WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
- Astrophysisists can’t explain a cold spot on at the edge of our universe using today’s standard models, and they think it could be evidence that a parallel universe is colliding with our own
Scientists are a funny bunch. Actually, I could just end this article there but I have news to share and it’d be a rather short article…
For years it turns out that a bunch of them have been baffled by a mysterious cold spot at the edges of space that is over 1.8 billion light years across, and it’s cooler than its surroundings by a staggering 0.00015 degrees Celcius (0.00027 degrees Fahrenheit), something they observed when they launched a study of the universes’ background radiation. And let’s face it, if your own house was 0.00015 degrees cooler you’d want to know why too. Crazy, so what’s the ruckus?
So so cold… Brrr
Previously, astronomers believed that this space could be cooler simply because it had less matter in it than most sections of space, and they dubbed it a massive “Super-void” and estimated that it had 10,000 galaxies fewer than other comparable sections of space. But now, in a recently published survey of galaxies, astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) say they’ve discovered that this super-void couldn’t exist, and they now believe that the galaxies in the cold spot are just clustered around smaller voids that populate the cold spot like bubbles.
These small voids, however, cannot explain the temperature difference observed. It’s all very puzzling, but now they think they may have an answer, and in order to link the temperature differences to the smaller voids, the researchers say a non-standard cosmological model is needed. And this is where astronomy gets interesting. Yes, I used the “I” word.
“Our data places powerful constraints on any attempt to do [use a non-standard model],” said lead researcher Ruari Mackenzie, “while the study has a large margin of error, the simulations suggest there is only a two percent probability that the Cold Spot formed randomly.”
“This means we can’t entirely rule out that the spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard model. But if that isn’t the answer, then there are more exotic explanations,” said another researcher Tom Shanks, “perhaps the most exciting of these is that the Cold Spot was caused by a collision between our universe and another ‘bubble’ universe.”
In short, the Cold Spot could have formed when another parallel universe collided with our own, and this latest theory could be the first evidence that multiverses exist. In the meantime though far more evidence is needed and the team are working to test their new theory.
It’s like I say, coming on the back of announcements that include the boring revelations that time travel and light speed are both theoretically possible it’s hard to imagine any of this getting more boring. Wake me up when my light speed, time travelling TARDIS is ready to take me to a parallel world. Yawn.