Observations challenge cosmological theories

October 5, 2018, University of Bonn
The picture shows the galaxy cluster XLSSC 006. This composite image results from the combination of smoothed X-ray data from the XXL survey (purple) together with optical and infrared observations from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Credit: ESA/XMM-Newton (X-rays); CFHT (optical); XXL Survey

Recent observations have created a puzzle for astrophysicists: Since the Big Bang, fewer galaxy clusters have formed over time than were actually expected. Physicists from the university of Bonn have now confirmed this phenomenon. For the next three years, the researchers will analyze their data in even greater detail. This will put them in a position to confirm whether the theories considered valid today need to be reworked. The study is part of a series of 20 publications appearing in the professional journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Nearly 13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang marked the beginning of the universe. It created space and time, but also all the of which our universe consists today. From then on, space expanded at a terrifying rate, and so did the diffuse fog in which the matter was nearly evenly distributed.

But not completely: In some regions, the fog was a little bit denser than in others. As a result, these regions exerted a slightly stronger gravitational pull and slowly attracted material from their surroundings. Over time, matter concentrated increasingly within these condensation points. At the same time, the space between them gradually became emptier. Over 13 billion years, this resulted in the formation of a sponge-like structure—big "holes" devoid of matter, separated by small areas within which thousands of agglomerate—the galaxy clusters.

Six parameters explain the whole universe

The Standard Model of cosmology describes this history of the universe, from the first seconds after the Big Bang to the current day. The beauty of it: The model explains, with only six parameters, everything known today about the birth and evolution of the universe. Nonetheless, the model may now have reached its limits. "New observational evidence points to the fact that the matter is distributed today in a different way than the theory predicts," explains Dr. Florian Pacaud from the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie of the University of Bonn.

It all started with the measurements of the Planck satellite, which was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) to measure the cosmic background radiation. This radiation is, to some extent, an afterglow of the Big Bang. It conveys crucial information on the matter distribution in the early universe; showing the distribution as it was only 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

According to the Planck measurements, this initial distribution was such that, over cosmic time, more galaxy clusters should have formed than we observe today. "We have measured with an X-ray satellite the number of galaxy clusters at different distances from ourselves," explains Dr. Pacaud. The idea behind the measurements: The light from remote has traveled for billions of years before reaching us, so we observe them today as they were when the universe was still young. Nearby clusters, on the other hand, are observed as they appeared much more recently.

"Our measurements confirm that the clusters formed too slowly," said Dr. Pacaud. "We have estimated to which extent this result conflicts with the basic predictions of the Standard Model." While there is a large discrepancy between the measurements and predictions, the statistical uncertainty in the present study is not yet tight enough to challenge the theory. However, the researchers expect to obtain substantially more constraining results from the same project within the next three years. This will finally reveal whether the Standard Model needs to be revised.

Dark energy—a constant?

The study also supplies a glimpse into the nature of dark energy. This mysterious constituent of the acts as a kind of interstellar baking powder, causing the acceleration of cosmic expansion. The "amount" of dark energy—the cosmological constant—should have stayed the same since the Big Bang—or so assumes the Standard Model of cosmology. Many observations seem to point in this direction. "Our measurement also supports this thesis," explains Dr. Pacaud. "But here again, we shall obtain more precise results in the near future."

Explore further: Tracing the Universe: X-ray survey supports standard cosmological model

More information: F. Pacaud et al, The XXL Survey. XXV. Cosmological analysis of the C1 cluster number counts, Astronomy & Astrophysics (2018). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834022

Related Stories

BUFFALO charges towards the earliest galaxies

September 13, 2018

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has started a new mission to shed light on the evolution of the earliest galaxies in the Universe. The BUFFALO survey will observe six massive galaxy clusters and their surroundings. The ...

Hyper Suprime-Cam survey maps dark matter in the universe

September 26, 2018

Today, an international group of researchers, including Carnegie Mellon University's Rachel Mandelbaum, released the deepest wide field map of the three-dimensional distribution of matter in the universe ever made and increased ...

Recommended for you

Scientist explores a better way to predict space weather

October 22, 2018

Findings recently published by a Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) space scientist shed new light on predicting the thermodynamics of solar flares and other "space weather" events involving hot, fast-moving plasmas.

Gravitational waves could shed light on dark matter

October 22, 2018

The forthcoming Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be a huge instrument allowing astronomers to study phenomena including black holes colliding and gravitational waves moving through space-time. Researchers from ...

'Oumuamua one year later

October 22, 2018

One year ago this week astronomers discovered an unusual object moving through space not too far from the Earth's orbit. In just a few days they realized it could not be a normal asteroid or comet – its path showed that ...

Astronomers propose a new method for detecting black holes

October 22, 2018

A stellar mass black hole is a compact object with a mass greater than three solar masses. It is so dense and has such a powerful force of attraction that not even light can escape from it. They cannot be observed directly, ...

27 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Anonym262722
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2018
The standard theory of cosmology was born broken already before its birth - it did not remove the main reason why the epicycle model 400-500 years ago provided as good local predictions as Kepler and Newton physical models. GR/QM models remained local explaining the observables in our solar and galaxy system neighborhood based on the postulate of constant C - until intergalactic data of SN1a and GW data of distorted time and distance concepts were noticed and proven using the unified physics and math concepts of Suntola Dynamic Universe and Rauhala loop inverse estimation theory of array calculus. See my past physorg comments for more details or over 204 posts by prophet UR in WSU Master Class discussions since fall 2014.
Joe1963
1 / 5 (6) Oct 05, 2018
I posit this hypothesis that does away with both dark matter and also dark energy. I posit that at a distance of approximately 1.5 million light-years gravity becomes slightly repulsive, gradually increasing with distance to achieve a peak repulsion, and then decreasing with distance to zero.

Thus, cosmological expansion is caused by galaxies pushing against each other, and galactic rotation can be explained by the fact that each galaxy is surrounded by a "womb" of dust, gas, and other galaxies, and this "womb" pushes with repulsive gravity upon the outer stars of a galaxy to keep them in orbit at a higher speed than expected.

I give a cosmological / mathematical justification for this behavior in my Reddit article:

https://www.reddi...tter_is/

At the bottom, in the responses, I explain how General Relativity can be adjusted so as to retain time dilation while rejecting curved space and retaining flat, 3D, Euclidean space.
fourinfinities
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 05, 2018
The Newtonian principle of action-reaction is one thing missing. Star and galaxy formation constitutes "action," which must, by necessity, induce a "reaction." The "action" of star formation is one of collapse: collapse of local regions of gas. When galaxies merge, that also constitutes collapse. The "reaction" to collapse must be expansion. Yet this expansive factor is entirely missing from the standard model. Why add an unknown, "dark energy," when we have failed to account for the known?
valeriy_polulyakh
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 05, 2018
If we believe that our World has started sometimes ago we are still in the position to decide which hypothesis, Lemaître's or Gamow's was closer to reality. There is an opinion that the problems in the standard cosmology could be solved by adjusting of details. Our suggestion is that we have to go back to the conceptions and use the observations accumulated since.
https://www.acade...osmology
Old_C_Code
2.2 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2018
Red shift expansion should show where the galaxies began, but they don't point back to a singularity.
archytype_net
2.3 / 5 (10) Oct 07, 2018
I suggest that the forces at work in shaping the universe is more likely to be of an electrical and magentic nature as the primary driving force, especially that of rotation. Gravity is the resultant force, not the primary one.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Oct 07, 2018
"space expanded at a terrifying rate"

-I dont understand this. What is the purpose of this phrase? What does it mean? What is its message? What does it say? WHY is it HERE?
Old_C_Code
1 / 5 (2) Oct 07, 2018
arch says: " the universe is more likely to be of an electrical and magentic nature"

Okay, it's a nice idea, just don't claim that our Sun is powered by the galaxy. There is no evidence of this and it makes people ignore the possible current funneling into the poles of the galaxy.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (10) Oct 07, 2018
The article is one university rehash of this survey: https://phys.org/...cal.html . A tension with standard cosmology is simply not there, as I said then: "So the completely new and independent dataset agree with the Planck LCDM model at 0.5 sigma! It also cut the uncertainty in the vacuum energy (i.e. cosmological constant being constant) with 30 %."

So there is nothing on the new, verified cosmology - odd how people obsess over a century old ideas or even suggest that general relativity is not well tested as the basis for cosmology yet again by the observations here - until we get to this:

"space expanded at a terrifying rate"

I dont understand this.


It likely alludes to inflation smoothing the universe, but the press release mess up the order and the physics of events. A correct description is here: https://www.forbe...e5187d81 .
Phyllis Harmonic
5 / 5 (6) Oct 07, 2018
As is so often the case, torbjorn_b_g_larsson provides the most cogent comment in the thread.

Thank you, TBGL! :)
Phyllis Harmonic
5 / 5 (6) Oct 07, 2018
The Newtonian principle of action-reaction is one thing missing . . The "reaction" to collapse must be expansion.


Except Newtonian mechanics doesn't apply in this case- GR does. And in terms of GR, when matter collapses under the influence of gravity, it is falling into a gravity well and there is no back-action save for the minute bump in the well that is easily smoothed out by the bulk matter at the bottom of the well. Not only is there no expansion due to a back-reaction, the inward collapse of matter increases the rate of collapse.
Anonym262722
1 / 5 (6) Oct 07, 2018
"Since the Big Bang, fewer galaxy clusters have formed over time than were actually expected. Physicists from the university of Bonn have now confirmed this phenomenon"

One more confirmation that the time concept (constancy of C) or the corner stone of GR,QM and outdated standard theory of BB cosmology fails again. This was confirmed eg by the 2011 and 2017 Nobel level mistakes in interpretations of the GR epicycles of Dark Energy and GW as repeatedly shown with practical proofs since the ancient times in literature posted at the physicsfoundation.org web site of Suntola Dynamic Universe. I have attempted to compress these common sense concepts of DU into 1K byte comments since 2014 WSU MS discussions and recent physorg discussions. They are based on the unified math of array algebra & calculus and advanced Gaussian estimation theory of math statistics and computer sciences in modern surveying such as satellite photogrammetry and GPS technology of 4/5-D DU space mapping.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2018
It likely alludes to inflation smoothing the universe, but the press release mess up the order and the physics of events. A correct description is here:
What are you talking about? What does expansion of the universe have to do with 'terrifying'??? What is the purpose of using that word? Would you think to use the word 'terrifying' to describe that phenomenon?

It's like implying that the cosmological constant is something to get emotional over.

It's hard to describe how disturbing that is
rrwillsj
5 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2018
Yes otto, it's our human-orimate nature.

Everyone of us commenting, has an emotional stake in being right. All the time, about everything.

And insisting that everyone else is wrong whenever it soothes our egos.
jonesdave
3.3 / 5 (12) Oct 08, 2018
"Since the Big Bang, fewer galaxy clusters have formed over time than were actually expected. Physicists from the university of Bonn have now confirmed this phenomenon"

One more confirmation that the time concept (constancy of C) or the corner stone of GR, .....yada, yada, yada,.............................satellite photogrammetry and GPS technology of 4/5-D DU space mapping.


Lol. And what is having to be corrected for to get accurate GPS measurements? GR. Idiot, you contradicted yourself. Well done.
Anonym262722
1 / 5 (5) Oct 08, 2018
@JD
GPS principle needs expanded from locally tracked or ECI based GPS satellite orbits by:
1) the 4th metric dimension of R4 or expansion of 3-D space orthogonally in the R4 direction that is expanding at the present global deceleration rate of C4 by -35.5 km/s per Mpc.
2) This affects the time keeping foundations of GPS or atomic clocks where you have to correct the 2011 Nobel level mistake of DE/DM in the outdated cosmological constant. The other 2017 GW mistake revealed the constancy of TRUE value C to be WRONG. GW 'proofs' required decades of GR related work until aLIGO artificial expansion of the tubes by factor 75-284 reached the clock frequency deceleration limit dC4/C4 of -35.5 km/s/3.262 Ml.y=-1.15 10^-21/ms. dC=dC4=0 would need infinite side-band circulation.
jonesdave
3.6 / 5 (14) Oct 08, 2018
@JD
GPS principle needs expanded from locally tracked or ECI based GPS satellite orbits by:
1) the 4th metric dimension of R4 or expansion of 3-D space orthogonally in the R4 direction that is expanding at the present global deceleration rate of C4 by -35.5 km/s per Mpc.
2) This affects the time keeping foundations of GPS or atomic clocks where you have to correct the 2011 Nobel level mistake of DE/DM in the outdated cosmological constant. The other 2017 GW mistake revealed the constancy of TRUE value C to be WRONG. GW 'proofs' required decades of GR related work until aLIGO artificial expansion of the tubes by factor 75-284 reached the clock frequency deceleration limit dC4/C4 of -35.5 km/s/3.262 Ml.y=-1.15 10^-21/ms. dC=dC4=0 would need infinite side-band circulation.


Incomprehensible word salad. And nothing to do with the fact that GPS relies on corrections for GR and SR. It is just one more confirmation of those theories. And there are many.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2018
Yes otto, it's our human-orimate nature.

Everyone of us commenting, has an emotional stake in being right. All the time, about everything.

And insisting that everyone else is wrong whenever it soothes our egos
No, willis its psychopoets like yourself who are all about fuzzy words as playthings that muck things up and convey no meaning whatsoever.

Of course you dont find bullshit disturbing. It's all you got. It's all you are.
human-orimate
That's right. Worthless, empty, ignorant shit like this.
Anonym262722
2 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2018
Incomprehensible word salad. And nothing to do with the fact that GPS relies on corrections for GR and SR. It is just one more confirmation of those theories. And there are many.

As a unified and extended theory of GR and QM, DU agrees with local GR based GPS observations within 18 decimals - but GR based GPS systems will get lost in global cosmic mapping in applying its 5-10 additional mistaken postulates. 4/5-D cosmic GPS needs to go back to drawing board in the fashion D.C. Brown SAGA program of range sensing and self-calibration of 1960's in simultaneous network adjustment of GPS satellite orbits with the new triangulated or interconnected photogrammetric nets in 5-D sequential least squares adjustment of billions of unknowns. Also see P. Meissl practical computational solution of GPS networks of geometric geodesy (no need of GR/SR) and Suntola DU book corrections of some early GR/SR based GPS tests (Scout D, Sagnac effect etc.)
jonesdave
3.2 / 5 (9) Oct 08, 2018
Incomprehensible word salad. And nothing to do with the fact that GPS relies on corrections for GR and SR. It is just one more confirmation of those theories. And there are many.

As a unified and extended theory of GR and QM, DU agrees with local GR based GPS observations within 18 decimals - but GR based GPS systems will get lost in global cosmic mapping in applying its 5-10 additional mistaken postulates. 4/5-D cosmic GPS needs to go back to drawing board in the fashion D.C. Brown SAGA program of range sensing and self-calibration of 1960's in simultaneous network adjustment of GPS satellite orbits with the new triangulated or interconnected photogrammetric nets in 5-D sequential least squares adjustment of billions of unknowns. Also see P. Meissl practical computational solution of GPS networks of geometric geodesy (no need of GR/SR) and Suntola DU book corrections of some early GR/SR based GPS tests (Scout D, Sagnac effect etc.)


What a load of crap.
Old_C_Code
1 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2018
"Lol. And what is having to be corrected for to get accurate GPS measurements? GR. Idiot"

The actual GR effected clock time of the satellite is NEVER USED IN THE CALCULATION, and has no, ok negligible, effect on the signal processing.
jonesdave
3.2 / 5 (9) Oct 08, 2018
"Lol. And what is having to be corrected for to get accurate GPS measurements? GR. Idiot"

The actual GR effected clock time of the satellite is NEVER USED IN THE CALCULATION, and has no, ok negligible, effect on the signal processing.


Wrong, as I've already shown on here.
rrwillsj
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 08, 2018
Sorry otto. I apologize for rattling your cage. Here, have a nice banana to calm yourself down. That's a good monkey!
Anonym262722
2 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2018
Back to subject of the article and its mistaken starting points: "Nearly 13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang marked the beginning of the universe. From then on, space expanded at a terrifying rate" -AT DECELERATING vs ACCERELARED RATE!

The Big Bounce of DU just marked the half-way turning point of era where the accelerated contraction of total mass M in 3-D space of closed Riemann 4-sphere turned into decelerated expansion at T4=0 by continual balancing of its motion and gravitational energies in 'energy vs. force field equations' of middle school math. They express the R4 radius and its expansion speed C4 OF the space and speed of light C IN space as simple nonlinear functions of global Newtonian time T4. Its ticking frequency slows down the decelerating C4=C to appear as CONSTANT as postulated by GR/QM and repeatedly confirmed by M-M etc tests - but fooling the SN1a and GW data models and explaining the shown results, see DU books or my past posts explanations.
jonesdave
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 09, 2018
see DU books or my past posts explanations.


Nope, it sounds like crap. Just link to the peer reviewed paper/s.
rrwillsj
not rated yet Oct 09, 2018
Oh, annoyingmousie. You've fallen into your own pit of ignorance, bumping your pointy little noggin all the way down.

From the very first assemblage of neutrinos out of the cthonic glasma. Random decay of tau and meson neutrinos produced Majoron (DM) particles, bulking up the galaxies.

The decay process releasing the phenomena called Dark Energy. Because it amuses me, I am re-titling DE as Majorarcana.

This continuous process of decay adds the Majorarcana released to increasingly accelerate the expansion of the Universe.

I now wonder if the decay of the tau and meson neutrinos into Majorons releases the same Majorarcana? Or if there may be different frequencies?

And if Black Holes (Stygian Obstinacy?) do not remove their contents from this Universe? Then perhaps they are also pumping out Majorarcana? There could be an entire spectrum of energy variations still beyond our present technology to detect.
Anonym262722
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 09, 2018
@JD and annoying rrmousie mistaken Majorcana of DE

During my physorg visits I have linked my common sense translations of advanced DU physics concepts to physicsfoundations.org web site of 'Suntola Dynamic Universe' search. Those interested in cosmological and mathematical physics may want to click Dr. Suntola list of open papers, publications, PIRT presentations and annual PFS international seminar presentations. Those interested in particle physics and other applications may load papers by Lehto and other members of PFS. I have given these links only 59 times so you must have ignored or failed to educate yourselves about one of the biggest revolution in physics in recent times.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.