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Gargantuan Hole Found in the Universe


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#1    Twin Peaks

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 04:09 AM

Space.com


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The universe has a huge hole in it that dwarfs anything else of its kind. The discovery caught astronomers by surprise.

The hole is nearly a billion light-years across. It is not a black hole, which is a small sphere of densely packed matter. Rather, this one is mostly devoid of stars, gas and other normal matter, and it's also strangely empty of the mysterious "Dark Matter that permeates the cosmos. Other space voids have been found before, but nothing on this scale.



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#2    leadbelly

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:03 AM

Hmm... a sizable vacuum in space and time. Standard inflation cosmology predicts an isotropic and homogenous field in the cosmos, or more precisely, the celestial sphere. The discovery of a cosmic microwave background and its small anisotropies, nonetheless, fits in with the Standard Model.

The question is what model of the Universe explains this? A brane world scenario might, or some other. Perhaps the Standard model will explain it, someway.

The Spot is in a region of sky in the constellation Eridanus.    

Galactic Co-ordinates (b = −57, l = 209).

That puts it-

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At 94 GHz (microwave) it looks like this-

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There is some noise in the mid-plane of the Milky Way, but some signal there is also presenting voids (cold CMB) in lesser comparitive amounts.

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Comparison of mid-plane (noisy) region, and the Spot.
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Edited by leadbelly, 26 August 2007 - 04:36 PM.


#3    LIPI Rob

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 02:45 PM

I read about this on another forum which turned it into an argument about the existence of God and religion. It's intriguing; just empty space. It makes me think of the Star Trek episode where the Enterprise enters a hole into nothingness which caused weird things to happen.

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#4    Legatus Legionis

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 02:48 PM

i just want to know how could a hole appear in space. and that's a pretty big hole..

-=-=- EDIT =-=-=-

SAME TOPIC
found this topic a second after replying to this thread.. this topic is more defined and discussed.

[ mods, admins ] could you merge or close this thread?

Edited by LiGhTyAgAmi, 26 August 2007 - 02:53 PM.


#5    leadbelly

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 03:02 AM

I don't know about it being the 'signature of God', or some unexplainable handiwork. Or, a realm of strange effects. What might be different? Perhaps there is more 'negative vacuum energy', i.e. dark energy. An expansive quality to a volume of space, that counteracts gravity.

It sounds like there is very little detectable matter, even intergalactic gas, much less stars or galaxies. An underdensity of who knows what degree. Perhaps there is a shape to it, generally speaking, that is like a bubble, more or less. That would not be something you would expect whose dimension is on the order of 8 degrees across the celestial sphere.

The map I showed is only one of five frequencies recorded from satellite, of the cosmic microwave background. They were 23 GHz, 33 GHz, 43 GHz, 61 GHz, and 94 GHz. The Spot looks like a swirl in that 94 GHz map. But, it may have a bubble-type shape.

Next year, the European Space Agency will launch a previously planned satellite that will be 10 times more sensitive than the current satellite data available- Planck. It will resolve the area more clearly in background microwave frequencies (CMB)- the coldest fossil energy from the Big Bang era that pervades the Universe.

There are fluctuations in the concentration of the CMB, as predicted in the Standard Model. The pre-Big Bang inflation event stretched the primordial matter and energy field outward. During the first 285,000 years, there were accoustic reverberations in the contained field. Those created perturbations, and as the field cooled and light escaped into the Universe at large, there were concentrations of photons related to those fluctuations. This gave rise to the pattern seen in the microwave maps.

The question is, given the constrained nature of the calculations used in astrophysics, is the Spot an anomaly? They say it is, and is too large of an underdensity to fit in with what is expected. There are several ways to explain it, most of which can be tested. For example,  intervening interference between the satellite and the distant area. Or, something scattering the microwaves or changing their frequencies before they reach the limited detector- like high-energy particles or electrons that collide with the CMB.

One thing to consider is what's called the non-integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect. That is related to the release of gamma ray photons from the surface of the field of the primordial Universe. Those photons were gravitationally redshifted (or blueshifted) depending on conditions at their initial location, as of the surface of last scattering (from whence they preceeded across the Universe).

NISWE is also calculated to be more likely to have effect when dimensions are > 10 degrees in the sky.
The Spot is upwards of 8 degrees of angular scale. So, the NISWE would seem to be ruled out.

So far, the cause and implication of this anomaly would imply some interesting theories will emerge, especially after the Planck Mission is launched in 2008.

As to those who propose the area is filled with cold, neutral gas, I would just suggest this. Cold molecular hydrogen gas is more likely to form giant molecular clouds, which then are prone to core collapse and stellar densities. Just a thought.

Edited by leadbelly, 27 August 2007 - 12:08 PM.


#6    zimbob

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 10:05 AM

I am extremely interested on how this will turn out, just when you start to think we got a handle on things there comes a curve ball like this.

A truly fascinating read, cheers  grin2.gif

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#7    zimbob

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 10:09 AM

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PLANK Mission is launched in 2008

Just wondering is the mission named after Max Planck the guy that fiddled with quantum physics?  original.gif

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