There's a Hole in the Universe

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There's a Hole in the Universe




WASHINGTON - Astronomers have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. That's got them scratching their heads about what's just not there. The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing. That's an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced Thursday.

Astronomers have known for many years that there are patches in the universe where nobody's home. In fact, one such place is practically a neighbor, a mere 2 million light years away. But what the Minnesota team discovered, using two different types of astronomical observations, is a void that's far bigger than scientists ever imagined.

"This is 1,000 times the volume of what we sort of expected to see in terms of a typical void," said Minnesota astronomy professor Lawrence Rudnick, author of the paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal. "It's not clear that we have the right word yet ... This is too much of a surprise."

[url=]Yahoo news[/url]

Am I the only one who finds this a little creepy?


Far from being creepy, it's exciting. Astronomers and physicists in general love nothing more than for observations to be published that contradict present modelling and theories. It means something is not being accounted for, perhaps new physics, and that means more work to do.


I was just a little creeped out about WHY there was nothing there. Then again, maybe I read too much science fiction...



You could explain just about all the myseteries in astrophysics by appealing to advanced and intelligent extraterrestrials...



Originally posted by robbie_dee:
[b]...Am I the only one who finds this a little creepy?[/b]

Yeah. To me it so much unknow it brings back all those questions, you asked yourself at fifteen when some of us were having a smoke. How can space be endless and if it is not, what is at the end of it? The same goes for time, and all those other massive questions.

The arrogance of science is still so far from answering these questions that it will never do so satisfactorily in any of our lifetimes.
Religion of course is just what someone guessed and wrote in a book thousands of years ago.

This latest finding just adds to the mystery. Is that nothingness ever going to effect the part of the universe that we live in?

Nobody knows and nobody is anywhere near finding out.


Yep, and we're just a bump on the log on the hole on the bottom of the sea.


It seems you're just ridiculing what I said in the previous post. If you're not, I don't know what you're trying to say.



Originally posted by Banjo:
[b]It seems you're just ridiculing what I said in the previous post. If you're not, I don't know what you're trying to say.[/b]

I think she's referring to the pale blue dot we call "Earth".


[ 25 August 2007: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]



It seems you're just ridiculing what I said in the previous post. If you're not, I don't know what you're trying to say.

No I'm not ridiculing you. It's a hole, it's a hole, it's a hole in the universe. "shrug" There REALLY isn't anything any of us can do about it, so why worry?


Good point. My worry lasted only about as long as it took to read it and respond.

Now I'm going to worry about something more practical like how I'm going to pay for the groceries I'm about to buy.


somebody, call Al Gore !!


Now we know where Ottawa's debt service payments have been going for the last 20 years.


I propose we call it "the SFA Nebula".


Maybe I didn't smoke enough pot when I was younger but what exactly does "nothing" look like?

Cueball Cueball's picture

It is a pretty simple explanation really. That is where god lives. That space if for god.

What else could it be for?


It's a hole, not a gap. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

There's "nothing" in these places that we can observe. While they may be devoid of stars and black holes and other bodies, it doesn't mean it can't be full of other, smaller things.

My guess is odd socks and car keys.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Has Bush [i]finally[/i] found Osama?


Michelle it took me a while before I got the joke, which I guess proves sometimes when we're looking at nothing we fail to see it.

[img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Seriously though the concept of nothingness presents a metaphysical connundrum. How can there be nothing? Do we have the capacity considering our limited perceptions to even understand the concept? On one hand it might seem obvious when we speak of nothing we mean emptyness or lack of matter but the reality is we have no experience of this, there is nothing in our human experience to reference this. The reality is when we speak of nothing in terms of nothing gets between me and my calvin Kliens we do know that what we are referring to in terms of space,emptiness nothingness actually does have something, the air is full of chemicals, particles etc? I guess this is the point where i have profound disagreements with the radical positivists and scientific fetishists. I wonder to what extent is the universe knowable, I question narratives that hold that the progression of science will lead to end point where everything is understood and explained. To me this isn't a reason to despair or give up inquiry scientific or otherwise. I do think it is a reason for us as a species to have some sense of humility and awe in terms of our place within the universe and our capacity to make sense of everything. I also do think that it opens up a space for wonderment and mystery that some see as an expresssion of the devine. I believe we are able to hold this open as a possibility or a probability without references to supernatural characture.

Dana Larsen

I thought that there was no such thing as "empty space" because all space contains pairs of "virtual particles", positive and negative, constantly being created from nothing and then returning to nothing.


Some people claim that the universe is simply a larger version of this "something from nothing" action of virtual particles.

On the other hand, isn't everything mostly nothing anyways? The space between galaxies is immense compared to the size of the galaxies themselves, and the space between stars is immense compared to the size of the solar system, and the solar system itself is mostly emptiness compared to the size of the planets. There's mostly blank space between atomic particles, and the particles themselves appear to be mostly empty space as well. So it's not surprising to find a patch of emptiness in the universe when emptiness seems to be everywhere.


For the amount that this is being really proves the old saying that "less is more"


This reminds me of Italo Calvino's [url=

Read it. Seriously.


The reason fort there being a vast area of space with no stars or visible matter is interesting but the link no longer works...

any other references?

oops here is one...

[url=]hole in space[/url]


Photons of the CMB gain a small amount of energy when they pass through normal regions of space with matter, the researchers explained. But when the CMB passes through a void, the photons lose energy, making the CMB from that part of the sky appear cooler.

That is, there is something in this region that sucks up energy beyond even the back ground radiation of the big bang...

There is antimatter.Is there "anti-energy"? [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

[url=]the graviton?[/url]

Interesting enough there doesn't appear to much other than amateur speculation about "anti-energy". But in the Einstein equation what would be the implications if the value of E was negative.

Well it could only be negative of the mass were negative since the speed of light is a constant.Now according to the theories out there there is missing matter so logically if the laws of conservation of energy (read mass/energy) then it could be in the form of "negative energy".

Now one blogger suggested that a graviton (a unit of negative energy) could not really attract another object but rather would constrict the time-space continuum between gravitons.

As such they would be a powerful force to utilize for space travel one would think - but these are sidetracks...

Could this vast space simply be an area of negative energy?

[ 11 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]