By now you have probably seen the gobsmackingly beautiful photos from the James Webb Space Telescope.
But the majesty and awe these photos evoke are matched by the scientific challenges they are now inflicting on the very theory of the origins of our universe.
The Big Bang theory has been the preferred cosmological model for the formation of our universe for some time now. At some point around 14 billion years ago, all matter in the universe began expanding outwards from a single point of singularity. Everything has been moving ‘outwards’ and ‘away-wards’ ever since.
But the Big Bang (BB) remains a theory, and there are some, such as popular science writer and plasma researcher Eric Lerner, who have been skeptical of it from the beginning (of the theory not the universe).
Now it seems, that the latest high-definition photos from the JWSP raise many questions in the scientific community about the BB.
In this article Lerner raises some of the problematic issues raised by this new data.
Here is my (simpleton to be sure) understanding of the questions raised:
Firstly: The BB predicts that galaxies at the furthest edges of the universe should (counterintuitively) appear to us larger than closer galaxies as they recede because their light left them when they were closer to us.
But this is not what the JWSP photos show. The galaxies further away look smaller, as you would expect if they had always been further away.
Secondly: according to the BB theory, the light that has travelled to us from the most distant galaxies shows them as they were 400-500 million years after the BB. Yet using colour spectroscopy scientists have estimated some of the star populations as being over a billion years old.
As there was supposed to be nothing before the BB, this is a problem.
Reading the article in full, it does seem like Mr Learner has a bit of a censorship axe to grind after having some of his previous papers rejected by established astronomical journals. Perhaps he is justified.
Nevertheless, it seems we are on the cusp of a whole lot of fresh debate about the BB theory.
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”― Max Planck
We are living in interesting times.
Full article: The Big Bang didn’t happen.