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Superclusters (red) and supervoids (blue). Credit: University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.



Superclusters and Supervoids
Mar 16, 2009

Regions of space more than 500 million light-years in diameter are said to reveal dark energy influences. Are astronomers misinterpreting distance and size measurements?

"I have always believed that astrophysics should be the extrapolation of laboratory physics, that we must begin from the present Universe and work our way backward to progressively more remote and uncertain epochs." Hannes Alfvén

Astronomers from the University of Hawaii recently claimed to have found "evidence" for so-called "dark energy" that is theorized to cause the hypothetical expansion of the Universe at a rate beyond that imparted by the Big Bang. Their research is based on an analysis of data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), along with information from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).

According to astrophysicist István Szapudi of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu: "We were able to image dark energy in action, as it stretches huge supervoids and superclusters of galaxies."

A little over ten years ago, astronomers found that redshift observations of remote galaxies seemed to indicate the Universe is expanding faster today than it did in the past. So that cherished Big Bang cosmology theory could accommodate the anomalous redshift observations, the existence of a force that exerts negative pressure on gravitational fields was proposed. However, "negative gravity" was not a concept which they were prepared to defend, so they later referred to the force as "dark energy" because, like "dark matter" it cannot be detected with any instrument.

Enzo Brachini from the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) wrote: "This implies that one of two very different possibilities must hold true. Either the Universe is filled with a mysterious dark energy which produces a repulsive force that fights the gravitational brake from all the matter present in the Universe, or, our current theory of gravitation is not correct and needs to be modified, for example by adding extra dimensions to space."

Rather than accepting that "anomalies" in their observations exist because the Big Bang theory is faulty, scientists like Szapudi and Brachini resort to increasingly arcane addenda involving extra dimensions a lá string theory, or that space itself is being pulled and twisted like taffy.

In a previous Picture of the Day about the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) data from the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico, we commented on the discovery of a "cosmic void" in the structure of the Universe based on the detection of a lower temperature region in space. As the "redshift-equals-distance" theory indicates, the "void" extends for almost a billion light-years. It is these "supervoids," in conjunction with multiple galactic superclusters, that led the University of Hawaii investigators to believe they had confirmed dark energy activity.

CMB data is thought to reveal a Universe that contains areas (superclusters) where increased density imparts gravitational energy to microwave emissions from deep space. Conversely, lower density regions (supervoids) weaken the received signals, because there is reduced gravitational mass available. Looking at the microwave frequencies from the VLA seemed to show 500 million light-year-wide expanses where microwave radiation possessed a larger energy curve than it should exhibit.

Szapudi wrote: "...if dark energy causes the universe to stretch out at a faster rate, the supercluster flattens out in the half-billion years it takes the microwave to cross it. Thus, the wave gets to keep some of the energy it gained as it entered the supercluster."

Princeton University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists wrote that galactic expansion " forcing us to consider the possibility that some cosmic dark energy exists that opposes the self-attraction of matter and causes the expansion of the Universe to accelerate."

Although, Berkeley scientists also admit: "The Universe is made mostly of dark matter and dark energy and we don't know what either of them is."

In other words, two of the most active investigations in physics could be based in false premises about how the Universe is made and how it should behave. Plasma physicists have known for years that plasma makes up 99.99% of the Universe. It is a fascinating convergence that the volume of gravitational mass invented to save Big Bang cosmology is the same as the mass of plasma that is overlooked.

From the perspective of the Electric Universe theory, electric currents drive the galaxies and their associated stars. It has been demonstrated in laboratory experiments that Birkeland current filaments form structures that resemble spiral galaxies. Birkeland currents have a longer-range attractive force than gravity by several orders of magnitude, diminishing with the reciprocal of the distance from the current axis – which could account for the anomalous movement of stars as they revolve around the galactic core, as well as the anomalous acceleration of galaxies in deep space.

As physicist and Electric Universe advocate Wal Thornhill points-out: "It's not that most of the matter and energy in the universe is dark, but that most cosmologists are totally in the dark about the real nature of the universe."

Stephen Smith



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