(ORDO NEWS) — Will scientists in the very distant future be able to establish how our universe began?
The Big Bang and the origin of the Universe, the Solar System and of course the Earth are the cornerstone issues in both physics and other sciences.
However, no less important for the scientific world are the questions of the end of the world. In the very near future, in about 5 billion years, our dear Milky Way and its largest neighbor in the local group of galaxies, the Andromeda Nebula, will merge into a single Milky Way + Andromeda galaxy.
Somehow massive stars will burn out thermonuclear fuel long ago and turn into black holes, neutron stars or white dwarfs.
Therefore, the population of stable luminaries of Milkomeda will be mostly represented by red dwarfs, capable of stretching for several trillion years.
True, there will also be clumps of cosmic gas, which, under suitable conditions, can give rise to new stars, even as massive as the Sun.
It is all the more interesting to consider theories of the origin of the Universe using the example of its future galaxy.
Suppose that somewhere in Milkomed on planet X, intelligent life arose, creating a technological civilization. Let us assume that these beings have mastered quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, the relativistic theory of gravity and other exact sciences at our current level.
Nothing will prevent them from acquiring equipment for the study of Milkomeda. But will they be able to create, along with astronomy and astrophysics, also a scientific cosmology that explains the origin and evolution of the universe?
And if they can, what will be the origin of the universe according to this civilization?
At first glance, this is impossible – simply because of the lack of actual data.
The fact is that if the physics of the origin of the universe is arranged as modern theories say, and our universe, according to them, will continue to expand with the same acceleration as in the last 6–7 billion years, then all star clusters that do not belong to local group, will go far beyond the event horizon and therefore will be inaccessible to observations.
Scientists of the future from planet X should not count on the analysis of cosmic background radiation that has enriched terrestrial astronomy so much. In a trillion years, its characteristic wavelength, which is now measured in millimeters, will increase by a factor of 1029 and again exceed the radius of the event horizon.
Wouldn’t it turn out that if the inhabitants of planet X have a cosmology, then only a mythological one?
Escape from Melikomeda
The answer to this question can be found in the article “Cosmology with Hypervelocity Stars” by Harvard University astronomy professor Avi Loeb, published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. Theories of the origin of the universe and in our time are not easy to connect with its physics.
However, Loeb believes that astronomers of the distant future will still be able to determine the energy density of the cosmic vacuum (the so-called dark energy) through observations, as well as to determine the quantitative characteristics of the distribution of cosmic gas clouds, stars and dark matter particles inside Milkomeda.
In principle, this information is quite enough to reconstruct the history of the Universe up to the Big Bang.
How will the scientists of planet X extract the necessary information? According to Professor Loeb, models of the origin of the universe, in the literal sense, are formed from space.
Astranomers of the future will be able to imagine them by observing the movement of stars breaking the gravitational fetters of Milkomeda and leaving into outer space. In recent years, such luminaries have been discovered in our Galaxy.
These are the hypervelocity stars mentioned in the title of Loeb’s article. They accelerate in the gravitational field of a black hole located in the center of the Milky Way, acquiring velocities of the order of 1000 km/s, sufficient to exit into intergalactic space.
It is reasonable to assume that hypervelocity stars will appear from time to time in Milkomed, and for the same reason, because the physics of the origin of the universe remains unchanged even after billions of years.
Plus some theory
Of course, the attraction of Milkomeda will slow down the runaway star. However, at very large distances, it will weaken so much that it will no longer prevent the star from being dragged by the accelerating expansion of the Universe.
This means that the radial velocity of the star relative to the center of Milkomeda will first fall, and then begin to increase.
Planet X astronomers should be able to trace these changes in the Doppler shifts of the spectral lines of stellar radiation (although they will have to be patient, since a typical rogue star will have to wait at least a couple of billion years for a change in the sign of the acceleration of a typical rogue star).
The new-old universe will receive material to answer the question of the origin of life.
And then the turn of theoretical analysis will come. Based on the data obtained, scientists will be able to calculate both the vacuum energy density and the average density of Milkomeda’s matter.
Using the mathematical apparatus of astrophysics (which they, of course, will have to reach with their minds), they will be able to model the processes of stellar evolution and determine both the age of Milkomeda and the age of the universe.
They will even be able to understand that the expansion of outer space was first slowed down by gravity, and then accelerated by vacuum energy. Having created several versions of the origin of the universe, scientists of the future will come up with the Big Bang hypothesis.
Having developed it, they reconstruct the earliest history and evolution of the Universe (for this, of course, they will have to apply knowledge in the field of nuclear physics and elementary particle physics). As Avi Loeb points out,
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