« Coco BrooksFrom The Ground Up »

Inconsistent Shadows in the Microwave Background


  02:35:27 pm, by Nimble   , 258 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Science

Inconsistent Shadows in the Microwave Background

Link: http://www.physorg.com/news76314500.html

I had always wondered whether the cosmic microwave background radiation ought to have shadows in it where it fails to shine through nearby clusters. Apparently, it should.

Also apparently, it doesn't. At least, not consistently, and that's a problem.

"These shadows are a well-known thing that has been predicted for years," said Lieu. "This is the only direct method of determining the distance to the origin of the cosmic microwave background. Up to now, all the evidence that it originated from as far back in time as the Big Bang fireball has been circumstantial.

"If you see a shadow, however, it means the radiation comes from behind the cluster. If you don't see a shadow, then you have something of a problem. Among the 31 clusters that we studied, some show a shadow effect and others do not."

It's mildly worse than that...

Taken together, the data shows a shadow effect about one-fourth of what was predicted - an amount roughly equal in strength to natural variations previously seen in the microwave background across the entire sky.

"Either it (the microwave background) isn't coming from behind the clusters, which means the Big Bang is blown away, or ... there is something else going on," said Lieu. "One possibility is to say the clusters themselves are microwave emitting sources, either from an embedded point source or from a halo of microwave-emitting material that is part of the cluster environment.

It won't be the final word on the subject, that's for sure, but I'm pleased to see something I've anticipated for some time :)

No feedback yet