Cosmic microwave radiation surprise cosmology science by david dilworth gaston y la agrupacion santa fe


Update: Since I had a couple of very bright folks ask about distinguishing between angular resolution and sensitivity I’ve added this: Sensitivity and resolution are related but independent phenomena. A telescope or a camera’s angular resolution is measured in pixels per degree of sky. gas vs diesel engine It is mostly determined by its sensor and pixel size and its lens focal length. Telephoto lenses give higher angular resolution, as do more pixels. A telescope or a camera’s sensitivity (in this case) is how faint a signal each pixel can detect. It is determined by the quality of the individual pixels/sensels. As a generality a large pixel captures more light / radiation; thus can pick up fainter signals.

COBE and WMAP microwave cameras were designed almost purely for high sensitivity with huge “pixels” – not for angular resolution. (COBE’s DMR camera only had two (2) pixels. That is not a misprint. COBE cameras did not have mega-pixels or even kilo-pixels – just two pixels total. Amazingly even the very first digital camera built in 1975 had thousands of times more pixels (at 100×100) than COBE.) While it is an understandable design choice, it appears that ignoring angular resolution leaves a bit of a problem.

One way to find the angular resolution of a camera is to divide Pixel size in microns by Focal length in millimeters. Then multiply that times 206.3 which gives you “arc seconds per pixel.” At the iPhone4’s 35 mm camera focal-length equivalent of 29.4 millimeters (3.85 mm actual) we get 94 arcseconds per pixel. c gastritis This means the moon is about 19 pixels wide in an iPhone4 photo. NASA has already done this for COBE (7 degrees = 12.7 moons / COBE pixel or 0.0786 pixels / moon diameter) and WMAP (~2.4 pixels / moon diameter) so we don’t need to calculate much.

Perhaps because of our familiarity with spectacular Hubble images and affordable digital cameras with high resolution we take extremely high resolution images of our Universe for granted. gas in dogs However, for Microwaves, high resolution whole sky images simply do not yet exist. As we’ve seen microwave telescope’s stunningly poor (almost meaningless) angular or detail resolution is dramatically worse than common visible light cameras.

Quantifying this: Cosmic microwave radiation is mapped in degrees and arc minutes as opposed to Hubble’s cameras which are hundreds to thousands of times more detailed – sharper than a twentieth of an arc-second. Now lets take a look at how this poor angular resolution affects the idea of cosmic microwave radiation as “Background.” Cosmic Microwave Radiation – How much is really Background?

This is precisely because our best cosmic microwave radiation instruments ( Planck, WMAP and COBE) have such poor resolution that we simply cannot really measure microwave radiation from even our closest neighbor galaxies such as Andromeda – without having the radiation from at least thousands (if not millions) of other stars and galaxies added in. We only recently found out our home Milky Way’s microwave halo glow extends many times broader than the map area of visible stars. The key point is – when your angular (detail) resolution is so poor that you can’t distinguish stars and galaxies from background, even if your sensor is hyper sensitive — sensitivity is irrelevant.

This is not unlike inviting an attractive stranger for dinner and they refuse to come unless they can bring their parents . . . and friends, and in-laws . . . and outlaws and essentially everyone they’ve every met. Then you can’t see your date, you can only hear them ( an ear’s angular resolution at about 15 degrees is only about twice as poor as COBE’s camera). Imagine trying to pick out what your date (microwave background) is saying from out of all the thousands of other conversations (galaxies) of your date’s entourage.

In fact, the amount of sky real estate considered “Background” has been diminishing in jumps since the first whole sky microwave map from Russia’s RELIKT-1 surprised researchers by showing huge areas of microwaves coming from our own Milky Way. q gastrobar dias ferreira Newer technology’s better angular resolution cameras show a growing percentage of the microwave radiation sky area that was previously considered “background” is really just from our own galaxy.

I’m very surprised and wondering why I didn’t notice the resolution problem myself. I took for granted that physicists putting forward the data they call the CMB would have taken the microwave information from our own galaxy and the others we know of and calculated it out before putting that out as an actual image. I assumed they had the microwave data or a reasonable model of it in order to calculate that information out before they presented this image; that they would have taken into account the very poor angular resolution before making a claim of a concrete find. Or at least proactively admit the limitations of or possible problems with their data when they present it.

This article gives me a lot to think about. With this new information, I agree that the WMAP & COBE data are very debatable. Even the background data to the ‘north’ and ‘south’ of our galaxy’s data (once our microwaves are truly and completely calculated out) is very debatable with no real data or resolution of all the other galaxies’ microave data to calculate out as well. I wonder if, when we finally manage that, there will be anything left to see. electricity electricity song I do think we will get there, and with higher resolution, perhaps we will find a much fainter signal than we are seeing in any of these, but it seems plausible we won’t find anything – and wouldn’t that be interesting. We certainly shouldn’t be using this questionable data in important models though, and it’s doubly disappointing to me if this is truly happening as scientists should know better.