Sunday, April 12, 2009

Milky Way Younger Than Thought



Science Daily: Some Massive Galaxies May Be Relatively New: Discovery Challenges Galaxy Formation Theories.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2009) — A team led by an Indiana University astronomer has found a sample of massive galaxies with properties that suggest they may have formed relatively recently. This would run counter to the widely-held belief that massive, luminous galaxies (like our own Milky Way Galaxy) began their formation and evolution shortly after the Big Bang, some 13 billion years ago.

Further research into the nature of these objects could open new windows into the study of the origin and early evolution of galaxies.

John Salzer, principal investigator for the study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, said that the 15 galaxies in the sample exhibit luminosities (a measure of their total light output) that indicate that they are massive systems like the Milky Way and other so-called "giant" galaxies. However, these particular galaxies are unusual because they have chemical abundances that suggest very little stellar evolution has taken place within them. Their relatively low abundances of "heavy" elements (elements heavier than helium, called "metals" by astronomers) imply the galaxies are cosmologically young and may have formed recently.

The chemical abundances of the galaxies, combined with some simple assumptions about how stellar evolution and chemical enrichment progress in galaxies in general, suggest that they may only be 3 or 4 billion years old, and therefore formed 9 to 10 billion years after the Big Bang. Most theories of galaxy formation predict that massive, luminous systems like these should have formed much earlier.

7 comments:

Anaconda said...

SO-CALLED "BIG BANG" CONFOUNDED, AGAIN

"This would run counter to the widely-held belief...", read, "big bang" theory.

It's notable that the article states the "big bang" as if it's beyond question, part of the Holy Scripture of "modern" astronomy. Yet, if one reads the Science Daily article closely, the theory most directly contradicted by this report is the "big bang" theory, itself.

Per the article:

"The chemical abundances of the galaxies, combined with some simple assumptions about how stellar evolution and chemical enrichment progress in galaxies in general, suggest that they may only be 3 or 4 billion years old, and therefore formed 9 to 10 billion years after the Big Bang. Most theories of galaxy formation predict that massive, luminous systems like these should have formed much earlier."

"Most theories" of galaxy formation explicitly assume the "big bang".

Apparently, Science Daily decided it was "too hot" to make the direct link beween this published scientific paper and it's potential falsifying of the "big bang".

It should be added that in this writer's opinion, the findings are in harmony with theories of galaxy evolution as proposed under the Plasma Universe theory.

Something, I suppose Science Daily at this point would never do: Explicitly state that observations and measurements tend to confirm Plasma Universe theory.

In the Plasma Universe theory galaxies do not form all at once, but rather in progression. And observations confirm morphologies (study of shapes) that are consistent with galaxies in different states of evolution (active galaxies, galaxies with jets, and those without).

In any event, it's interesting to read an article that mentions the "big bang" and then proceeds to tiptoe around the fact that the findings of the scientific paper contradict the existence of the "big bang", itself.

Interesting -- but not surprising.

Quantum_Flux said...

I know what Galaxy Formation is, but I'm not sure what it means exactly to say "when a galaxy began". What is that supposed to be? Is there supposed to be a point in time when a galaxy isn't and then it suddenly becomes a galaxy? I find the assumption that all of the stars within a particular galaxy would suddenly ignite into fusion all at once to be a little bit halfbaked.

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:

Good question.

According to Plasma Cosmology there are two senarios of galaxy formation.

(Electric Universe is an extension of Plasma Universe; Plasma Cosmology incorporates both ideas.)

Plasma Universe theory suggests two galactic sized Birkeland currents come together from generally opposite directions. See galaxy formation, here.

A galaxy in this theory begins as a galactic sized kink (plasma instability) that forms a plasmoid (this process has been replicated on the microscopic level with actual plasma in the laboratory).

Magnetic fields (along with their concomitant electric currents) increase in strength causing the magnetic fields to constrict forming galaxtic-sized Z-pinches which gatheres and compresses plasma (and any accompanying neutral gases) together.

Electric Universe proposes an additional way galaxies can begin.

Halton Arp, an astronomer has collected examples (observational pictures) of galaxies where quasars of higher 'redshift' are connected by plasma "bridges" or are in front of lower 'redshift' galaxies.

This is important because standard "big bang" theory equates higher redshift as being farther away and going faster (receding from the observer). Therefore, quasars, which have uniform higher redshift than galaxies are thought to be very energetic, but also very far away from observers on Earth.

Anyway, Arp proposes as a hypothesis that quasars are ejected from active galaxies and develop into galaxies. According to Arp's hypothesis, quasars have 'intrinsic' redshift.

Arp's hypothesis has been endorsed by many Electric Universe proponents; Electric Universe proponents also endorse the Plasma Universe hypothesis.

Both proposals are opposed by proponents of the standard model, so-called "big bang".

This is due in part because the Plasma Universe hypothesis achieves galaxy formation without gravity being the motive force (it is still there playing a role, but not the predominant role assigned it in the gravity "only" model).

(It should be noted the Plasma Universe model works without recourse to "dark" matter which is required in the standard model.)

The quasar idea proposed by Arp is objected to on the grounds that quasars are at the far reaches of the Universe and that Arp's conclusions if accurate completely contradict the "big bang", needless to say his ideas are objected to by "big bang" proponents.

Louis Hissink said...

Anaconda/Quantum

instead look at a flowing stream of water, in which small vortices, or eddys, appear and disappear.

Get it ?

:-)

Quantum_Flux said...

Thank you for the information, I'll look through all of that.

But, my immediate question is whether the distance to quasers are determined by triangulation methods?

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:

I don't think it is; my understanding is that Arp's conclusions are based on morphology, i.e., the observable apparent plasma bridges connecting galaxies and quasars, and also the apparent observation of quasars that are in front of galaxies.

The Standard Model also doesn't rely on triangulation, as I understand it, rather, it relies on the "redshift" of the quasars to provide speed and distance.

It's all rather an inexact affair.

Which stands in contrast to the perception "modern" astronomy wants to present to the general public that all it's ideas are based on rigorous quantification -- it isn't.

Quantum_Flux said...

Cool then