Feeds

Boffins take the temperature of the cosmos

Who needs global warming when science finds universal cooling?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The universe is cold and getting colder, according to work by an international team of scientists working with CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array near the NSW town of Narrabri.

The group has pinned the average temperature of the universe at 2.73 Kelvin – not far above absolute zero – but more impressively, it’s also given a number to the rate at which the universe is cooling: roughly one degree every three billion years.

The cooling is predicted by the big bang theory, CSIRO notes in this press release.

To slip the thermometer under the tongue of the universe, the scientists examined how a galaxy 7.2 billion light years distant affects the radiation received from a pulsar designated PKS 1830-211.

“Radio waves from this quasar come through the gas of the foreground galaxy. As they do so, the gas molecules absorb some of the energy of the radio waves. This leaves a distinctive ‘fingerprint’ on the radio waves”, the CSIRO release explains.

The measurement of the cooling has implications beyond merely validating the big bang, the astronomers explain in their paper (on Arxiv here, and soon to be published in Astronomy & Astrophsyics. It can also help put limits around our investigations of dark energy.

Astronomers from Australia, France, Sweden and Germany took part in the research. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.