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Where are all those stars going to?


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A new phenomena has been observed at the edge of the Universe. Hundreds of millions of stars meeting up for a big party, but where are they going ... ? And these stars are hurrying 'there' at the speed of over 800 km per second. WoW!!!

Are cosmologists going to have to rewrite a theory or two?

Astrophysicists are now scratching their heads about a new thing: 'dark flow'!

Left-click (once) there --> "Dark Flow" Discovered at Edge of the Universe: Hundreds of Millions of Stars Racing Towards a Cosmic Hotspot

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Interesting indeed.

This was a 2008 discovery, was it not?

Physicists are saying it may be a remnant of the motion which occurred as a result of inflation, and because we (obviously) cannot see that time (of inflation) in the universe, we are not able to see the matter that is causing this dark flow either.

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Nice find, Rosanella. I think that cosmology is the most exciting field in physics these days, with interconnections between subatomic physics and the universe at large, and with mountains of new data arriving all the time.

Physicists are saying it may be a remnant of the motion which occurred as a result of inflation, and because we (obviously) cannot see that time (of inflation) in the universe, we are not able to see the matter that is causing this dark flow either.

The idea is that this dark flow has a physical cause, possibly a gravitational attraction to a region where matter is more dense. Before inflation, the matter that we see streaming (called it S) was gravitationally attracted to the dense mass (call it M). In order for M to affect S, M must be able to throw photons or gravitons and hit M, or throw cricket balls (matter) and hit M, i.e., M must be able to transmit information to S at or below the speed of light. Physicists speculate that this was relationship between M and S before inflation, and that the rapid, accelerated expansion of inflation broke this causal relationship, so that M is now outside the observable universe.

In other words, inflation accelerated M to a place somewhere over the rainbow ... er, I mean somewhere over the cosmological horizon.

It must be Happy Hour at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe... :)

An even more specific conclusion can be drawn: there is a happy hour special on pan-galactic gargle blasters at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe :D.

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How long did this hyperinflation last? Is it actual hyperinflation that gradually tailed off or is it relative hyperinflation? Obviously when the universe was a few seconds or minutes old the relative rate of inflation would effectively be exponential or greater whereas 13.7bn years later its far less than that as its now huge rather than football sized. Would the actual rate of expansion drop over time also due to energy loss to other parts of the system such as star creation etc. If that's the case, would that loss would be increasing, decreasing or varying though time depending on the size of the universe?

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How long did this hyperinflation last?

Inflation lasted for the mind-booglingly short period of about 10-34 seconds during which time the scale of the universe grew by a mind-boggling factor of about 1050. Both of these numbers could be off by a few orders of magnitude.

Is it actual hyperinflation that gradually tailed off or is it relative hyperinflation?

Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean.

Obviously when the universe was a few seconds or minutes old the relative rate of inflation would effectively be exponential or greater whereas 13.7bn years later its far less than that as its now huge rather than football sized.

Actually, due to dark energy, the universe has now entered another period of exponential growth. The current exponential growth, however, is a lot more gradual than the inflationary growth.

Would the actual rate of expansion drop over time also due to energy loss to other parts of the system such as star creation etc.

Something like this is thought to happen during and at the end of the universe's inflationary period. Inflation was caused by a field, and, during its inflationary period, this field lost potential energy as the universe expanded and cooled. Inflation ended as energy in the field was converted into new matter at a temperature similar to the universe's temperature at the start of inflation. This is called the reheating phase of the universe (as opposed to nuking last night's leftover pizza). The matter that was created during reheating eventually formed all the matter in universe today.

If that's the case, would that loss would be increasing, decreasing or varying though time depending on the size of the universe?

It seems that the rate at which the universe loses energy (density), sometimes decreases and sometimes increases, but Wife just called and said that Wife and Daughter are about to drop in on me, and I haven't had time to check this thoroughly.

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...would that loss would be increasing, decreasing or varying though time depending on the size of the universe?

Interesting question, and I'd like to know the answer. Will have to wait till George returns!

I'll keep doing some reading till then.:D

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Wasn't there a theory circulating years ago concerning something termed "The Great Attractor". Or was that something entirely different.?

Ron.:)

Ah! just Googled it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Attractor

Yes I thought the "Great Attractor" was an unseen mass in the direction of Hydra and Centaurus that was pulling all the galaxies towards it. This sounds like something different altogether.

www.astronomycentral.co.uk

Yes, these are two different, but similar, things. One main difference is that one source of attraction, The Great Attractor, lies within our observable universe, while the source of attraction causing the dark flow seems to lie outside our observable universe.

Interesting question, and I'd like to know the answer. Will have to wait till George returns!

I'll keep doing some reading till then.:D

Still haven't run through this. It will take only a few quiet minutes, but my weekends are dominated by family time and non-quiet minutes.

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