For nearly a century, astronomers have understood that the universe is in a state of expansion. Since the 1990s, they have understood that by 4 billion years ago, the pace of expansion had accelerated.
As it advances, and the Milky Way’s galaxy clusters and filaments diverge, scientists believe that the average temperature of the universe will gradually decline.
But according to new research led by the Center for Cosmology and Astrocortical Physics (CCAPP) at Ohio State University, it appears that the universe is actually heating up as time passes.
After examining the thermal history of the universe over the last 10 billion years, the team concluded that the average temperature of cosmic gas has exceeded 10-fold and today to about 2.2 million K (~ 2.2 ° C; 4 million ° F). Has arrived.
The study that describes their findings, “The Cosmic Thermal History Probed by Suryaev-Zeldovich Effect Tomography”, recently emerged. The Astrophysical Journal.
The study was led by Yi-Kuan Chiang, a Research Fellow at CCAP and included members of the Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), The Johns Hopkins University and the Max-Planck-Institute. Astrophysics.
For their study, the team investigated thermal data on the large-scale structure (LSS) of the universe. It depends on the pattern of galaxies and the largest matter of cosmic scales, which is the result of the gravitational collapse of dark matter and gas.
As Dr. Chiang told in an Ohio State News release:
“Our new measurement is the 2019 Nobel Prize winner in Physics by Jim Peebles – which determines the principle of how mass structure is formed in the universe. Gravitational matter draws dark matter as the universe evolves. In space. Gas in clusters of gases and galaxies simultaneously. Drag is violent – so violent that more and more gas is shocked and heated. “
To measure thermal changes over the last 10 billion years, Chiang and his colleagues combined data from ESA’s Planck Infrared Astronomical Satellite and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Where Planck was the first European mission to measure the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the SDSS is a large-scale multi-spectral survey that has produced the most detailed 3D maps of the universe.
From these data sets, the team created eight interrelationships of Planck’s sky intensity map with 2 million spectroscopic REDIF references from SDSS. Cummingshift measurements (which are routinely used to determine how fast objects are moving away from us) and an estimate of temperature based on light, the team conducted with people closer to Earth with more distant gas clouds. (Back in time) compared temperature.
This enabled the research team to confirm that the average temperature of gases in the early Universe (about 4 billion after the Big Bang) was lower than it is now. This is apparently due to the gravitational collapse of the cosmic structure over time, a trend that will continue and become more intense as the universe continues to expand rapidly.
As Chiang summarized, the universe is warming due to the natural process of forming the Milky Way and the structure, and is unrelated to the change in temperature here on Earth:
“As the universe evolves, gravity pulls dark matter and gas into space together into galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Drag is violent – so violent that more and more gas gets shocked and heated … These events Happening on a very different scale. ” Not all are connected. “
In the past, many astronomers have argued that the universe will continue to cool as it expands, something that will result in a “big chill” (or “big freeze”). In contrast, Chiang and his colleagues show that scientists can see the evolution of the structure of the universe by “examining the temperature” of the universe.
Image: A section of a 3D map created by the boss. The rectangle on the far left shows a cutout of about 120,000 galaxies in the sky, or about 10 percent of the total survey to 1000 square degrees.
These findings may also have implications for theories that accept “cosmic cooling” as a foregone conclusion. On the one hand, it has been suggested that a possible resolution to the Fermi paradox is that supernatural intelligence (ETI) is passive and waiting for the Universe to improve (the beautification hypothesis).
This argument, based on the thermodynamics (Landauers principal) of computing, states that as the Universe cools down, advanced species will be able to move far beyond their megastructures. Also, if the universe continues to get warmer over time, does this mean that the emergence of life will decrease over time as cosmic radiation will increase?
Assuming that there is no mechanism to maintain a certain thermal equilibrium, would this mean that the universe would not end in “Big Chill”, but “Big Blaze”?
As Robert Frost famously wrote, “Some say the world will end in fire, others say in snow.” Which of these will be proved right, and what effect it can have in the future, only time will tell…
This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.