An astrophysicist in California may have just peeked into a parallel universe, providing tantalizing — and tentative — evidence that ours is not the only universe out there.
The scientist’s name is Ranga-Ram Chary, and he works at the European Space Agency’s Planck Space Telescope US data center at CalTech, USA Today reported. Though he saw the evidence himself, Chary admitted in a study on the finding that his theory is hard to prove.
“Unusual claims like evidence for alternate universes require a very high burden of proof.”
Nonetheless, the possibility that the evidence of a parallel universe may have been spied in space is tantalizing, no matter how preliminary.
He found the evidence while mapping what’s called the cosmic microwave background (CMB), or the light that was left over from the early universe, the International Business Times reported. He was looking at a period of time just after the Big Bang, about 13 million years ago.
According to RT, Ranga-Ram wasn’t exactly looking at the CMB. He built a model of it based on the telescope’s picture of the entire sky, then removed all of its stars, gas, and dust. Nothing should’ve remained but noise, except something was there: a strange glow.
The astrophysicist spied, in a specific frequency, a series bright patches in the sky glowing about 4,500 times brighter than they should’ve been. He estimated that they originated a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang. At this time, electrons and protons combined and together formed hydrogen, which could emit light.
This era is called recombination and is when hydrogen was created. Hydrogen is made up of one positively charged proton and one negatively charged electron and displays a limited range of colors.
The remarkable theory behind this perplexing evidence: This strange glow is caused by the collision of our universe with a parallel universe. In other words, the light is coming from a neighboring, parallel universe that is “leaking” into ours, Chary theorizes.
“Our universe may simply be a region within an eternally inflating super-region. Many other regions beyond our observable universe would exist with each such region governed by a different set of physical parameters than the ones we have measured for our universe.”
Of course, this is only one explanation for the evidence Chary discovered, and the idea of multiverses isn’t new. The theory holds that ours is just one of many universes and is based on the idea of cosmic inflation, or the expansion of space in the early universe. This expansion is eternal and is believed to lead to the creation of pocket universes, New Scientist explained.
Finding evidence of a parallel universe, however, has so far proven unsuccessful. But based on what scientists have theorized about multiverses, this could be the first evidence ever seen. The glow Chary saw could be matter from another universe, which has physics much unlike our own. The collision was between the parallel universe’s physics, and our own protons and electrons, and as a result, they shone much brighter.
“In the realm of alternative universes, this is entirely possible,” said Jens Chluba, from the University of Cambridge.
This tentative evidence of a parallel universe will be hard to verify, and Chary admitted that there’s a 30 percent chance that what he saw isn’t evidence of anything at all, just normal fluctuations.
Some of his fellow astrophysics aren’t convinced this is evidence of a parallel universe, either. David Spergel of Princeton thinks other possibilities should be examined and believes the most plausible explanation is some very complicated dust particles.
[Image via Nikki Zalewski/ Shutterstock]