Ask A Genius 381 – Outliers, Hang-Abouts, and Deviants
September 13, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are some of the things to focus on for the outliers in astronomical objects?
Rick Rosner: A list of stuff older than the universe would be a good start, and what would happen if gravitation is attenuated in black hole type situations. In IC, it postulates a universe much older than its apparent age and dark matter may be super-collapsed matter functioning as galactic haloes.
That points at certain suspects in stuff that could be much older than the universe and most, if not all, of the stuff, is hard to detect. It is right on the edge of being detectable. Stuff one might be brown dwarfs, stars below a certain size burn all their matter and end up being a ball of, I think, oxygen nuclei and possibly iron but fairly heavy nuclei.
They are not heavy enough, though, to collapse the star further and do further fusion. Because it is only through fusing, and fusing, and fusing, and fusing, until you get down to iron, that you can’t do any more fusion.
If it is a big enough star, the density of all the iron collapses the star into a neutron star. This is ignoring the various red giant phases and supernova explosions. One of the last stages of a star that is big enough.
Three end stages of stars: brown dwarfs for little teeny stars, neutron stars for medium size, and black holes for bigger ones. Plus, there are probably some other things that I do not know. But once something hits a brown dwarf, it is a big ball of heavy nuclei plus the electrons, just out there in space and barely radiating because it is a thing that is not fusing anymore.
It is still hot because it was fusing; but now, it is not actively generating energy anymore. If it is, it is simply from further gravitational collapse, but it is hard for it to lose radiation because it is in a vacuum.
Like a thermos, it can’t conduct heat through direct contact through stuff. And it is small and it is super dark. A brown dwarf would be hard to detect and could hang out for a long time cooling and cooling.
But they have detected some brown dwarves that are cooler than they ought to be, given the age of the universe and the age of our galaxy. If they found a bunch of these that are way cooler than they should be, a level of coolness that could be attained after only 30 billion years, it would be noteworthy as being a problem with Big Bang theory.
Then you can look at the other end of the universe – far, far away from our galaxy. You can look far back in time from our galaxy, where stars and galaxies have formed way too soon after the big bang.
If you find clumps of matter that formed way faster then you expect them too, given the young age of the universe, because the farther you look than the further back in time that you look, then that points to some things that might be older than the apparent age of the universe.
And we can look and see what other stuff that we could see that might be older than the apparent age of the universe, possible candidates and actual candidates, which have been found and need an explanation as to why they’re younger, even though they show evidence of being older than 13.7 billion years.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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