What is pulling our universe apart?

21 Jul 2010


The Daily Galaxy newsletter at www.dailygalaxy.com July 19th has another Casey Kazan headline which reads, 'What is pushing our universe apart, faster and faster, with each passing moment; the debate warms up' - if that grabs your attention and then the story goes on to relate to observation of galaxy clusters which has caused scientists to think in terms of dark energy and gravity on a cosmological scale. The problem appears to be the expansion of the universe which is apparently accelerating. The Big Bang is believed to have generated a flood of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of time. These waves should still fill the universe but if so they must be extremely feeble as they cannot be detected (see Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society July 2010) which has 4 papers on the subject. Kazan goes on to say that one bit of cosmological speculation now being bandied about is the peculiar theory that red shift is caused by a Hubble length universe with a massive black hole on the rim, an idea reminiscent of medieval scare stories that beyond the horizon of the ocean something nasty lurked. In this version red shift creates an illusion the universe is accelerating - but distant stars are falling into the black hole.