Earlier this year astronomers from the University of Minnesota discovered a massive void of space that measured nearly a billion light years across. It was an intriguing discovery, in a universe that is filled with seemingly infinite objects.
Cosmic gaps aren’t uncommon though, but the fact that this one was nearly 1,000 times larger than the average expected gap, suggested something different.
The team was working with sensor data retrieved by the NASA’s WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) satellite. The hole measured roughly 10,000 times as large as our galaxy or 400 times the distance to Andromeda.
What was even more fascinating was the fact that a hole this size was essentially impossible to explain under the constraints of current scientific theory.
Enter University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physics Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton.
Mersini-Houghton has put forward a theory that has stunned the wider community. “Standard cosmology cannot explain such a giant cosmic hole.” The real kick of it though, comes next, in what is being termed a groundbreaking hypothesis; she describes the hole as “… the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own“.
Mersini-Houghton’s theory posits that there are in fact two giant holes, one in each hemisphere of our universe. The one that has been recently discovered is in the northern hemisphere, and there should be another one in the southern, according to her theory.
What’s more, with more data and information coming in, her theory can be refuted or confirmed.
Whether she is on the right track, we are yet to see. But this is a track that, apparently, will have at least an end – where we find that she is incorrect – or will see us be tripped on to a new track, of new thinking and understanding.
Posted by Josh Hill.
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