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Author Topic: Galaxy Clusters Have a Mysterious Motion  (Read 3911 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: September 24, 2008, 06:53:55 pm »

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(PhysOrg.com) -- Using data from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), scientists have identified an unexpected motion in distant galaxy clusters. The cause, they suggest, is the gravitational attraction of matter that lies beyond the observable universe.

More at: http://www.physorg.com/news141392399.html

I've seen a couple of stories on this where a reporter got some poor scientist to speculate about truly exotic possible causes for this and wrote the story as if they were the only possible causes. This story at PhysOrg.com  talks about the most likely possibility: a huge concentration of matter (a huge, dense supercluster of galaxies or the like) that is so far away that it is outside the observable universe -- which only means that is is so far away that light from it has not had enough time since the big bang to reach us. No need for other universes, strange matter hundreds of billions of light years away, space warps or the like as the first articles I read on this talked about.
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« Reply #1: September 24, 2008, 09:39:57 pm »


Here's another take on the same story:
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/080923-dark-flows.html
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« Reply #2: September 24, 2008, 10:01:06 pm »

This story at PhysOrg.com  talks about the most likely possibility: a huge concentration of matter (a huge, dense supercluster of galaxies or the like) that is so far away that it is outside the observable universe

I have a problem with that explanation:
A body with enough gravity to observably affect the motion of a galactic cluster billions of light-years away should have enough material moving toward it to make its presence fairly obvious

I propose a much simpler solution:
If we assume that the galaxies in the cluster formed apart from each other and moved together to form a cluster, then the angular momentum of each would be conserved and affect the motion of the entire cluster.
We simply have more momentum going in a particular direction
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RandallS
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« Reply #3: September 24, 2008, 10:26:39 pm »


This article has the weird stuff in it.
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« Reply #4: September 24, 2008, 10:31:11 pm »

I have a problem with that explanation:
A body with enough gravity to observably affect the motion of a galactic cluster billions of light-years away should have enough material moving toward it to make its presence fairly obvious

That's sort of what is happening. These galaxies are moving in such a way that something is pulling them. Normally, we can see what it is, but there is nothing large enough to have this effect in the direction needed, so it must be futher away than we can see. Don't forget, if these galaxies are 6-8 billion light years away from us, the observable universe from those galaxies in the direction we are looking is 6-8 billion light years beyond what it is for us. From those galaxies one might be able to see the massive group of galaxies pulling them its way.
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« Reply #5: September 24, 2008, 11:21:25 pm »

Don't forget, if these galaxies are 6-8 billion light years away from us,

OK, that's one of the figures I was looking for, just prior to the time inflation started accelerating
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=expanding-universe-slows-then-speeds

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the observable universe from those galaxies in the direction we are looking is 6-8 billion light years beyond what it is for us.

And it would have to be at least 6 billion light-years from the cluster .... and very, very massive for its gravity to have much effect at that distance
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RandallS
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« Reply #6: September 25, 2008, 08:20:22 am »

And it would have to be at least 6 billion light-years from the cluster .... and very, very massive for its gravity to have much effect at that distance

Agreed.  That's why one can't rule out the exotic structure speculation, but it really seems unlikely.
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« Reply #7: October 05, 2008, 02:30:20 am »


I was thinking ....
The fact that the universe contains stars and galaxies instead of a uniform cloud of rarefied hydrogen suggests that inflation has not been uniform in all directions.
Therefore, time-space should wrinkle into peaks and valleys, maybe even the cosmological equivalent of rivers, whose effects would be observable from a distant frame of reference
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« Reply #8: October 05, 2008, 08:48:01 am »

The fact that the universe contains stars and galaxies instead of a uniform cloud of rarefied hydrogen suggests that inflation has not been uniform in all directions.

One of the major problems inflation solves is explaining the relative uniformity we see, however, the microwave background radiation shows that the uniformity is far from perfect. So I suppose it is possible that there could be more noticeable "wrinkles" in this universe outside the area of spacetime we can observe.
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« Reply #9: October 05, 2008, 07:55:08 pm »

One of the major problems inflation solves is explaining the relative uniformity we see, however, the microwave background radiation shows that the uniformity is far from perfect.

If it were, matter would be unlikely to congeal into knots
Of course, that assumes a single event from a single point source. If the Big Bang were more like a super-nova in a succession of events where a later fast-moving shock-wave might collide with an slower-moving early one the picture could be very different

Quote
So I suppose it is possible that there could be more noticeable "wrinkles" in this universe outside the area of space-time we can observe.

There is evidence that inflation slowed about 5-billion years ago, then accelerated so the development of wrinkles during the transition phase seems likely

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=expanding-universe-slows-then-speeds
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RandallS
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« Reply #10: October 05, 2008, 10:46:31 pm »

There is evidence that inflation slowed about 5-billion years ago, then accelerated so the development of wrinkles during the transition phase seems likely

Possible, but most of the winkles are the result of the state of the universe before inflation if I remember correctly.
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