Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/7/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Well this is embarassing.

Two professors say they are disappointed with the universe after learning that it is "smoother" and "flatter" than they expected. The compared the discovery to a trip to Switzerland that was switched for a trip to the Netherlands.

Galaxy clusters such as these should be more common throughout the universe than they are.

Galaxy clusters such as these should be more common throughout the universe than they are.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/7/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: astronomers, model, universe, clusters


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Instead of majestic soaring alpine peaks, two astronomers say the universe resembles more the countryside of the Netherlands. The British astronomers compared recent observations of the cosmic background radiation to the number of galaxy clusters in the universe. Their study shows that the leading model of how the universe is formed does not match what is actually observed, specifically, there should be more galaxy clusters in the universe.

Astronomers agree that the universe was formed over 13.7 billion years ago in an event known as the Big Bang. This cosmic explosion, which represents the instant in which the universe was created, still echoes in the form of the cosmic background radiation, a faint afterglow of the Big Bang. This afterglow is uniformly seen no matter where astronomers look.

From that epic event, matter clumped together, forming stars, then galaxies, and galaxies formed into clusters of galaxies.

Based on the models that are used to describe the events following the Big Bang, we expect to see a large number of galaxy clusters throughout the known universe. However, the number of clusters we can actually observe is lower than what the model predicts, by a factor of at least two.

That discrepancy was discovered by Astronomy professor Chris Collins and Dr. Ian McCarthy from Liverpool's John Moores University. Professor Collins used an analogy to convey his disappointment:

"Have you ever booked a holiday to Switzerland expecting to trek the Alpine mountain ranges only to be disappointed by ending up walking the flat countryside of Holland? Similar disappointment was felt when Dr. McCarthy and I conducted an experiment to measure the number of large massive clumps in the Universe, called clusters of galaxies."

He continued, "Science is at its most interesting when prediction and experiment disagree and so although our cosmic landscape is smoother than we thought, this may mean we need to re-think bits of our cosmological theory and such progress is good for science in the long run."

"Although the perceived wisdom was that we would find lots of big clusters, in fact, when we looked, the Universe did not live up to our expectation and we found far fewer of these really huge structures than expected."

So what does this mean?

It means that either the professors made a mistake in their work, that we cannot identify all of the clusters that are out there and we may be missing some, or it means that the models used to describe the formation of the universe are incomplete.

Which is correct will require the work of other scientists who will analyze their methods and repeat their tests. If Collins and McCarthy are correct then cosmologists will need to account for the discrepancy and either locate the missing factor or revise their models.

If nothing else, this shows the self-correcting power of science. Mistakes can be made, however they are also corrected over time and each new discovery adds to our body of knowledge. We still have a great many questions about our physical universe, but as long as we wonder, we will continue to find new answers that will excite us and drive at the very core of our being.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Technology

'Big Brother' is watching you on your iPhone Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on some dubious, privacy robbing practices of the United States government, now thinks that Apple's iPhone has "special software." This gadget, he says, lets authorities remotely gather information ... continue reading


Doomsday is approaching! The symbolic Doomsday Clock moves closer to the fatal end Watch

Image of This is the closest the world has been to Doomsday since 1953.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Doomsday is the closest it's been since 1953, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." The clock now stands at three minutes to midnight. Midnight represents the end of the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Doomsday Clock, created ... continue reading


Search giant, Google, has daring plans to infiltrate the competitive wireless cellphone service market Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The wireless phone game may soon be changing up. Currently there are four major names competing for customers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. However, Google reportedly has plans to enter the business of cellular service. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was ... continue reading


High-tech drug smuggling: Drone found bearing meth near San Ysidro Port of Entry Watch

Image of Plastic webbing and strips of black tape was used to secure the drug packages to the drone, police said. The aircraft itself had six propellers and a lithium battery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug smuggling has entered the high-tech age. A drone carrying methamphetamine, a stimulant that goes under the street names of "crank" and "Tina," crashed in Mexico near the San Ysidro Port of Entry this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unmanned ... continue reading


California-based rocket company gets big bucks influx from Google, Fidelity Watch

Image of SpaceX leader Elon Musk says that the revenue generated by the venture could go toward building a city on Mars. This, he says, would further his long-held goal of turning humanity into a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California-based rocket company SpaceX has received a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity. The sudden influx of cash now brings the company's worth to more than $10 billion. SpaceX intends to construct a globe-spanning satellite constellation. LOS ... continue reading


Is it world domination? No, it's just Netflix Watch

Image of Netflix, the Internet streaming giant, has posted higher than expected growth and revenue for 2014.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Online streaming giant Netflix has finished 2014 with 57.4 million subscribers, up more than four million from their third quarter figures; making this their largest growth of subscribers all year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Additionally, the company's ... continue reading


Hacker's delight! BAD passwords make it airtight! Watch

Image of Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a few keystrokes, and voila! Your entire life is there for the taking!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the recent attack on Sony Pictures by purported agents from North Korea prove, the more things change - the more they remain the same. Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a ... continue reading


No longer a science fiction fantasy, the possibility of designer babies may threaten the world's reproductive future Watch

Image of While

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Designer babies" may soon be a reality as major strides have been made in germ-line genetic modifications. Dr. Tony Perry, of the University of Bath, has announced results in precise DNA editing at conception in mice, according to BBC. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


They could be watching you! Secret radar device unconstitutionally allows law enforcement to covertly 'see' through walls Watch

Image of The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service use a radar system to detect motion with radio waves.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A secret radar device, able to detect if anyone is inside a building, is now being used by at least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies. According to USA Today, using this kind of technology is "a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance." ... continue reading


The cure for deadly Ebola virus is closer than ever! Scientists find the key to a working treatment in genetically engineered, cloned ... cows? Watch

Image of Genetically engineered cows are being vaccinated against a variety of deadly diseases with hopes of finding curing antibodies.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ebola antibodies are being brewed up in cloned, genetically engineered, cattle. These animals were created with hopes of finding a way to treat the deadly Ebola virus. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to NBC News, the special herd of cattle is currently ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 26th, 2015 Image

St. Timothy
January 26: Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter