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A Huge Intergalactic Cloud

In light of yesterday’s post on black holes and their role in spreading heavy elements through the cosmos, the news out of Los Alamos provides an additional fillip of controversy re these enigmatic objects. A research team led by Philipp Kronberg has also been looking at clouds in deep space and their association with black holes, though what Kronberg’s team has identified is a distinctive object indeed. It’s a cloud of plasma more than six million light years across, one that may provide evidence for the role of black holes in triggering cosmic rays.

Here’s Kronberg on the subject:

“One of the most exciting aspects of the discovery is the new questions it poses. For example, what kind of mechanism could create a cloud of such enormous dimensions that does not coincide with any single galaxy, or galaxy cluster? Is that same mechanism connected to the mysterious source of the ultra high energy cosmic rays that come from beyond our galaxy? And separately, could the newly discovered fluctuating radio glow be related to unwanted foregrounds of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation?”

We’re getting more questions than answers here, which is usually the way with discoveries. The plasma cloud may contain several radio galaxies — active galaxies highly luminous in radio wavelengths — that contain black holes. If that is the case, the question becomes whether and how these black holes are converting their gravitational energies into magnetic fields and cosmic rays. The combined resources of Arecibo and the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory produced this result, and an image comparable to that of a 1000 meter diameter radio telescope.

That last bit is amazing in and of itself. The paper is Kronberg et al., “Discovery of New Faint Radio Emission on 8° to 3′ Scales in the Coma Field, and Some Galactic and Extragalactic Implications” Astrophysical Journal 659 (April 10 2007), pp. 267-274 (abstract here).

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ljk April 26, 2007, 13:35

    Discovery of new faint radio emission on 8$\arcdeg$ to 3$\arcmin$ scales in the Coma field, and some Galactic and extragalactic implications

    Authors: P.P. Kronberg, R. Kothes, C.J. Salter, P. Perillat

    (Submitted on 25 Apr 2007)

    Abstract: We present a deep, 8$\degr$ diameter, 0.4 GHz radio image using a first time combination of the NAIC Arecibo 305-m telescope in Puerto Rico, and the wide-angle interferometer at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory at Penticton, Canada. Our observations are centered on the Coma Cluster of galaxies in the “Great Wall” of galaxies near the North Galactic Pole. The complementary nature of these two instruments enables us to produce a distortion-free image that is sensitive to radiation on scales from 8$\degr$ down to that of an individual galaxy halo at the 100 Mpc distance of the Great Wall. Newly revealed patches of distributed radio “glow” are seen well above the detection limit. One prominent such area coincides with groupings of radio galaxies near the Coma cluster, and indicates intergalactic IGM magnetic fields in the range 0.2 to 0.4 $\mu$G on scales of up to $\sim$ 4 Mpc. Other patches of diffuse emission, not previously explored at these high latitudes on arcminute scales, probably contain Galactic “cirrus”. A striking anticorrelation is found between low-level diffuse radio glow and some regions of enhanced optical galaxy surface density, suggesting that cosmological Large Scale Structure (LSS), normally defined by the baryonic (or dark) matter density, is not {\it uniquely} traced by faint continuum radio glow. Rather, intergalactic diffuse synchrotron radiation represents IGM magnetic and Cosmic ray energy density, instead of matter density. The diffuse, arcminute-level structures over a large region of sky are potentially important pathfinders to CMB foreground radiation on high multipole scales.


    12 pages, published in ApJ


    Astrophysics (astro-ph)

    Journal reference:

    Kronberg, Kothes, Salter, Perillat, 2007, ApJ, 659, 267

    Cite as:

    arXiv:0704.3288v1 [astro-ph]

    Submission history

    From: Roland Kothes [view email]

    [v1] Wed, 25 Apr 2007 00:20:09 GMT (2148kb)


  • forrest noble October 3, 2007, 22:15

    This observation of a “large intergalactic cloud” interests me because it was predicted many year ago by a theory which was posted on this website 10/2/07 in brief, called the Pan Theory of Relativity (don’t worry it’s not very difficult to understand). “Black Holes may stir the cosmic broth” reply: forrest. To review a brief of the theory, click above. In the reply comments, according to this theory, it states that maybe 90% of the matter of a regular galaxy is created by a central Black Hole of that galaxy. The creating mechanism is therein described.

    According to the related observations and analysis, this Intergalactic Cloud appears to be six million light years across, roughly 20 times the diameter of the Milky Way and more that twice the distance from here to the Andromeda Galaxy—pretty big on a galactic scale, by far the largest such cloud ever identified.

    According to the above mentioned theory, this observation is the result of two or more newly forming galaxies, so young that most of its stars have not yet formed and its ultimate shape still to be determined. The radio waves observed could be the result of some or much of the radiation from the newly forming stars is being obsorbed by the surrounding cloud and re-radiated as radio waves. Obviously inter-glactic clouds are very difficult to observe or they would have been observed years ago. However, according to this theory intergalactic space has vast qualtities of these intergalactic clouds—but probably few much bigger. This observation could explain why the farther away a galaxy appears to be usually the more radio waves it appears to be emitting. This would accordingly be because the re-radiation of intervening clouds becomes greater as distance increases. This effect has been predicted for more than 40 years by several theories. This appears to be evidence for some of these theories.

    Observations continues to build up for the validity of the above theory, an alternative to the B.B. theory. forrest

  • george scaglione October 4, 2007, 9:31

    forrest as interested in space flight as i am one thing i must say is that the distances involved with space can be quite daunting!! just look at the sizes and distances you just quoted above! one reason why i am a proponent of the development of traversable worm holes like the ones carl sagan speaks of in his novel contact! warp drive too naturally but i think worm holes have it all over warp drive for REALLY long distances! what do you say? george

  • forrest noble October 4, 2007, 16:02

    Hey George,

    I agree transversable wormholes, if they were real/ possible would be the only way to go out and about—but don’t think the theories that predict them or any physical dimensions outside of the ones that we know of –such as most string theories—are valid. For the future of touring the universe I hope that I am wrong!, but I believe instead that the universe is relatively simple unlike many theories that are out there today— It’s Huge!!! Granted.

    As for Warp Drive, however, at least velocities faster than the speed of light, I believe are theoretically possible (never mind Einstein). We have some big obstacles to overcome, according to the theories which I adhere to. During inter-stellar spaceflight the current speed limit may be no more than 10% the speed of light (intergalactic flights maybe 15% max.). The reason I believe is because the “zero point energy”, aka the aether, would ionize the craft throughout and it would disintegrate molecularly. Before that could happen the craft’s systems would probably start to fail for the same reason. Life within the craft would suffer symptoms similar to minor radiation poisoning.

    Also I believe that “empty space” has a lot more particle and atomic matter than we have so far been able to detect; the above cloud is a good example. Matter other than atomic particles could penetrate the ship at these speeds. A space craft like a boat would have a bow wake of particles that might protect the craft from small atomic and molecular particles but it would remain vulnerable to sand-grain sized particles. To overcome this ionization problem, according to theory, there would need to be a mild electrical current running through all matter on the craft including any humans to retain their electons—even a surrounding electrical field would not stop this ionization process.

    The most difficult problem to overcome, however, would be that at these speeds the aether would behave like a counter-acting gravitational force. Relativity theorists would say “matter would be becoming shorter”. The symptoms would be heavy G forces would begin tearing matter apart similar to the ionization problem. Both of these problems theoretically could be overcome by generating a speed-of-light beam of some sort that preceded the craft and that could alter the zero-point-field (aether).

    After exceeding the speed of light the craft would not have a wake of protection. Conceivably this problem also could be overcome. Let’s say after attaining a speed say twice the speed of light, matter might be able to move straight through other matter because all matter contains so much space within it. Eventually, however, there could be a deteriorization of the craft as well as any life within it, when nuclei would collide. Maybe even this problem might be overcome, but it seems to me that warp speeds of 10X, 100X, 1000X, etc.—Star-Trek style multiples of the speed of light, if possible, won’t be developed until far into the unforeseeable future—but I hope at least to see us “puttering” around our solar system within a few decades. Wouldn’t mind doing it myself …..fat chance.

    Your friend forrest

  • Adam October 4, 2007, 17:08

    Hi forrest

    Is there any empirical evidence for anything you’ve said about sub-light travel? So far the vacuum seems Lorentz invariant up to extremely high energies – I seriously doubt the ionisation effects you’re imagining.

  • forrest noble October 4, 2007, 19:26

    Hi Adam,

    The empirical evidence in general is based upon the existence of dark matter, knowledge concerning atomic ionization and related theories of concerning gravity and black holes. You probably know the evidence for the existence of dark matter and “zero-point energy”. The theory is that when matter accelerates, according to General Relativity it experiences “simulated” gravitational resistance. In various dark-matter theories these fields of dark matter provide a resistance to motion in general but especially accelerating matter.

    In our atmosphere the gaseous constituents are easily ionized just by wind motion. The surface of a jet aircraft is known to experience moderate ionization during flight. In particle accelerators atoms which are slightly ionized can be totally ionized just by the beginning acceleration of the particles such as alpha particles– helium nuclei. The point is that partial atomic ionization is a simple process requiring some resistance to an electrons motion. Once only a few electrons are ionized from a single element, many will lose their molecular bond– disintegration.

    According to the dark matter theories of gravity the slightest acceleration at speeds well below the speed of light will cause at least partial ionization throughout the matter. These same theoretical estimates have been made of matter orbiting black holes at very high speeds based upon the observed electron emissions there from. Lorentz did believe in an aether but not a gravity causing aether. For related theory see “Galaxies are stirred by Black Holes” on this same web sit.

    forrest– thanks for this and future inquiries

  • george scaglione October 5, 2007, 9:21

    forrest thank you very much for that very interesting answer,it is my understanding that today string theory is not as “accepted” as it had been. and…after i buy a couple of books on the subject and plow through them,to the best of my ability,hard covers yet! but you know what? theories come and go.always a hope comming down the pike and we never know for sure that the next one won’t allow traversable worm holes or warp speed!! or something we do not yet understand! i myself have always liked the idea of taping into the energy of the zero point field as a means of space craft propulsion. just imagine fuel that we would not have to carry because it is everywhere! PLENTY of advantages there my friend! but talk about theory…just one of mine. by the way forrest and everybody,i can be reached at udt109@aol.com if anybody ever wanted a more private discussion of all of this stuff! i really liked the background you provided the other day and would like to say more myself in that vein but sometimes i like to and do talk to my friend via e mail…lol,found out that forrest noble is not your adress!!?? but i leave all of that strictly up to whatever any particular individual may like to do.funny how people seem to drift,had a whole group i spoke to often and now…luckily for me i am finding a whole new group!!but for now i guess that is it love to discuss any or all of all the various theories! you never know when pay dirt will be struck!! again,thanks your friend george

  • forrest noble October 5, 2007, 18:21

    George, my web-address is; forrest_forrest@netzero.net. since i have your address we’ll talk soon.

    String theory is becoming unpopular because it predicts many things that have never, or could never be observed (like the Big-Bang Theory) especially the 6 or 7 additional dimemsions which it requires. But I don’t think this excludes the theories basic concept of strings rather than point particles– but I currently don’t believe in strings residing in extra-dimensions.

    I’m certain that there is plenty of reality that I don’t understand but my theories haven’t had major aterations since they were conceived maybe 35 years ago– therefore I believe there are genereally simple answers to any question that might be asked including all the “why”? questions that other theories do not (and usually cannot) address.

    Einstein made some of the best tongue-in-cheek and insightful quotes that I know of, many concerning theories in general. He said:

    A theory should be as simple as possible but not simpler. –If the facts don’t fit the theory change the facts. –Imagination is more important than knowledge. –It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid. (I’ve had some success in this area).
    Logic will get you from A to B; imagination will get you everywhere. –Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone. –No amount of experimentation can ever prove a theory right; but a single experiment can prove it wrong. –Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them. –The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. –There could be no fairer destiny for any physical theory than that it should point the way to a more comprehensive theory in which it lives on as a limiting case. –There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws; there is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance. –To the Master’s honor all must turn, each in its track, without a sound, forever tracing Newton’s ground. –We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. –We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us. –When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking. –When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second; when you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour; that’s relativity.

    Great stuff, right? your frient forrest