Prejudice is inevitably part of all of us and it takes a very strong will to overcome. When I was a child I had to listen to my grandparents ramble on about how bad Blacks, Jews and anyone else who wasn’t pure bread white (trash of course) were. I could have let their wrong ideas influence my life and the way I viewed others but I chose not to. I decided on my own how I would judge others and let their behavior and what they said determine if they were worthy of trust and friendship. Overcoming prejudice is the hardest thing a person will ever do because it is taught to us by trusted friends and family from the time we are born until we die. If you still hold on to your prejudice, you are weak minded and too dependent on fitting in with your family and friends. This book deals with prejudice of a different sort. I can remember certain teachers who seemed to have such awesome credibility that I would almost believe anything they said. Funny the way we admire others, especially when we are young. The poison of prejudice has infected the minds and hearts of an entire profession, ASTRONOMY (and cosmology). This profession is no longer based on solid facts or truths (just like prejudice). Theories and interpretations are the stuff they use with a teaspoon (or less) of science and even less common sense to try to explain the universe. From childhood astronomers are taught about the Big Bang. A theory most of them will defend to their last breath. No one likes to be told they are wrong especially those sick individuals under the influence of extreme prejudice. It would be like telling a neo nazi that Jews are his friends or an Alabama red neck that black people are to be respected. So if you want to challenge current astronomical theory just remember that you are going to offend a lot of devoted, prejudice people whose very existence depends on keeping ONE theory alive. THE (HOLY) BIG BANG!
Although there are many versions of the Big Bang theory, the main idea reads as follows. Between 15 and 20 billion years ago, all the matter in the universe came together, became very dense and somehow produced the expanding universe. Exploded was originally used in place of produced to describe the event. We have all seen fire works explode into beautiful, colorful shapes. Because no one could determine where this explosion occurred, the theory was modified to delete the word. Another problem remains in that if all the matter in the universe came together, it would have to be together at a certain location. The theory was again modified to say that the Big Bang didn’t happen somewhere, but everywhere. I think you would agree that if all the matter in the universe was spread out everywhere, it wouldn’t be very dense. So in trying to state the theory we already have identified a couple of problems. How could an expanding universe be produced without an explosion of some sort? How could such an event happen everywhere without the needed density of all that matter?
Since the theory was first published, astronomers have been busy observing the visible universe to collect data. Red-shifted distant galaxies, supernovae, quasars and cosmic microwave background, are part of the many observations that have been made over the past few decades. You can bet that most of these observations have be interpreted or manipulated in such a manner that they fully support the Big Bang. A good theory would not need much support but we already know that the credibility of the Big Bang has never been strong. A major modification to the Big Bang theory was the insertion of an inflationary epoch period that was needed to help explain how the universe could have a sameness in all directions and how distance parts of the universe could appear to know about each other. We will discuss this and more in greater detail in the pages that follow. But for now let’s go back in time to review the first major observation that gave the Big Bang theory its initial stronghold in the minds of many as the best theory for the origin of the universe. These observations were made by the famous Edwin Hubble.
In 1931, Edwin Hubble and Milton Humason observed distant objects. While observing these objects they found that the electromagnetic energy from these distant objects displayed spectral lines that were shifted toward red. This shifting is known as red-shift. Hubble’s knew that that red-shift was caused by receding relative motion. Further observations revealed that the red-shift of electromagnetic energy from distant objects was directly proportional to the distance to the object. Believing that the red-shift was due to receding motion, they came to the inescapable conclusion that all galaxies take part in a universal recession. In other words, according to Hubble, the universe was expanding. Hubble also observed that the farther away a galaxy was, the faster it was receding known as Hubble‘s Law. Hubble’s Constant was introduced to show the rate of expansion for a given distance. The currently accepted constant is about 65km/s/Mpc (65 kilometers per second per mega parsec). Cosmologist and astronomers use the amount of red-shift from a distant object and Hubble’s constant to determine how far away it is. They also use this information in reverse to determine the age of the universe by determining how long it would take for all the matter in the universe to come back together.
Astronomers and Big Bang believers everywhere were popping the corks from their champagne bottles with extreme delight. Without considering any other cause for distant objects to have red-shifted spectra they immediately published Hubble’s findings as proof that the universe began with a bang and that its expansion proved it. The problem of not being able to locate where the bang occurred was not a problem at that time so Hubble became famous and his work laid the foundation for the education (and resulting prejudice) of thousands of future astronomers.
Hubble’s Law states that all galaxies take part in a universal expansion and that the farther away they are, the faster they recede. Hubble’s constant gives us a way to determine the velocity of these galaxies. A law should be strong enough to stand up to any scrutiny. Hubble’s Law is weak at best and after further analysis becomes a flawed fantasy. Take the nearby Virgo Cluster located about 15 million parsecs from the Milky Way, our home galaxy. According to Hubble’s Law and Hubble’s constant the Virgo Cluster should be receding from the Milky Way at 975 km/s (65km/s times 15 Mpc). However, we know that the light received from the Virgo Cluster is not red-shifted but blue-shifted. This means we are actually drawing closer to the Virgo Cluster at close to 1 million miles per hour. How could this be? Hubble’s Law states that we should be receding. Astronomers have recognized this inconsistency too and have stated that Hubble’s Law applies only to very distant objects. How convenient, reminds me of politics where Democrats feel that we should change the laws to make the people happy, Republicans feel we should make the laws and people should obey them. I would think that scientific laws would follow the Republican philosophy but in this case, astronomy appears democratic. Perhaps this is the result of the previously mentioned prejudice. So what is it about distant objects that makes them obey Hubble’s Law while local objects break it?
“The fault dear Brutus in not in the stars, but in ourselves…”
Local galaxies do not require advanced methods for observation. Most of them can be seen as is in the visible light part of the spectrum. Distant objects require special circumstances to exist if we are to observe them. High energy or luminosity from the source is a mandatory requirement to effectively observe very distant objects. Two sources of extreme energy include Quasars and Type Ia supernovae. Both are very luminous at specific frequencies and can be seen for billions of light years. Why are these objects so luminous? Do they share anything in common that would lead help us understand what we observe?
The facts on quasars are that they appear to be visibly small but tremendously energetic with the luminosity of 100 to 1000 galaxies. They often have polar gas jets streaming away from them extending hundreds of light years from the Quasar itself. They appear to be receding at tens of thousands of kilometers per second which according to Hubble’s Law means that they are very far away. Why couldn’t a closer Quasar travel through space at tremendous speed? Is there anything about a Quasar that might cause an apparent red-shift without the need for recessive motion? It is thought that a super massive black hole might be the source of a Quasars power. It is also believed that a Quasar may be the birth of a new galaxy. After burning up the local fuel surrounding it during its highly luminous years, an older Quasar simply attracts, via its tremendous gravity, all the matter that develops into and ordinary galaxy. The nearest Quasar is about 700 million light years away so that would mean that the latest galactic birth that we know about was taking place 700 million years ago. Perhaps by now there is actually a young galaxy there. Pass out the cigars! I have often pondered the thought of the universe being able to reproduce as everything else in nature does. Perhaps black holes really are the reproductive means of the universe.
Could the black hole of a Quasar red-shift the electromagnetic energy trying to escape it? Try to imagine you and a stronger friend holding an unbreakable rubber band. Moving slowly apart from each other you see the rubber band elongate as it is stretched. This continues until the grip of your stronger friend overcomes your ability to hold onto the rubber band. Eventually you have to let go and the rubber band contracts and disappears into the closed hand of your friend. Perhaps black holes treat electromagnetic energy the same way. Their tremendous gravity elongating spectral emission lines until they reach the event horizon and disappear from our view. The only emissions we can see from Quasars occur prior to the event horizon when tremendous forces have elongated the spectra while enormous amounts of energy are released prior to the event horizon. No one really knows enough about Quasars and black holes to say for sure but ask yourself this: Why would all the Quasars in the universe be moving away from the Milky Way? Is the Milky Way the center of the universe? Would a galaxy near the Quasar be able to break Hubble’s Law and not see recession? Why do the jets of a Quasar appear neatly streaming from the center and not strewn across space as they would be if the Quasar were traveling at tens of thousands of kilometers per second?
Now let’s take a look at Type Ia Supernovae. Type Ia Supernovae occur when a small white dwarf steals enough material from a binary red giant companion. When it accumulates enough matter to exceed 1.4 solar masses, the white dwarfs starts to collapse and its core violently bursts into fusion. The energy is enough to cause the star to blow apart and can be seen from billions of light-years away. The common link between supernovae and Quasars is the possibility, depending on the mass of the exploding star, of a black hole being produced. Type Ia supernovae usually result in white dwarf only which is so dense and gravitationally strong that its red giant companion gets sucked into it until it no longer exists. So with a type Ia supernovae we have matter and energy from a RED giant being drawn into a super dense WHITE dwarf. When we gather this mixture of electromagnetic energy we somehow find a red-shift which we apply Hubble’s Law to and determine its distance and rate of recession. How we can determine what the spectral lines of a binary star system 5 billion miles away are supposed to be is at best a wild guess. With the forces involved, both electromagnetic and gravitational, there is no way one could accurately determine the actual red-shift, distance and recession of a Type Ia supernovae. Again with the existence of a super dense object associated with Type Ia supernovae, one cannot rule out the possibility of gravity influencing the apparent red-shift of the observed electromagnetic energy.
You might ask: Is gravity strong enough to affect light? The answer is a resounding YES! We know from the 1919 eclipse experiment that gravity from our small sun warps space enough to bend light and offset the apparent location of stars. This has been confirmed with various experiments over the past few decades. If our low mass sun bends light just imagine what a super massive black hole could do. Know one really knows the true nature or power behind black holes today. Perhaps in the future our understanding them and their tremendous gravity will increase and allow us to finally place Hubble’s Law and Constant where it truly belongs; in the science fiction archives.
Since the introduction of the Big Bang, cosmologists and astronomers all over the world have tried to develop a universal model that clearly demonstrates the observed universe including the expansion. Hubble’s Law does nothing to support this model. Regardless of where you place three objects in an expanding universe, they do not obey Hubble’s Law. The current standard model of the universe starts with the theory of the Big Bang. One shortfall of the Big Bang theory is the introduction of the cosmological principle which holds that, based on observations, the universe exhibits two key properties: homogeneity (sameness of structure of the largest scale) and isotropy (appears the same in all directions). Because the universe is so big the Big Bang theory alone could not answer the question of how very distant galaxies seem to know about each other. Inflationary epoch (a sudden expansion of the early universe on a scale of 10xe50 ) was introduced to explain how the cosmological principle fits in with the Big Bang theory. One problem with inflationary epoch is that it possibly violates the speed of light being the ultimate speed limit in the universe because matter during the epoch would be traveling exponentially faster than the speed of light. The other problem with it is that it supposes some boundary to the universal. Infinity is a very hard concept for most but that does not rule out its existence. We have no reason to limit the size of the universe and the Big Bang clearly implies it. If we consider the gravitational affect of an infinite universe on our small visible local part we can eliminate any need for inflationary epoch, dark matter and energy or any other local force to keep the universe from collapsing.
Our last topic in this book is the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). This is a measure of radiation expressed in temperature that has been interpreted to be left over from the Big Bang. Scientists say that according to their calculations, the CMB has cooled to the exact temperature is should be given that the Big Bang occurred between 15 and 20 billion years ago. This interpretation of the CMB is like sticking a thermometer under the tongue of a healthy adult to determine how old he is, where he was born, who his parents were, and what he had for breakfast. Oh, and by the way, for some reason the CMB is also red-shifted. Perhaps it is easier to believe that the CMB is no more than the current radioactive temperature of the visible universe and nothing more.
We have much to learn in our quest to understand the universe. Getting caught up in origins is not for the astronomer but for the cosmologist. An astronomer should gather facts and consider all possibilities while interpreting them without being swayed by his learned prejudice. He should leave the philosophical nature of cosmology to those myth writers. He should look ahead for answers using skill, insight, intuition and imagination rather than relying on the outdated, inconsistent theories and laws of those who came before. If he finds a theory is proved wrong he should discard it. If a law is often broken then he should find out why. Astronomers should search for truth and quit trying to make everything fit into the holy theory of the Big Bang. Early astronomers had to deal, often giving up their lives, with the church protecting its teachings for centuries from the revelations and new knowledge of the science community. Now astronomers and cosmologists are doing the same thing with the Big Bang and the revelation of Edwin Hubble, blocking all other theories and new ideas to protect their sacred theory.
History really does repeat itself.