Thursday, March 22, 2007

Scientists Question Understanding of Universe

From "Cosmologists from around the world will meet at Imperial College London next week to challenge the theories behind the 'standard model' used to understand the universe."

"Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University and Subir Sarkar from Oxford query whether we need to postulate the existence of dark energy in the universe to explain the key observations. Tom Shanks of Durham will pose a puzzling question concerning why the instruments that measured the cosmic microwave background failed to detect shadows on this 'afterglow' radiation cast by nearby clusters of galaxies. This calls into question a key part of the standard model, which clearly predicted that such shadows should be formed, and be readily observable.

"Another vital prediction not observationally verified concerns the evolution of clusters of galaxies. While theory predicts that these systems should be rapidly evolving, the X-ray data presented by Alain Blanchard from Toulouse shows a complete absence of evolution. Additionally, Jelle Kaastra from Utrecht and Niayesh Afshordi from Harvard will demonstrate how the amount of atoms and molecules of daily life falls short of that predicted by the standard model by at least 30-40 percent."

Wednesday NASA released images from the Japanese Hinode spacecraft showing that the Sun's magnetic field is more dynamic than previously suspected. Changes in the structure of the magnetic field spread outward through the corona and into Space. Though the Sun's surface has a temperature of thousands of degrees, the corona has a temperature in the millions of degrees! No one knows the cause of this, but the answer is somewhere in the Sun's powerful magnetic field. Extremely hot plasma issues from the Sun, following magnetic field lines to heat the corona. The Sun's bipolar magnetic field is similiar to that produced by a Black Hole.

The Sun has a lot to do with cosmology. According to astrophysics, life should not have evolved on Earth because at Earth’s formation the Sun was only about 70% as bright. Earth's average temperature would have been 10 degrees below zero centigrade, frozen solid. On the graph, the standard model has solar luminosity L/Lo as an increasing curve. This can’t be true, for geology and the fossil record tell us that Earth had conditions welcoming to life. This is called the “Faint Young Sun” paradox.

Here’s the Hot Young Solution: The Sun turns its fuel to energy according to E=mc^2. Adjusting for the changing speed of light, solar luminosity becomes a nearly level line. Some things really are constant, and the solar constant has allowed life to evolve over billions of years. If c had not changed in precisely the amounts predicted, life would not have evolved to argue about it. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Combined with supernovae, there are two lines of data from truly independent sources indicating a “c change” in physics.

UPDATE: This little blog has reached record viewership of 742 hits per day. Thank you!

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Blogger mark drago said...

very interesting, as usual.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sun's surface is only thousands of degrees, while the Corona is millions?

Wow, it looks like I learned something new today (I previously thought it was the opposite).

We sure live in a strange Universe. If only we could live forever to understand it all. ;-)

6:07 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Nice hearing from both of you. Mark, I enjoy your photos.

I'm honoured to hear from you. Darnell. Mysteries like this are often left out of astronomy books; they are too embarassing to science! The "Faint Young Sun" paradox is also little-known, since there was no good solution.

11:41 AM  

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