Giant Blob Found When Universe Was Relatively Young

Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 11:43 am
By Seth Borenstein

updated 5:39 p.m. CT, Wed., April 22, 2009
WASHINGTON - A strange giant space “blob” spotted when the universe was relatively young has got astronomers puzzled.

Using space and ground telescopes, astronomers looked back to when the universe was only 800 million years old and found something that was out of proportion and out of time. It was gaseous, big, and emitted a certain type of radiation, said study lead author Masami Ouchi, an astronomer at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, Calif.

Scientists don’t even know what to call it. So they just called it a radiation-emitting “blob.” They used that horror-film staple 34 times in their peer-reviewed study, which will be published in next month’s edition of the Astrophysical Journal. More formally, they named it Himiko, after a legendary ancient Japanese queen.

The photo of it is beyond fuzzy.

“The puzzle is " what is it?” said California Institute of Technology astronomer Richard Ellis, who wasn’t on the research team but praised the find. “Often a puzzle leads to a breakthrough. My nose tells me that this object is rather special.”

Ouchi and Ellis said one possibility is that by chance, astronomers captured the moment a galaxy was forming in the early universe " something that never has been seen before.

As astronomers gaze deeper into space, they are looking farther back in time. What Ouchi found was from 12.9 billion years ago. Only three other objects have been seen that are from deeper in time and space.

But what’s most remarkable about this blob is its size: It's 55,000 light-years long, which is comparable to the radius of the disk-shaped Milky Way. According to many theories of the universe, nothing was supposed to be that big at that time in the universe. The other objects from that period are far smaller, Ouchi said.

Ouchi said it also could be two colliding galaxies, or might have something to do with a black hole.

This report was supplemented by msnbc.com.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,313 • Replies: 7
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Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 12:18 pm
I like cosmology! I'm responding to this while sitting outside in the sun at lunch, the birds are chirping and my universe seems rather small compared to the real one.
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Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 01:45 pm
Thats where the membrane of the adjoining universe touched ours during formation and the two "branes" are slowly separating. We call it "universal drift"
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 03:37 pm
Phys. Rev. A 35, 1953 - 1956 (1987)
rf stabilization of universal drift mode based on plasma-maser theory
AbstractReferences Citing Articles (1) Page Images
Download: Page Images , PDF (427 kB), or Buy this Article (Use Article Pack) Export: BibTeX or EndNote (RIS)
Mitsuhiro Nambu
College of General Education, Kyushu University, Ropponmatsu, Fukuoka 810, Japan

Received 17 September 1986

The condition for stabilizing the universal drift mode by superimposing an external high-frequency Trivelpiece-Gould mode is investigated based on a new mode-coupling process (plasma-maser effect). The energy up-conversion from the universal drift mode to the high-frequency rf field stabilizes the low-frequency drift mode. Under suitable conditions, the new method based on plasma-maser interaction is effective at a smaller relative magnitude of the rf field than the one based on a ponderomotive force in a narrow sense.

©1987 The American Physical Society

URL: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevA.35.1953
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.35.1953
PACS: 52.55.Mg, 52.35.Kt, 52.35.Ra
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 03:40 pm
Plasma Maser Theory of Whistler Waves in the Presence of Ion Cyclotron Turbulence
R. N. Khound, S. N. Sarma, S. Bujarbarua
Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology, Assam Science Society, Panbazar, Guwahat-781001, India


In this paper we consider the plasma maser theory of whistler waves in the presence of ion cyclotron waves in a magnetized plasma. In a plasma with low frequency ion cyclotron turbulence and a high frequency test whistler wave, growth of the whistler wave takes place because of the turbulent bremsstrahlung interaction between the resonant electrons and the modulated electric fields. The growth rate of the whistler wave is calculated and the results discussed.

Received: 17 July 1985
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1002/ctpp.19860260206 About DOI
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Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 06:25 pm
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Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 07:18 pm
Are they sure it's a Blob and not a Glob?
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 08:10 pm
It's the mote in God's eye.
0 Replies

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