PDA

View Full Version : Discussion: Young Universe Was Surprisingly ...



Fraser
2005-Mar-02, 06:32 PM
SUMMARY: A team of European astronomers have discovered a highly structured cluster of thousands of galaxies at an incredible 9 billion light-years away. In other words, this structure was highly evolved only a few billion years after the Big Bang; a situation that should be impossible, according to current theories. Incredibly, some of the galaxies in the cluster are red and elliptical, which would indicate that they were already quite old at only a few billion years old.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/young_universe_structure.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

antoniseb
2005-Mar-02, 07:34 PM
...a situation that should be impossible, a situation that should be impossible, according to current theories.

that should be "according to SOME current theories". The fact is that galaxy clusters can't have formed by random passing of galaxies somehow collecting by capture, any more than a star could capture a companion. The mass making up clusters of galaxies had to have been bound very early, probably before the first stars were formed. As to there being some red ellipticals, I'm pretty sure that we've seen how these things form [that is they fall throgh the center of the cluster and get all their gas and dust blown out]. There is no rason this couldn't have happened in the first billion years of the universe.

This is a great observation.

lswinford
2005-Mar-02, 08:38 PM
Just wondering if this might be close to a 'duh' moment for Intelligent Design?
:blink: :D

dougreed
2005-Mar-02, 09:12 PM
I seriously doubt that a 'duh' moment is neigh, but those 3 stories - the young star, the young universe/galaxies, and the dusty galaxy should shake things up a bit - provided the observations and conclusions weren't too big of a stretch, or worse, patently fabricated to insure more funding- it shouldn't, but does happen :( ...see-ya, dougreed

dave_f
2005-Mar-02, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by dougreed@Mar 2 2005, 04:12 PM
I seriously doubt that a 'duh' moment is neigh, but those 3 stories - the young star, the young universe/galaxies, and the dusty galaxy should shake things up a bit - provided the observations and conclusions weren't too big of a stretch, or worse, patently fabricated to insure more funding- it shouldn't, but does happen :( ...see-ya, dougreed
The kind of shenanigans you tend to see like you describe generally come from industries that has profit as the primary motivator for research (aka the pharmacutical industry). Astronomers don't get money from selling 9.000 billion-old super clusters to people over the counter, so the motive isn't as strong to "cheat"

Granted, the fame associated with getting a good discovery under your belt might tempt the less-intelligent of the astronomers to try for the easy path to fame, but those tend to get exposed pretty fast (remember how quickly Cold Fusion was debunked)?

As for "Intelligent Design", I find it perplexing that there's a perceived victory every time an astronomical or physical theory has to get revised. How does adjusting the date for the formation of Galaxy Clusters (a vaguely defined date to begin with) constitute an undermining of all of the Big Bang theory? Scientists are practically paid to go around cautioning people they might not be 100% correct or not even 1% correct. Why do people act shocked when it does happen from time to time, despite the warnings the professionals give out about their own fallibility?

dmccarroll
2005-Mar-03, 07:39 AM
I suppose this is an example of what I find frequently. You feel that you have figured out all the answers, then discoveries are made that cause you to question your conclusions. Ah such is the way of scientific progress. Who knows? In a couple of hundred years, what we currently accept as scientific facts today could have gone the way of the flat earth.

dave_f
2005-Mar-03, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by dmccarroll@Mar 3 2005, 02:39 AM
I suppose this is an example of what I find frequently. You feel that you have figured out all the answers, then discoveries are made that cause you to question your conclusions. Ah such is the way of scientific progress. Who knows? In a couple of hundred years, what we currently accept as scientific facts today could have gone the way of the flat earth.
The funny thing about Newton is that he wasn't proven wrong; he was proven inaccurate.

It was his damn inability to throw apples at relativistic speeds toward the ground.

alfchemist
2005-Mar-03, 12:05 PM
Iswinford, couldn't resist mentioning my "predetemined matrix" theory but it's out of place here. I'm just thrilled to know that they were able to find what they thought should not be there, giving us more data on which we can build a better understanding of our universe.

rmsparks
2005-Mar-03, 03:58 PM
First use of this site. Not sure how it all works. How about a theory of a series or multiple big bangs, and actually what we think we are perceiving at the edge of our universe is also at or near the beginiing of the next one? Rick

Joe
2005-Mar-03, 05:36 PM
Interesting discussion!
I sort-of get the idea that this (the situation in the article) is a bit like someone setting off a stick of dynamite in a large box of sand, and finding, not lots of sand speeding through hundreds of cubic feet of air, but bowling balls throughout the nearest few cubic miles.
Astronomers are busy looking for the nearest magician, maybe even reasonably so.

Joe

alfchemist
2005-Mar-03, 10:46 PM
Hi rmsparks! Let's not get carried away. :D There's a section in this forum called "Alternative Theory". That's where you can post your proposed theory as an alternative to the current/prevailing ones. Just be ready if you get too many replies in such a short time! :D By the way, welcome to UT! :D

400poundgorilla
2005-Mar-04, 08:54 PM
rmsparks;

Even if Alfchemist thinks your remaks should be posted under alternative theory, which maybe it should be as well, it makes a relevant point to the discovery. A cluster of mature galaxies 9 billion light years away. Think about that. Our very own mature galaxy cluster is said to be 13.6 billion years old give or take 800 million years according to a Space.com article (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/earth_age_040817.html)dated August 17, 2004 It is also said that the entire universe is only 13.7 billion years old with about a 200 milion year margin of error. Of course all that adds up to is the potential for the Milky Way to be older than the universe. These estimates need some serious work. Now we have this discovery of a galaxy cluster that would appear to be as mature as our own or at least close enough in astronomical terms say give or take a couple billion years. Yet, the light from this cluster took 9 billion years to reach us? Hey, wait a minute, doesn't that suggest that the universe could be much older than we thought? Something sounds fishy. Some of the latest theorys involving cosmic superstrings could really add fuel to this fire also. Could it be that we are actually looking at a reflection of a much closer galaxy cluster? Perhaps even our own? Or maybe there have been more than just one big bang and maybe there are more to come.
A discovery like this can only give us just cause to ask these kinds of questions.

antoniseb
2005-Mar-04, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by 400poundgorilla@Mar 4 2005, 08:54 PM
Of course all that adds up to is the potential for the Milky Way to be older than the universe.
Hi 400poundgorilla,

Your analysis really depends on what the writers meant when they described this 9 billion lightyear distant cluster as mature. There is every reason to think that such maturity could be achieved by a some clusters in the first billion years of the universe, perhaps less. But this cluster is seen as it was when the universe was almost five billion years old. Why shouldn't it look mature?

That being said, I'm not sure I followed the trail of sources you used to conclude that perhaps the Milky Way is older than the universe. If you are serious about this conclusion, I'd appreciate seeing a clearer statement of how you got there.

vet
2005-Mar-04, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by 400poundgorilla@Mar 4 2005, 08:54 PM
rmsparks;

Even if Alfchemist thinks your remaks should be posted under alternative theory, which maybe it should be as well, it makes a relevant point to the discovery. A cluster of mature galaxies 9 billion light years away. Think about that. Our very own mature galaxy cluster is said to be 13.6 billion years old give or take 800 million years according to a Space.com article (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/earth_age_040817.html)dated August 17, 2004 It is also said that the entire universe is only 13.7 billion years old with about a 200 milion year margin of error. Of course all that adds up to is the potential for the Milky Way to be older than the universe. These estimates need some serious work. Now we have this discovery of a galaxy cluster that would appear to be as mature as our own or at least close enough in astronomical terms say give or take a couple billion years. Yet, the light from this cluster took 9 billion years to reach us? Hey, wait a minute, doesn't that suggest that the universe could be much older than we thought? Something sounds fishy. Some of the latest theorys involving cosmic superstrings could really add fuel to this fire also. Could it be that we are actually looking at a reflection of a much closer galaxy cluster? Perhaps even our own? Or maybe there have been more than just one big bang and maybe there are more to come.
A discovery like this can only give us just cause to ask these kinds of questions.
yup, parner there were previous big-bangs, and the process of more new ones continues infinitely---that is 'The Multiverse'. save some time---search the net. 'universes' are as champaine bubbles---alway popping up. as their # is infinite, and 'given-enough-time'---a perfect duplicate of not only the milky way, but your personal perception of 'right now'. sort of infinite 'you'---

now, one may understand 'quantum-fluctuations'---the appearance from 'nothing' of an electron-positron pair---happens here constantly. Everywhere in space/time. are you confusing this universe with its parents? the issue of 'stars older than the assumed age of this universe' has seen attention---i'd give you a link, but i had my head fractured a bit back---so do your own homework---peruse 'sky & tel's' reprints and 'science news' archive abstracts---get ready for a surprise---or two. good hunting---oh, and look for both stars and 'certainly-connected' galaxies with 'anomolous' redshifts. ????? so much we don't know. but we're getting there.

vet
2005-Mar-04, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by lswinford@Mar 2 2005, 08:38 PM
Just wondering if this might be close to a 'duh' moment for Intelligent Design?
:blink: :D
you got it---and as far as i'm concerned Newton was 'informed' not by just observation, but the tree, as well---the 'Ultimite symbol of infinite power in Dante Alighieri's 'il paradiso' is a titanic white rose---to william blake it was 'the forest of the night'. tech, and evolving tech-critters, as we, we see anomolies---but a 'species' that may go from kittyhawk to the moon in decades? we're the big deal.
so far, only we may make Life immortal, in any concrete sense---hence the explosion of 'amateur astronomy'---not to mention the reward of technocracy---we live longer as our use to Life intensifies. cheers, now where's that guiness extra stout??????

400poundgorilla
2005-Mar-04, 11:35 PM
Antoniseb,

I am drawing no conclusions based on the referenced information, just pointing out that age estimates and thier margins for error create an overlap of 0.9 billion years that would allow the Milky Way to be older than the universe. Obviously that makes absolutely no sense. It's just an engineers mind noting the silly error margins.

Universe = 13.7 +/- 0.2 = 13.5~13.9
Milky Way = 13.6 +/- 0.8 = 12.8~14.4
Worst cases; Universe is 1.1 billion years older or 0.9 billion years younger

Is it possible that our galaxy/cluster could have been so mature 9 billion years ago, given what additional information we may already have - the length of time for star formation processes that could lead to the production of the heavy elements that make up our solar system that is estimated to be at least 4 billion years old? Maybe. We probably don't have enough information on the formation/aging of galaxies to really say with any measure of certainty. The universe as we know it is continually turning up surprises like this.

One thing that I find interesting about the possibility of additional big bangs is that if one were happening right now at a distance of 10 billion light years, we wouldn't know about it for ...10 billion years? According to some theorists, our universe could already be more than half way through this period of emmitting any light at all. Superstring theory could allow for all kinds of these wild possibilities. Personally I like sillystring theory which holds that E=mc^2 That translates to the energy of a given three-year-old is equal to the mess caused by the can of sillystring squared. I love levity when my mind is boggled.