According to the cosmological theory, the prevailingtoday in the scientific community, the universe was born about 13.7 billion years ago in a process known as the Big Bang. Since then, the space has expanded and cooled. However, a recent study by Ohio State University in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics delved into the history of the universe and turned out to be not entirely true. In fact, the researchers argue that the average temperature of the gas clouds that form stars and galaxies has increased tenfold over the past 10,000 million years, reaching nearly two million degrees today. Thus, astronomers have confirmed that galaxies are warming up over time due to the gravitational collapse of the cosmic structure and it is for this reason that the warming of the universe will continue in the future.
How did the universe come about?
The Big Bang Theory is a cosmologicala model, a theory used to describe the beginning and evolution of our universe. According to this theory, the universe was in a very hot and dense state before expanding 13.7 billion years ago. It is important to understand that the Big Bang Theory is based on fundamental observations, including observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation (relic radiation), which is a kind of fossil radiation emitted in the early universe, when it was hot and dense.
In 1920, the eminent astronomer Edwin Hubble noticed that the distance between galaxies was increasing throughout the universe. This means that galaxies should have been closer to each other in the past. The relic radiation that can be observed throughout the universe was discovered in 1964.
It is also noteworthy that the composition of the Universe isthere is a number of atoms of different elements - consistent with the Big Bang theory. Today, the Big Bang Theory is the only theory that can explain why we observe an abundance of primary elements in the universe.
Large-scale structure of the universe
According to the study,published in The Astrophysical Journal, our universe is heating up. The new work, as noted by its authors, confirms the findings of the 2019 Nobel laureate in physics Juma Peebels, who laid out a theory about how the large-scale structure of the universe is formed.
A large-scale structure is understood ashow clusters of galaxies are distributed on a universal scale of the Universe, creating that very cosmic web. Such a structure is created from the gravitational collapse of dark matter and gas.
In the course of work, the researchers recorded more thanthan a 10-fold increase in the average temperature of accumulated gas in the Universe over the past 10,000 million years, including gas in galaxies. These findings support the theory behind the emergence of large-scale structures.
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How did the temperature in the Universe change?
The light we see from objects is the mostdistant from the Earth, older than the light coming from nearby objects. Light from more distant objects, in fact, had to travel a longer distance to reach our telescopes. This fact, along with a method capable of estimating temperature from light, allowed an international team of scientists to measure the average temperature of gases in the early Universe (those that surround the most distant objects) and then compare it with the average temperature of gases closest to Earth.
To understand how the temperature changed duringUniverse throughout its history, researchers have used data from two missions - Planck and Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The first mission is a joint work of the European Space Agency and NASA, the main goal of which is to detect anisotropy (small temperature differences) in the Universe almost immediately after the Big Bang. The purpose of the second mission is the largest collection of detailed images and light spectra of the universe in history.
The researchers used a new method thatallowed them to estimate the temperature of the gas formed in the early Universe very far from the Earth and compare it with the temperature of gas clouds located closer to us and, therefore, formed later.
The authors of the work combined the data of two missions and estimated the distances of near and far hot gases by measuring them redshift - a system that allows you to evaluate how quicklydistant objects are removed from us and at what distances they are. The further away a star or galaxy is, the longer the wavelength of its light, which shifts to the red color of the spectrum.
See also: Unweaving the rainbow - how the secrets of light led humanity to the discovery of dark matter?
Thus, it was discovered that in modernThe temperature of gases in the universe reaches about two million degrees Kelvin (about four million degrees Fahrenheit) around the objects closest to Earth. Which is about 10 times the temperature of gases around more distant objects. It turns out that the researchers were able to confirm that The universe heats up over time due to the gravitational collapse of the cosmic structureand it is more than likely that this warming will continue in the future.
“The universe is heating up due to naturalthe process of formation of galaxies and other structures. This process, however, has nothing to do with climate change on our planet, ”the study authors write.
Moreover, on the whole, the average temperature of the Universe instill pretty cold overall, around -454.76 degrees Fahrenheit (-270.42 degrees Celsius). For comparison - the temperature of our Sun can reach up to 15 million degrees Celsius.