The unexplained motion has hundreds of millions of stars dashing
towards a certain part of the sky at over eight hundred kilometers per
second. Not much speed in cosmic terms, but the preferred direction
certainly is: most cosmological models have things moving in all
directions equally at the extreme edges of the universe. Something
that could make things aim for a specific spot on such a massive scale
hasn't been imagined before. The scientists are keeping to the proven
astrophysical strategy of calling anything they don't understand
"dark", terming the odd motion a "dark flow".
A black hole can't explain the observations - objects would accelerate
into the hole, while the NASA scientists see constant motion over a
vast expanse of a billion light-years. You have no idea how big that
is. This is giant on a scale where it's not just that we can't see
what's doing it; it's that the entire makeup of the universe as we
understand it can't be right if this is happening.
Which is fantastic! Such discoveries force a whole new set of ideas
onto the table which, even if they turn out to be wrong, are the
greatest ways to advance science and our understanding of everything.
One explanation that's already been offered is that our universe
underwent a period of hyper-inflation early in its existence, and
everything we think of as the vast and infinite universe is actually a
small corner under the sofa of the real expanse of reality. Which
would be an amazing, if humbling, discovery.
Posted by Luke McKinney.
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Cosmic Dark Flow