Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dark Lensing

I'm going camping in a remote wilderness for 3 weeks and will not have internet; I am still alive.

Steve Smith: Dark Lensing.

"Gravitational lensing" theory is currently in fashion among astronomers. They use it to explain the arcs of glowing material surrounding some galaxies. They also use it in conjunction with other theories to help deal with puzzling observations. One of those puzzles involves the so-called expanding Universe.

According to a recent press release, scientists have, for the first time, combined data from the Hubble Space Telescope with ground-based measurements to map the effect that gravity might have on light as it travels through space. Recent calculations seem to show that the Universe is expanding faster than it should, perhaps because there is a greater amount of mass than previously thought. In particular, the research group looked at previously catalogued redshift information from 194,000 galaxies, plugging the figures into a statistical model they designed.

Minute differences in how some galaxies are shaped point to what they claim is a "warping of spacetime" due to unseen conglomerations of matter. It is that space-bending effect that holds their hypothesis together. The intense gravity generated by the concentrations of invisible (or "dark") matter is said to cause light rays from remote objects to bend as if seen through a lens. However, it is a "weak gravitational lensing" effect, so the slight variations can only be identified statistically.

In the image at the top of the page, galactic redshift data was plotted against the altered shapes of distant galaxies due to weak gravitational lensing. Based on complex software programs, the gravity model produced galaxy cluster plots that indicate the presence of enough dark matter to account for the accelerated expansion of the Universe.

Conventional “gravity-only” astronomy sees the bending of light by gravitational "lensing." What is more important is that the entire premise depends on a single assumption, that higher redshift equals greater distance. Halton Arp has made several assertions that counter that assumption, however.

As Arp's galactic compendium grew, he noticed that there was something wrong with conventional time-speed-distance calculations—he found objects with higher redshift values in front of objects with lower redshift. Surely, such a conundrum should have immediately called into question the very nature of that "cosmological constant."

It is often written in the popular press that dark matter makes up “25% of the Universe” or that dark energy makes up “75% of the rest of the Universe.” To anyone familiar with plasma physics, it is well known that plasma makes up 99.99% of the Universe. It is a fascinating convergence that the amount of gravitational mass invented to save conventional theories is the same as the ionized plasma that is overlooked.


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