An older universe?

25 Sep 2010

At September 20th Casey Kazan stirs the pot by asking, could the universe be older than cosmologists think? More powerful telescopes are upsetting the standard textbook theories - there are seeming contradictions. On of them is the discoveryof a large elliptical galaxy that is very distant and dated, by rred shift analysis, to something like 10 billion years ago. However, there are other elliptical galaxies out there - evenolder by inference it would seem, so far not analysed as such but some of them appear to have been billions of years in age before 13.5 billion years ago - the Big Bang. In addition, the latest globular star clusters so far discovered have ages over 16 billion years it would seem and even the Milky Way must have been formed not long after 13 billion years ago. This again is not consistent with consensus theory. Further, NASAs IRAc camera onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope has found a dozen very red galaxies some 10 billion light years away. Red and dead galaxies dating back to the early universe is also problematical. 

However, it is the comments at the end of the article that are most revealing and all of them seem to agree with a date older than 13 to 15 billion years for the Big Bang. One date suggested was 150 billion years ago. Another indicated a return to the Steady State universe might be appropriate, and yet another mentioned the Plasma universe. The general consensus of comments was that Big Bang survives only because some of the big guns in astrophysics have staked their careers on it. We might add that Big Bang was almost an article of belief from the very start. Science appears to like pristine beginnings. It seems that dark flow scientists such as Kashlitsky and the work of John Webb are becoming fashionable in some quarters so a chink of light might be out there somewhere. Another commenter, Fredrick Wallinder, said that if the cosmology was wrong then there exists significant ramifications for assumptions which scientists are making in a wide range of crucial scientific topics - which includes radiometric dating, climatology, the origin of life in the universe, and the source of energy for stars etc. He also suggests we should revisit Hans Alfven's Nobel physics acceptance lecture warning in regards to frozen in place magnetic fields, Gerrit Verschuur's claim that he found numerous correlations between  WMAP hot spots and interstellar H1 hydrogen filaments, and Halton Arp's claims in regard to quantized red shifts of quasars and quasar-ejections.