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Pristine Big Bang gas found - Comments

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Comment 1 by Reckless Monkey

What a wonderful endorsement of the theory. If the universe had formed in another way we wouldn't expect to find this.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 08:46:12 UTC | #889615

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 2 by Michael Gray

Wow! Why wasn't this in the Qu'ran, or the Old Testament?

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 10:26:25 UTC | #889623

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 3 by SomersetJohn

Comment 2 by Michael Gray :

Wow! Why wasn't this in the Qu'ran, or the Old Testament?

I would not be in the slightest surprised to find some mention of allah farting mentioned somewhere in those ramblings.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 10:59:34 UTC | #889628

MilitantApatheist's Avatar Comment 4 by MilitantApatheist

I wouldn't be surprised if Answers in Genesis answered this by saying, "Well, it is just God farting. He made us in 6 days and he had to fart one time in that period." And people would believe it, because they are morons.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 11:36:47 UTC | #889632

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 5 by Rich Wiltshir

Isn't science wonderful?

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 12:13:51 UTC | #889637

Virgin Mary's Avatar Comment 6 by Virgin Mary

SO can we take this as another nail in the coffin of creationism or what?

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 12:34:52 UTC | #889644

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 7 by aquilacane

Comment 6 by tmaxwell83

SO can we take this as another nail in the coffin of creationism or what?

No, this is another example of his perfect design.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 12:46:28 UTC | #889647

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 8 by Rich Wiltshir

Creationism is an anti-intelligent stance, so every advance of reason and science produces a compensating regression from intelligence by the buffoons of ID Central Office. However, I can't help but compare the army of creationists to that of Napoleans' retreat from Moscow.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 13:13:34 UTC | #889649

some asshole's Avatar Comment 9 by some asshole

Clearly, those gas clouds are less than 10,000 years old. Ask me how I know.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 13:22:40 UTC | #889650

MilitantApatheist's Avatar Comment 10 by MilitantApatheist

Because they are 12 billion light years away and light travels faster than the speed of light?

Comment 9 by some asshole :

Clearly, those gas clouds are less than 10,000 years old. Ask me how I know.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 13:25:08 UTC | #889651

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 11 by HappyPrimate

And this astounding discovery (which it absolutely is) will be on primetime TV news when? Why isn't it front page news in the printed papers? Oh, I expect there may be a mention somewhere, but not in proportion of importance for the knowledge it imparts for our understanding of the universe we live in.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:05:30 UTC | #889657

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 12 by Alan4discussion

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:07:00 UTC | #889658

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 13 by Sean_W

HappyPrimate

I'm sure John O'Meara agrees. After having such stellar hits as "Supersolar Super-Lyman Limit Systems" and "Deuterium and the baryonic density of the Universe" overlooked by the press, he must have thought Pristine Big Bang gas was a sure thing for the front pages everywhere. But alas, it was probably just his bias getting the better of him, “why don't people love this shit man -dammit”.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:31:37 UTC | #889663

Metamag's Avatar Comment 14 by Metamag

Pristine Big Bang gas found

This would make for a great fantasy or SF RPG like Mass Effect or Skyrim, imagine the sheer number of attributes that could be inferred to such essence!

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:31:46 UTC | #889664

blbt5's Avatar Comment 15 by blbt5

A thrilling confirmation of the Big Bang theory! However, it makes the reporting somewhat problematic grammatically since the clouds don't exist now, having condensed and redistributed in myriad unknown ways soon after their formation billions of years ago. An echo of a picture.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 15:12:52 UTC | #889667

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 16 by QuestioningKat

Comment 7 by aquilacane :

Comment 6 by tmaxwell83

SO can we take this as another nail in the coffin of creationism or what?

No, this is another example of his perfect design.

Come on people this is 12 billion light years away and scientists claim to be able to clearly understand this. Pure arrogance. That's like studying the ocean from your backyard deck when you live in Toronto. God is clearly all around us and they can't see shit from shinola. ;) (They will never accept any of these findings as legitimate.)

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 15:35:28 UTC | #889670

Anaximander's Avatar Comment 17 by Anaximander

Clearly, those gas clouds are less than 10,000 years old. Ask me how I know.

Ask me how, and I'll tell you it is very old; actually, from the first minute. Because there is not even helium in the gas.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 16:09:52 UTC | #889675

JoxerTheMighty's Avatar Comment 18 by JoxerTheMighty

If everyone is done talking about religion(???), can anyone clarify something for me? I have heard 2 "versions" of what the Big Bang is:

1)At the Big Bang, time and space itself, along with matter and energy was created. There is no "before".

2)It's a point in time where the visible Universe was condensed into a very small space, and started expanding.

Which one of this is the case, or are they both true somehow? Myself, I always took the first version as true, but I was discussing this with a fellow programmer the other day, and I mentioned that Hawking, IIRC, said that time&space was created during the Big Bang, to which he responded "whoever said that is full of crap". So which is it? Some links that are not Wikipedia would be greatly appreciated :)

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 16:30:21 UTC | #889677

quarecuss's Avatar Comment 19 by quarecuss

Every day science adds more detail and focus, not just to the prehistoric past but to the deepest distant past which is, astoundingly (but taken for granted) right there, in front of our eyes, every time we look to the heavens.
Time is an illusion?

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 16:32:11 UTC | #889678

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 20 by Alan4discussion

Comment 18 by JoxerTheMighty - can anyone clarify something for me? I have heard 2 "versions" of what the Big Bang is:

1)At the Big Bang, time and space itself, along with matter and energy was created. There is no "before".

2)It's a point in time where the visible Universe was condensed into a very small space, and started expanding.

The observable point, is the point in time and space where the energy of the Big-Bang expanded enough to form into hydrogen atoms. The earlier stages are looking at the physics and maths projecting backwards from this. Beyond a certain stage it is unknown. Experiments in quantum physics are investigating the possibilities.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 17:04:15 UTC | #889685

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 21 by Neodarwinian

It will take Antique Road Show some time to get close enough to this find and evaluate it!

By the way, I claim this gas cloud in the name of me.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 21:19:19 UTC | #889712

Quine's Avatar Comment 22 by Quine

The "Big Bang" terminology can be confusing as it was never intended in first place (started as a pejorative joke by Fred Hoyle). When being careful, I prefer to use "extrapolated time zero" (ETZ) because the whole issue is about looking at conditions now and extrapolating the observed expansion backwards. Below 300,000 or so years we lose the direct observations from the background microwave and have to go on inference. Physicists are usually comfortable with that until the sizes get so small that a good theory of quantum gravity is needed, which we don't have.

P.S. What makes this gas cloud discovery so important is that they are believed to be relatively the same in atomic ratios (of stable atoms) as they were at a time closer to ETZ than any other matter we know, even though we are not seeing light from them from back that far.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 21:26:17 UTC | #889713

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 23 by Functional Atheist

Comment 18 by JoxerTheMighty :

If everyone is done talking about religion(???), can anyone clarify something for me? I have heard 2 "versions" of what the Big Bang is:

1)At the Big Bang, time and space itself, along with matter and energy was created. There is no "before".

2)It's a point in time where the visible Universe was condensed into a very small space, and started expanding.

Which one of this is the case, or are they both true somehow? Myself, I always took the first version as true, but I was discussing this with a fellow programmer the other day, and I mentioned that Hawking, IIRC, said that time&space was created during the Big Bang, to which he responded "whoever said that is full of crap". So which is it? Some links that are not Wikipedia would be greatly appreciated :)

I'm pretty sure the first definition is significantly better. The Big Bang can be thought of as the moment that inflation occurred--we have no direct knowledge of the pre-inflationary universe, but the assumption that it was exceptionally hot and dense, and that time and space as we experience them did not apply, is not only NOT 'crap', but is broadly accepted.

And why is Wikipedia so terrible? Follow the links to other articles, and look at the references in both the main article and the major subsidiary articles, and you should be able to find a wealth of primary source material, at least some of which will be available online.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

As for these pristine clouds of gas: fantastic! It is wonderful that it is within human capacity to not only detect these gas clouds, but to accurately determine their very simple composition.

Sun, 13 Nov 2011 02:41:16 UTC | #889736

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 24 by Steve Zara

comment 23 by Functional Atheist

The Big Bang can be thought of as the moment that inflation occurred--

I find that a useful way to look at things is to consider the Big Bang to be the moment at which Inflation ended. At that moment, vast amounts of energy were dumped into the universe and conventional "Big Bang Cosmology" starts. So, the timeline would be:

  1. Utterly mysterious original state (time may or may not have started here, if that makes any kind of sense). Not a singularity, but a state so dense we can't model it. Presumably all four forces of nature unified.

  2. Inflation.

  3. Big Bang.

The Big Bang would have started something like 10-32 seconds after 1.

Sun, 13 Nov 2011 02:57:38 UTC | #889737

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 25 by Functional Atheist

Comment 24 by Steve Zara :

I find that a useful way to look at things is to consider the Big Bang to be the moment at which Inflation ended. At that moment, vast amounts of energy were dumped into the universe and conventional "Big Bang Cosmology" starts. So, the timeline would be:

  • Utterly mysterious original state (time may or may not have started here, if that makes any kind of sense). Not a singularity, but a state so dense we can't model it. Presumably all four forces of nature unified.

  • Inflation.

  • Big Bang.

  • The Big Bang would have started something like 10-32 seconds after 1.

    I'm unconvinced that your model is helpful. I particularly object to the imagery of an energy dump into the universe, presumably from somewhere outside the universe--wherever that would be--and almost implying a dumper of this external energy. (The Big Bang as God's Big Dump?).

    My other quibbles would be your rejection of a singularity (why?), and your sequencing. While the exponential expansion modeled by Guth's inflation theory happened quite early in the history of the universe (from 10-36th seconds to 10-32nd seconds, more or less), placing it specifically prior to the Big Bang itself is, I believe, non-standard.

    I believe the standard model chronology would more closely resemble the following:

    Big Bang, followed by the Planck Epoch, followed by the Grand Unification Epoch, followed by the Inflationary Epoch, followed by the Electroweak Epoch, followed by the Quark Epoch, followed by the Hadron Epoch, followed by the Lepton Epoch, followed by the Photon Epoch.

    The Lepton Epoch ended about 10 seconds after the Big Bang, so the universe was quite old when the Photon Epoch began.

    Sun, 13 Nov 2011 09:06:48 UTC | #889754

    Anaximander's Avatar Comment 26 by Anaximander

    placing it specifically prior to the Big Bang itself is, I believe, non-standard.

    If we say that matter and radiation was created in the big bang, then we should probably say that the big bang happened at the end of the inflationary period.

    Anyway, as I said, there was (according to the article) only hydrogen and deuterium in the gas cloud. Which is very strange; conditions there must have been such, that there happened no fusion to helium. Should we say that the expansion rate was locally so high (before the first minute ended )that there was no time for that? If so, what caused that?

    Sun, 13 Nov 2011 09:58:14 UTC | #889760

    Virgin Mary's Avatar Comment 27 by Virgin Mary

    Comment 16 by QuestioningKat :

    Come on people this is 12 billion light years away and scientists claim to be able to clearly understand this. Pure arrogance. That's like studying the ocean from your backyard deck when you live in Toronto. God is clearly all around us and they can't see shit from shinola. ;) (They will never accept any of these findings as legitimate.)

    This is exactly the argument I just faced when I brought it up with a colleague.

    Sun, 13 Nov 2011 11:10:41 UTC | #889770

    Vicar of Art on Earth's Avatar Comment 28 by Vicar of Art on Earth

    God passed gas that is timeless demonstrated by none of the other elements wanting to be around it?

    I feel for any science writer trying to make the news. Many people doing cutting edge work have blogs or are reported on by peer blogs. So people with some background or interest can find more detailed information. The popular press has to attract and explain to people what is going on who may have little interest or background.

    How do you compete for attention. Which is likely to find attention, "Scientist find an old gas cloud, interesting anomaly " or "14 billion year old gas from the big bang sighted, scientist speculate big discovery could change schoolbooks". Most people would read something more exciting. Science writing like political writing has to make things seem more exciting than it realy is to stay in business.

    Sun, 13 Nov 2011 15:08:30 UTC | #889803

    some asshole's Avatar Comment 29 by some asshole

    Comment 9 by some asshole :

    Clearly, those gas clouds are less than 10,000 years old. Ask me how I know.

    For anyone who isn't familiar with me and my comments... I was being scornfully sarcastic. Glad we cleared that up.

    Sun, 13 Nov 2011 18:14:55 UTC | #889845

    DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 30 by DavidMcC

    Comment 20 by Alan4discussion

    The observable point, is the point in time and space where the energy of the Big-Bang expanded enough to form into hydrogen atoms.

    And where would that be? Can you find it? Maybe it's really a point in the hyperspace continuum (assuming that exists), not "real" space.

    Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:30:41 UTC | #889984