ESA’s Planck satellite has found no new evidence for the puzzling cosmic anomalies that appeared in its temperature map of the Universe. The latest study does not rule out the potential relevance of the anomalies, but they do mean astronomers must work even harder to understand the origin of these puzzling features.
Planck examined the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation
The probe’s most recent results come from an examination of the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, the oldest light in the cosmic history, generated in the time the Universe was only 380,000 years old. The probe’s first analysis, which was published back in 2013, focused on the temperature of this radiation all over the sky. That enables astronomers to examine the provenance and evolution of the cosmos.
Plank’s first map mostly proved the standard belief on how our Universe evolves and also unveiled various anomalies that are hard to explain with the conventional system of cosmology.
The deviations are dim features on the sky that show up at broader angular scales. They are certainly not artifacts generated by the nature of the satellite, or the data processing, but they are sufficiently dim that they could be statistical chance occurrences, which are incredibly rare but not entirely outside by the standard system.
New surveys by ESA’s Planck space probe might lead to ‘new physics’
In essence, the anomalies might be an indication of ‘new physics,’ the phrase used for unrecognized natural processes that would expand the known laws of physics. To investigate the deviations, the team of researchers managing Plank looked at the polarization of the CMB, which was unveiled after a rigorous examination of the multi-frequency data intended to eradicate foreground sources of microwave discharge, including gas and dust in our galaxy.
The signal is the best measurement existing today of the CMB polarization E-modes, and it goes back to the period when the first atoms caught shape in the Universe, and the CMB was produced. It is generated by the light spread off electron molecules just before the electrons were formed into hydrogen atoms.
Polarization offers an almost independent view of the CMB, so if the deviations were also to appear there, this would raise the scientists’ confidence that new physics could create them instead than being statistical chance occurrences. When the Plank team analyzed this data, they found no visible indication of the anomalies. However, the research published in Astronomy and Astrophysics unveiled some small clues that a few of the deviations may actually exist.
As it appears, this would seem to make the deviations more probably to be statistical flukes, but, in fact, it does not eliminate new physics because nature might be denser than we think. Until now, there is no credible theory for what type of new physics could be creating the anomalies. In essence, it could be that the occurrence in charge only impacts the temperature of the CMB and not the polarization.
Planck’s findings on Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation
The most major anomaly that appeared in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation temperature map is a shortfall in the signal seem at broad angular scales on the sky, approximately five degrees. In comparison, the full Moon expands to around half a degree. At these large scales, Plank’s measurements are roughly ten percent weaker than the standard system of cosmology would foresee.
Planck’s team also noted that it had been revealed with high statistical certainty that other deviations that had been shown in earlier observations in the two opposite hemispheres of the sky. These are the so-called ‘cold spot,’ a vast, low-temperature area with an uncommon steep temperature symbol.
Alas, the new information did not follow through with the observations, as the most recent result neither confirm nor reject the origin of the anomalies. There will be further examination of the Planck results, but it is improbable that they will offer new results on this matter. The evident move to make progress is for a mission specially developed to observe the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarization, but this might take more than 10 to 15 years in the future.
Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.