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Unexplained shapes in the sky could be from a universe before our own, say scientists

Mysterious swirling shapes could be leftovers from a black hole

Andrew Griffin
Monday 19 August 2019 14:04 BST
Strange shapes in the universe could prove conformal cyclic cosmology

Unexplained shapes in the sky could be evidence of a universe that existed before ours, scientists have said.

Astronomers claim that very unusual points, spotted in the early universe, appear to be sources of vast amounts of information. It is still not clear why those strange parts of the sky would behave in such an outstanding way.

But researchers have now claimed that those spots of energy could be the consequence of "conformal cyclic cosmology", a theory that suggests that our universe existed in another form before ours. They could have formed from black holes, the researchers suggest in a new paper.

As such, those unexplained swirling areas in the sky could be the leftovers of another universe.

“What we claim we’re seeing is the final remnant after a black hole has evaporated away in the previous aeon," Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford Universe and one of the authors of the study, told New Scientist, which first reported the news.

If the universe is going through extreme contractions and expansions, then it is almost certain that just about everything from the previous universe is destroyed when it does, and nothing is carried through into the new one.

But the latest study, published on website Arxiv, suggests that black holes that were around in the previous universe would throw out what is referred to as Hawking radiation, after Stephen Hawking. That radiation could last from one version of the universe into the next, they claim.

Those places where the electromagnetic radiation was especially high – referred to as Hawking points – could therefore be left over from the previous universe.

Those anomalous points would therefore be explained by what is known as CCC theory. Rather than being mysteriously glowing points, they would be the final "evaporation" of the supermassive black holes that were in the version of the universe that came before ours.

Many scientists have objected to the idea of the cyclical universe, and Hawking radiation still remains to be confirmed.

But the researchers say that they hope their analysis will at least help to give us a "a significant initial indication of the nature of these anomalous regions and provides an important new input into cosmology, irrespective of the validity of CCC".

And they conclude by suggesting that their findings will pose a significant problem for the conventional understanding of the universe, however they are formed. "It is hard to see, however, that they find a natural explanation in the currently conventional inflationary picture," they write.

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