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   Undertoad  Monday Jul 12 02:47 PM

7/12/2004: Background microwave energy picture of the universe



This was yesterday's APOD, and I was interested to know what it could be. Turns out it's a map of microwave energy... the microwave energy of the universe.

No... really!!!

Quote:
In the 1960's a startling discovery was made quite by accident. A pair of scientists at Bell Laboratories detected background noise using a special low noise antenna. The strange thing about the noise was that it was coming from every direction and did not seem to vary in intensity much at all. If this static were from something on our world, like radio transmissions from a nearby airport control tower, it would only come from one direction, not everywhere. The scientists soon realized they had discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation. This radiation, which fills the entire Universe, is believed to be a clue to it's beginning, something known as the Big Bang.
So, what this is above, is a detailed map of cosmic radiation energy, coming at us in teeny tiny amounts from all over. And using the map of this radiation, cosmologists figure they can tell that the universe is 13.7 billion years old (accurate to 1%). Also, the universe is composed of 73 percent dark energy, 23 percent cold dark matter, and 4 percent atoms. Also, the first stars ignited 200 million years after the Big Bang. And, the universe will always be expanding. (!)

How can they tell? Dunno, I don't have the full explanation.


wolf  Monday Jul 12 02:52 PM

I think it just shows that creatures from outer space really enjoy tv dinners and popcorn.



Promenea  Monday Jul 12 02:55 PM

Wonder why it isn't more evenly distributed? Does the distribution correspond to star densities or something like that?



glatt  Monday Jul 12 02:58 PM

That's a neat picture, but it doesn't convey much information to me. I' like to see it superimposed over a chart of the stars.

If the microwaves are uniformly distributed as a result of the big bang, then the dark areas would probably be areas where the microwaves are absorbed by something, so they don't reach us. It would be interesting to know where those areas are. I guess that must be the "dark matter" you hear about.

Who knows? It's been 18 years since I took astronomy in college.



lumberjim  Monday Jul 12 04:29 PM

I told you microwaves were evil. didn't i?!



OnyxCougar  Monday Jul 12 05:24 PM

I was cool with it until they had to start putting their idea about origins in there. Completely guesswork, presented as fact. Even if you believe in the Theory, which is fine, just pay attention and note how many people and articles, tv shows and videos present it like fact. Just pay attention. It's amazing, really.

Cool pic, UT.



lumberjim  Monday Jul 12 05:32 PM

seems like that corresponds to what the hubble people think

Quote:
How old is the universe?

The best available information indicates that the age of the universe is about 13 to 14 billion years. Hubble has helped to measure the age of the universe using two different methods. The first method involves measuring the speeds and distances of galaxies. Because all of the galaxies in the universe are generally moving apart, we infer that they must all have been much closer together sometime in the past. Knowing the current speeds and distances to galaxies allows us to calculate how long it took for them to reach their current locations. The answer is about 14 billion years. The second method involves measuring the ages of the oldest star clusters. Globular star clusters orbiting our Milky Way are the oldest objects we have found and a detailed analysis of the stars they contain tells us that they formed about 13 billion years ago. The good agreement between these two very different methods is an encouraging sign that we are honing in on the universeís true age.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jul 12 08:13 PM

Quote:
the universe is composed of 73 percent dark energy, 23 percent cold dark matter, and 4 percent atoms.
So they are saying that 4% of the whole universe is comprised of something we know and understand. Damn, ain't that a comeuppance.

Oh, and welcome to the Cellar, Promenea.


Undertoad  Monday Jul 12 09:50 PM

I'm just glad they totalled 100%. What if all of humanity turns out to be a cosmic rounding error!



dar512  Monday Jul 12 10:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjim
I told you microwaves were evil. didn't i?!



tw  Tuesday Jul 13 11:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnyxCougar
I was cool with it until they had to start putting their idea about origins in there. Completely guesswork, presented as fact. Even if you believe in the Theory, which is fine, just pay attention and note how many people and articles, tv shows and videos present it like fact. Just pay attention. It's amazing, really.

Cool pic, UT.
Literally every fact that exists in our world is based upon the same principle. There really is no perfectly true fact. There are facts because both existing theories and experiments demonstrate them to be facts.

Newton's laws are facts. Then we apply the rules of quantum physics and all hell breaks loose. And yet these are still facts. They do explain how things work. They are proven by underlying and related theories as well as by experimental evidence. And they are tempered by the perspective on which they apply.

As we move forward, we discover more of god's laws. Religion fears we do this because religions assumes all gods laws were already known. How myopic and self serving. Those who are really religious do this cosmic work. Currently trying to explain where the rest of that matter has gone, why the universe is accelerating its expansion, and why the universe is so hodge-podge instead of monolithic. More questions asked because of current facts. In a world dominated by fact rather than by religious and myth, then each new fact results in increasing new questions. Religious extremists especially fear this concept. That means there may be no land where martyrs go to be seduced by 20 virgins.

It is a shame that some will only read a good parable and call that fact. Parables that don't have underlying theories and supporting experimental evidence are no more fact that Capt Jame Kirk and the USS Enterprise. We call it either fiction, urban myth, or religion. At least this concept of how the universe was created is done to comprehend reality - to learn god's laws.


Beestie  Tuesday Jul 13 11:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tw
As we move forward, we discover more of god's laws. Religion fears we do this because religions assumes all gods laws were already known.
Religion fears what it can't explain or what explains it.

If one's religion is shaken by facts then one really didn't have religion, just bad facts.


jaguar  Tuesday Jul 13 11:55 AM

Onxy, it's presented as fact because it's the best science can muster and therefore is most likely to be true based on rational analysis of the evidence.



Atch  Tuesday Jul 13 12:55 PM

All you ever wanted to know about the Cosmic Background Radiation.

It's a hobby of mine to read up on this nerdy stuff.



lumberjim  Tuesday Jul 13 01:02 PM

welcome, atch. Atch who? godblessyou.



Atch  Tuesday Jul 13 01:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjim
welcome, atch. Atch who? godblessyou.
Nice.


Your reply here?

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