To Infinity and Beyond (Einstein)
NASA's FY 2008 budget was released today, and it could have been much worse. Some programs have suffered, notably the Space Interferometer Mission. The SIM budget has been cut by 117 million dollars, leaving only enough for technology development. The Terrestrial Planet Finder, of which my friend Geoff Marcy was to be Principal Investigator, is still on hold indefinitely. Good news: Hubble will be serviced, SOFIA will be reinstated, and Beyond Einstein survives with a budget increase.
At the Beyond Einstein meeting, Caltech's Richard Ellis handed me a copy of his NATURE paper "Dark matter maps reveal cosmic scaffolding." (Where was the gang from Asymptotia and CV?) The Very Short Paper on GM=tc^3 predicted those strange masses in seemingly empty Space. Following my suggestion, NASA now refers to DE as "dark energy." The choice of which Beyond Einstein mission will fly is up to the committee.
Boring abstract of last week's talk:
Observations from Beyond Einstein may signal new physics. A top goal (Turner, COSMO2006) is the investigation of varying constants. The model with hc constant and c given by GM=tc^3 provides a precise explanation for supernova redshifts. This model also explains the “Faint Young Sun” paradox of astrophysics. Together we have complementary data from truly independent sources indicating a c change. Another indicator is discovery (Romani, et al.) of supermassive primordial Black Holes. Further supporting data comes from the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment.
The next step for supernova observations is from Space. A piggyback search using JWST, (Kirshner et al.) will be the next opportunity. Locating 50-100 supernovae will help distinguish Theory from accelerating universe ideas. X-ray observations of supermassive Black Holes provide further indications of a higher speed of light. Observations of early galaxy clusters (Blanchard) via X-rays will also shed light on “dark energy.” Since Space/Time leads to predictions not epicycles, theory should be considered as an alternative to more cumbersome ideas.
Other news: Queen Mary 2 entered San Francisco's Golden Gate for the first time yesterday. The Queen has gained fans, for every viewing spot was jammed. The best place for ship-spotting is the bridge walkway, where you can see a ship slide beneath you like a Stardestroyer. More cruise pictures coming soon!