Thermal maps of the universe reveal that cosmic gases are 10 TIMES hotter today than they were 10 billion years ago
- As the universe expands, it pulls matter into new stars and galaxies
- Cosmic gases around objects increase in temperature along the way
- The average temperature of those gases has increased tenfold in 10 billion years
- It is now 2 million degrees Kelvin or 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit
- The overall temperature of the universe is still -454.76 degrees Fahrenheit cold
Is it hot in here or is it just the universe?
A new study indicates that the universe is constantly warming.
The average temperature of cosmic gases has increased tenfold over the past 10 billion years, to nearly 4 million degrees Fahrenheit.
As the universe continues to expand from the initial Big Bang, it pulls matter into new stars and galaxies, heating the gases along the way.
“As the universe evolves, gravity brings together dark matter and gas in space into galaxies and galaxy clusters,” said Yi-Kuan Chiang, an astrophysicist at the Ohio State University Center for Cosmology.
“The resistance is violent, so violent that more and more gasoline is shocked and heated.”
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The gas temperature of the universe from 11 billion years ago (left), 8 billion years ago and today. Scientists report that it has increased tenfold to 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit and will continue to rise
Chiang is the lead author of a new report in The Astrophysical Journal detailing how scientists measured the temperature change in gases based on their distance from Earth.
Light observed from objects further away in space is older than light from nearby objects, as it takes longer to reach Earth.
This gave scientists the opportunity to look into the past and take the temperature of the universe from billions of years ago.
A team from the State of Ohio, the University of Tokyo, Johns Hopkins University and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics combined the data on light in space collected in two observation missions, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Planck mission of European space agency launched in 2009.
The large-scale structure of the universe, 11 billion years ago (left), 8 billion years ago and today. As the universe continues to expand, it pulls matter into new stars and galaxies, heating the gases along the way
They found that cosmic gas temperatures were lower the farther they looked, indicating that the overall temperature of the universe was rising.
About 8 billion years ago, the average electron temperature of those gases was about 700,000 degrees Kelvin, or 1.3 million degrees Fahrenheit.
Currently, it reaches 2 million degrees Kelvin, or 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit, about ten times what it was 10 billion years ago.
The trend will continue, the researchers say.
By analyzing light from various distances, the scientists were able to go back in time and see a dramatic rise in the temperature of cosmic gases, up to nearly 4 million degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature of the universe as a whole is still quite cold, around -454.76 degrees Fahrenheit
That doesn’t mean the universe is millions of degrees Fahrenheit, however, just the average temperature of the gas near objects.
The average temperature of the universe as a whole is still quite cold, around -454.76 degrees Fahrenheit.
For comparison, our Sun is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit
While the warming trend may be worrying, it is now related to climate change here on Earth.
“The universe is warming due to the natural process of galaxy formation and structure,” Chiang said. These phenomena are happening on very different scales. They are not connected at all.
HOW WAS THE UNIVERSE FORMED?
The Big Bang Theory is a cosmological model, a theory used to describe the beginning and evolution of our universe.
It says the universe was in a very hot and dense state before it started expanding 13.7 billion years ago.
This theory is based on fundamental observations.
In 1920, Hubble observed that the distance between galaxies was increasing everywhere in the universe.
The Big Bang Theory is a cosmological model, a theory used to describe the beginning and evolution of our universe, based on observations – including the cosmic microwave background (pictured), which is like a fossil of radiation emitted during the beginning of the universe, when it was hot and dense
This means that galaxies had to be closer to each other in the past.
In 1964, Wilson and Penzias discovered cosmic microwave background radiation, which is like a fossil of radiation emitted during the beginning of the universe, when it was hot and dense.
Cosmic microwave background radiation is observable everywhere in the universe.
The composition of the universe, i.e. the number of atoms of different elements, is consistent with the Big Bang theory.
So far, this theory is the only one that can explain why we observe an abundance of primordial elements in the universe.