Gaping "Hole" in the Cosmos Detected
From: Aug. 23, 2007 Courtesy University of Minnesota and World Science staff
Edited Article in quotes, my comments added in italics and bold.
"Astronomers say they've apparently found a giant hole in the universe - a practically empty zone, called a void, whose gaping size is hard to explain." This is just one more inconsistency in the Big Bang scenario, which suggests the Big Bang model is wrong!
"While past studies had revealed other voids, this one dwarfs them all, researchers say, being nearly a billion light-years across." Actually, relatively empty regions are rather common, and they have a periodicity of about 400 million light years. So this particular void is only about double the size of common voids and is emptier than most. If regular voids are caused by a real physical mechanism, it is not unexpected that a few will statistically be distorted by some real random process such as a large primordial collision.
" 'We never even expected to find [a void] this size,' said Lawrence Rudnick, an astronomer at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. It's 'not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the universe,' added the university's Liliya Williams. She, Rudnick and a graduate student report the findings in a paper to appear in the research publication Astrophysical Journal." Their expectations and computer models are based on the assumption that the Big Bang model is correct, so the data may actually mean that the Big Bang model is not correct.
"Cosmic voids are areas lacking both normal material, such as stars, galaxies and gas, and the mysterious 'dark matter' that is also common in the universe. Voids seem to be rarer the bigger they are, astronomers said." The existence of dark matter is also an assumption used to rationalize inconsistencies in the Big Bang model.
"The new finding was based on data from a sky survey of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array telescope in Socorro, N.M. Researchers found a remarkable drop in the number of galaxies in a region of sky in the constellation Eridanus, southwest of the constellation Orion. 'We already knew there was something different about this spot,' Rudnick said: it was dubbed the 'WMAP Cold Spot,' because it stood out as unusually cold in a map of the background radiation that permeates the cosmos. This radiation - a remnant of the Big Bang explosion thought to have given birth to the universe - was mapped using a satellite called WMAP, for Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe." The creation of the CMB remnant is another assumption of the Big Bang model.
"In a sense, to observe these background rays is to look at what could be called the surface of the Big Bang fireball, though the eons since then have distorted the view. Faint irregularities in the temperature of the radiation across the sky are believed to trace structures that existed in the universe's infancy." The Big Bang model assumes that all the radiation was emitted instantly at the very beginning, but if the emission actually covered all space at different times, then the consequences would be different.
"The 'cold spot' can now be explained by the dearth of galaxies in that area, researchers said. 'Although our surprising results need independent confirmation, the slightly lower temperature of the [radiation] in this region appears to be caused by a huge hole devoid of nearly all matter roughly 6-10 billion light years from Earth,' Rudnick said." This is a sizable uncertainty in position for a region a billion light years in size!
"How does a void make the background radiation colder as seen from Earth? The answer, researchers said, lies in the so-called 'dark energy,' a force that became dominant in the Universe only recently in astronomical time. Scientists don't know what dark energy is, but it seems to work opposite gravity and to speed up an ongoing expansion of the Universe. (Dark energy is something distinct from dark matter - another enigmatic substance that astronomers recognize thanks to its effect on other objects, but which they can't actually find.)" The very existence of dark energy is based on very shaky experimental evidence, also tied to the Big Bang model through assumptions about what Hubble's law means.
"Thanks to dark energy, radiation that passes through a large void just before reaching us has less energy than other radiation does, researchers say. Without dark energy, rays approaching a large mass, such as a cluster of galaxies, would gain energy from their gravity, which draws them in, Rudnick explained. As the rays leave the area, the gravity pulls back on them, sapping their energy. They wind up with the same energy with which they started. But since dark energy became dominant, he said, rays crossing matter-rich space don't return to their original energy level - because dark energy counteracts gravity. Thus, these photons arrive at Earth with a slightly higher energy, or temperature, than they would otherwise. This phenomenon doesn't occur when light rays cross a large void, the scientists added, so they reach us with less energy." This explanation is almost incomprehensible, since it assigns a specific behavior to this enigmatic substance whose properties are unknown and which can't be found.
A more reasonable conclusion is that we should analyze data such as this using some other model than the Big Bang.