Ghost of a universe found before the Big Bang?
A renowned scientist says he has spotted evidence that a universe existed before the Big Bang.
Professor Roger Penrose from Oxford University says concentric circles discovered in the background microwaves of the universe provides evidence of events that took place before the universe came into being.
The cosmic microwave offers us a ghostly look at the the universe just 300,000 years after the Big Ban’ – a microscopic amount of time compared to the universe’s estimated age of 13.7billion years.
The research by Penrose, who was awarded the 1988 Wolf Prize along with Stephen Hawkings for adding to our cosmic knowledge, adds evidence to the theory that the universe has expanded (‘the Big Bang’) and contracted (‘the Big Crunch’) many times.
The cosmic radiation background (CMB) is believed to have cooled to a temperature of -270C in the near 14 billion years since the birth of the universe.
Stars and galaxies started to form around 300 million years later. Our Sun was born around five billion years ago, and life first appeared on the Earth around 3.7 billion years ago.
The Daily Galaxy reports that Prof Penrose, along with Professor Vahe Gurzadyan of the Yerevan State University, Armenia believe images of the CMB from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotophy Probe shows imprints in the radiation that are older than the Big Bang.
They say they have discovered 12 examples of concentric circles, some of which have five rings – which means the same object has had five massive events in its history.
The rings appear around galaxy clusters in which the variation in the background radiation appears to be strangely low.
The research appears to cast aside the widely-held ‘inflationary’ theory of the origins of the universe, that it began with the Big Bang, and will continue to expand until a point in the future, when it will end.
They believe the circles are imprints of extremely violent gravitational radiation waves generated by supermassive black hole collisions in a previous aeon before the last big bang.
They say that this means that this means that the universe cycles through aeons dominated by big bangs and supermassive black hole collisions.
Professor Penrose believes that his new theory of ‘conformal cyclic cosmology’ means that black holes will eventually consume all the matter in the universe.
According to his theory, when they have finished, all that will be left in the universe will be energy – which will then trigger the next Big Bang – and the new aeon.
Professor Penrose told the BBC: ‘In the scheme that I’m proposing, you have an exponential expansion but it’s not in our aeon – I use the term to describe [the period] from our Big Bang until the remote future.
‘I claim that this aeon is one of a succession of such things, where the remote future of the previous aeons somehow becomes the Big Bang of our aeon.’