring”, “Flux”, and “Vacuum Diagrams”. or “ Xeelee: An Omnibus: Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, Ring by Stephen Baxter (2010)” “Vacuum Diagrams” offers more detail.
I was thinking maybe Thursday would be better...
Maybe the vacuum of space , and the density of that vacuum, is not constant.