Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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There is a successive putting on and off of garments or animal skins, the soul after death had to ascend to the highest heaven and passing through the gates, every gate being watched by a warder. The ascent motive only occurs in a continuated form, they will bear it the soul to the eternal rest.


With this entry in the Web Site a new series begins. There have been few writers who have tried to focus on what might be called MORMON COSMOLOGY  (MC). (Athay 1, p. 267; 2 p. 255)  In a previous web site entry, THE CREATIONS, (20 Dec. 2006) some aspects of MC were mentioned, including predictions of what astronomers would be finding during the next seven years. In light of astronomical knowledge gleaned during just the past four years it now seems a good time to discuss MC in greater detail.  Simply, MC means what can and what has doctrines in the standard works and the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith contributed to an understanding of the so called BIG BANG UNIVERSE (BBU) or preferences for any other alternate theory? What have Mormon sources predicted years before scientists had discovered certain realities? What have Mormons known for 185 years? If the restoration and the gospel are true, there should  be a lot. A brief summary of Mormon doctrines and teachings will provide  insights into areas where and when Mormons anticipated discoveries and could predict aspects of theories and observations and develop knowledge to provide a basis for a MORMON COSMOLOGY.  Early understanding of  COSMOLOGICAL themes will be discussed in this series. They will be identified below. There is the UNIVERSE, depending on what model is referred to, and the universe as disclosed by science. (Harrison pp. 10-11)  Both are of interest.


Mormon teachings and doctrines have a great deal to say about the immensity of the Universe.  For one thing, there is only "ONE UNIVERSE,"  says the Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. That  UNIVERSE embraces "all that is or will be", the so called Big Bang (BB) Universe is only a very small part of what Mormons call THE UNIVERSE!  Modern scientists have not the slightest inkling of  how immense the REAL Universe is. Only recently have thinking theorists and cosmologists considered the  universe as defined by the  HOT BIG BANG (HBB),  (Coles pp. 109, 131-133) , which is finite, to include something outside the dimensions of the present known BB. Mormons assert there are many ENCORES to the BB, that there have been many earlier and later, BB's and more to come. But non-Mormons have no idea of the real geography of the Universe. Mormons have  a lot to say about the geography of what's out there.   Cosmologists base most of their estimates of the content and history and age of the Universe on Observational Astronomy.  They have assembled all that has been found by observation and use of various detection devices into a Model, an idea, perhaps it cannot be dignified as even being a theory,  just a tentative consensus of astronomers using a model into which they can feed the facts of their observations and experiments, but always seeking to refine their understanding.  In part the ideas suggested by the famous astronomer, A.S. Eddington in 1926, (Arnett p. 153)  it is called the STANDARD MODEL (SM).  (Coles p. 109-111) . Eddington was a must read in the 1940's when I became interested in Astronomy and became a member, and remain so, of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The Model is upgraded and changes all the time, there are many unexplained aspects to the Model, they know them, they are working on them, and they are coming up with more and more realities that confirm what Joseph Smith knew, providing clues that give Mormon students of the subject a great advantage. One would think that since Christ is the creator of the worlds that he would tuck into all that has been received under the restoration a lot of clues as to how he did it, when he did it, how extensive the creations are and a lot about the geography of the great somewhere, and why he did it. Non-Mormon Scientists cannot tell us the why, and without the restored knowledge of the restoration they cannot answer most of the other questions.  Science is all about: How did God do it? So now there is a lot of information collected that can be knitted together to form a tremendously exciting tapestry. Important doctrines and teachings of the restoration will help establish, themes, as numbered below, that can then be expanded and  developed. Each of these themes generates many questions and hint at answers. But there is a great need to be aware of the tools and instruments scientists are using.  


To start with, sixteen doctrinal themes will be identified that will be the basis for discussions in these series. These, in part, provide preliminary insight as to where a Mormon  could come from.


1.  Moses l:31-28. And he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof...32. And by the word of my power, have I created them...33. And worlds without number have I created...and by the Son I created them...35...there are many worlds  that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man...I know them...there is no end to my works.  (PGP Moses l:31-38)  The astronomers keep seeing more as they go farther, Mormons are not surprised.

2.  Moses 7:30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still. This is one of the more important declarations. 

In Moses 7:30, Theme 2., when understood, it is one of the most mind expanding teachings of all. NASA, to safely traffic in space has to know the details of the mass of the earth. When I brought this information up for discussion in a class for Elderhostel Groups for Dixie College, a member of the class raised his hand, he was a retired scientist from NASA and he said he was the one who came up with a number that expresses accurately the mass of the earth and how many particles there were.  He had taken the mass of the building block of all elements, the proton, the core of Hydrogen, whose mass had been determined to be  l.6726231 x 19-27 kilograms, (Rigden p. 52) and divided it into the mass of the earth and determined the total particles of this earth to be 1052.  But Enoch who is the one discussing this concept with the Lord, says this number must be increased by the particles of millions of earths like this one!   To arrive at a minimum number could it be safe to consider 10 million earths, which would increase the Number to 1062, because Enoch went on to say that that would "not be a beginning to the number of thy Creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still."  So that is only a minimum number, everything built on it will therefore be conservative.  Realize that for each earth a star or sun is required, and a moon, and a small nearby array of stars.  The impact of this is startling, because the best estimate of the content of the BB is only 1025 star masses, so how many BB's  would there have to be to contain all of those worlds and the stars for each required local environment for an earth and the host galaxies?   Notice, that any given BB has a limited amount of earths, and these are only companions to a star of a critical size and character, and these are restricted to a limited inhabitable zone in each galaxy; far enough away from the center so as not to be consumed by radiation and not so far out as to be in an inhospitable space of deep cold. They calculate that there may have been 5 billion earths inhabited in our galaxy that turned on during the past 5 billion years. So the total of galaxies needed to contain the total minimum amount of earth-star-moon combinations is a very much larger figure, perhaps not less than 10100! The ramifications of these numbers, called the ENOCH NUMBERS (EN), will be discussed in greater detail in what follows in this series.  Mormons have known about this concept since 1831. But it has been only in the last twenty five years that an intelligent meaningful discussion has become possible, really, just the last ten. (Web Site entry THE CREATIONS, 20 Dec 2006)

3.  Abraham 3:6 ...Now Abraham, these two facts exist...it is given unto thee to know the times of reckoning and the set time, [spin] yea, the set time of the earth upon which thou standest, and the set time of the greater light which is set to rule the day, and the set time of the lesser light which is set to rule the night...8. And where these two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them, that is there shall be another planet whose reckoning of time shall be longer still; 9...until thou cometh neigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the  reckoning of the Lord's time; which KOLOB is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern  all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. 10...to know...the set time of all the stars that are set to give light...16...therefore Kolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, because it is nearest unto me. (See Web Site entry KOLOB AND THE URIM AND THUMMIM, 12 July 2006)

4.  Abraham 4: 16...the Gods organized the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; with the lesser light they set the stars also 17...the Gods set them in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night...18. And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.    


5.  PAGE 37. ..The HEAD GOD brought forth the HEAD GODS in the grand, HEAD COUNCIL...  [lst council] What are they going to do?  Plan to create worlds.

6.  PAGE 39...The HEAD ONE OF THE GODS called together the GODS and the GRAND COUNCILORS sat in GRAND COUNCIL  [2nd council]...to BRING FORTH THE WORLD  and contemplate the creation of THE WORLDS that were CREATED AT THAT TIME...

7.  PAGE 43...the HEAD OF THE GODS called a COUNCIL  [3d council] of the Gods.  The gods came together and CONCOCTED A SCHEME to create THIS WORLD and the INHABITANTS.  What did they do?  They created this world and its inhabitants


8.  "...that Jesus Christ, whose goings forth, as the prophets said, have been from of old, from eternity:  and that ETERNITY, agreeably to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system , (not this world) almost TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE MILLIONS OF YEARS  [2.55 billion years] and to know at the same time, that deists, geologists and others are trying to prove that matter must have existed hundreds of thousands of years--it almost tempts the flesh to fly to God, or muster faith like Enoch to be translated and see and know as we are seen and known!" (W.W. Phelps, Times and Seasons  Vol. 5, p. 757, Dec. 25, 1844, Nauvoo, Ill.) Days 4, 5, and 6 have consumed 2.55 million years so far.


9.  FLOS ISIS [Egyptian notation for an object of the Highest degree of light] The highest degree of light, because its component parts are light. The governing principle of light. Because God has said Let this be the center for light, and let there be BOUNDS that it may not pass...and the light of the grand governing of 15 stars center there...so God has set the BOUNDS OF LIGHT lest it pass over and CONSUME THE PLANETS.  (Smith p. 25)

10.  KLI FLOSISIS [Egyptian notation for motion of Kolob]  Signifies Kolob in its MOTION, [SPIN] which is swifter than the rest of the twelve fixed stars; going before being FIRST IN MOTION [SPIN], being delegated to  have power over others to regulate others in their time..." (Smith p. 25)  (Smith p. 25)

11.  KOLOB  "Signifies the FIRST CREATION NEARER TO THE CELESTIAL  or the RESIDENCE OF GOD, first in government....which DAY is equal to a THOUSAND YEARS according to the measurement of this EARTH or Jah oh eh."  (Smith p. 26)

12.  KOLOB   "Signifies FIRST BEGINNING TO THE BODIES OF THIS CREATION, also having been appointed for the last time the last or the ELDEST.  " (Smith p. 28)

13.  KOLOB   "signifies the highest degree of power in government, pertaining to heavenly bodies. "  (Smith p. 30)

14.  KOLOB   "In the second degree It signifies the wonder of Abraham the ELDEST  of all the Stars, the greatest body of the HEAVENLY BODIES that ever was DISCOVERED by man." (Smith p. 32)

15.  KOLOB    "In the first degree. It signifies the first great grand governing fixed star which is the FARTHEREST  that ever has been discovered by the fathers which was discovered by METHUSELA  and also by ABRAHAM. "  (Smith p. 34)


16.  Mormons are familiar with such ideas as:  Yonder is matter unorganized!  We will form a world patterned after the old one.  We will create a world like we have heretofore created. The earth was created on the First Day. On the third day the greater and lesser lights were made and set near the earth. The world abides a celestial law and will be celestialized. There are different kinds of matter. There is no end to space.  And there is no space but what there is a kingdom. "There is but one universe, and..all experiences are...different combinations of the contents of the one universe." (Widtsoe  p. 188)  Orson Pratt was told by Joseph before Christ comes again, we will communicate with the inhabitants of other world. (JD-1) They are the real ET.

Think of the implications in these short statements. The "MATTER" required to create a world must include all of the necessary elements, 92 of them, that make up the earth.  Where ever yonder  was, it hosted unorganized matter saturated with heavy elements.  Was that available matter the accumulated results of seven, or more, generations of supernova explosions?  (Arnett pp. 2-3) There is a  PATTERN in the creation of worlds and forming their immediate environment.  The worlds that are inhabited are all similar or like each other.  The pattern of  life would then be expected to be distinctly similar.  Every earth that is inhabited [by man] will be Celestialized. There can be other planets out there that may have primitive life forms. There is something unique in the available creational account that a temple going MORMON can access that indicates the earth is older than the sun,  and the time of their configuration together is suggested by data obtained out of the Egyptian records. " The contents of the Universe are indestructible...laws of the conservation of mass and energy." (Widtsoe pp. 194-195) Future studies will deal in depth with all of the sixteen themes above, and this fundamental law on the Conservation of Energy.  More themes or doctrinal ideas will be identified later.                                  


In 2009 the hard working Hubble Space Telescope (HST) targeted an area in the southern constellation Fornax and the result was known as the HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD. It was announced in a special news release with considerable excitement.  Earlier,  HST has peered into regions perpendicular to the Milky Way called the NORTH FIELD with spectacular results. Galaxies all over the composite photos or plate, to an incredible distance. Later they had peered in the opposite direction called the SOUTHERN FIELD, with similar results, galaxies everywhere, and again out to an incredible distance. The results of these three probes have dictated the course of study and research ever since. Astounding  information has been gleaned, telescopes and detectors are being built to probe the space in the Universe occupied by what is called the BIG BANG (BB). The  results are yet to be totally evaluated. But the BB is finite.  Now they know what Mormons knew since 1831. Cosmologist have known this for just a short time.  (Rowan-Robinson P. 59) The BB has a radius and a diameter and a measurable content. Future studies will discuss this in detail. What was before the BB? It is expanding, but what is it expanding into?  The specialists in astronomy and cosmology used  to call the BB the UNIVERSE,  but they have to rethink everything now, because there must be something outside the confines of the BB. By definition, UNIVERSE, means everything that is out there. But no longer can the BB be called the UNIVERSE.  Mormon Cosmology requires a total rethinking of what is to be called the UNIVERSE, and a required geography must be identified that includes all that is known about it. The prophets, especially President Gordon B. Hinckley, have said there is only ONE UNIVERSE, and our Father in Heaven is the God of that Universe.  The Mormon Universe is infinite.  Now,  does the conventional wisdom which tries to plug everything into what they call the STANDARD MODEL need to be revised? YES! What is in the content of restoration doctrines that can put an interesting spin on everything?  In the Delirium of Immensity that is out there Mormon cosmology has a lot to contribute to understand just how Great it is, and "How Great Thou Art."


In August and September 2012, the HST took a long squint again into the far reaches of the BB.   "Peering into the far reaches of the universe, astronomers have spotted seven galaxies so distant that they appear as they did less than 600 million years after the Big Bang." (Witze p. 5) The region chosen for this in depth staring is the same one in the southern constellation Fornax that was targeted, in 2009,  for a long duration exposure that is now the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). " Fornax, the Furnace, is the creation of a French Astronomer in the eighteenth-century, it only has three faint stars, so, open sky. " (Davis p. 199) This time they spent more than 100 hours staring into this small patch of the sky. All their effort, all the new devices now permit them to peer into the content of the BB Bubble. Beyond, are Encores or echos or whatever is necessary to describe a Universe with a geography that provides adequate space for an innumerable host of Bubbles, or BB's similar to ours, and a lot of everything else. 

Finding so many primordial galaxies allows scientists to pin down crucial questions about the newborn universe (BIG BANG). When did light from the early stars and galaxies first penetrate the early cosmic gloom? Avi Leb, a Harvard astronomer, who was not involved in the HST latest peering said:  "It's the scientific study of Genesis." (Witze p. 5) But entirely confined to our BB Bubble.  Mormons have reason to believe that the so called BB is but a tiny bubble in the larger Universe and what knowledgeable Mormons understand is really "out there".


The Caltech team led by Richard Ellis, had gone back for a second look at the Ultra Deep Field again, but for much longer time and with new equipment.  The longer exposure time with an additional filter that's sensitive to the faint, red light of faraway galaxies was expected to yield some new results. It did! The new census, that will appear in Astrophysical Journal Letters,   includes those seven galaxies at great distances. One may be a record breaker , because it seems to be so far away that they estimate it was just 380 million years after the BB when its photons left for outer space. (Ellis in Witze p. 5) The photo that was released of this distant galaxy, seems to show that it is a giant Elliptical galaxy. Few of the early galaxies were beautifully organized spiral types. But galaxies come in many shapes, mostly however, spiral.  Why is that galaxy so active  so soon after the BB, or is the BB older than now thoughts? Nearly 20 Billion year?

The BB, due to a yet to be fully explained INFLATION, has been expanding since it was initiated, now considered to be 13.8 (as of March 2013) billion years ago. In April and May the results of the PLANCK SATELLITE, launched in 2009, will become available. Those figures will be in PART 2 of this series. Is that about as far back in time that detectable light was present?  The microwave radiation attributed to the BB is now estimated to be about 14 billion years in time, instruments now in place, when operational,  may push that figure back even farther.  Light and energy from this radiation is now arriving at Earth.  There is a lot of fine tuning to be done to get the actual age.  As noted, some Mormon observers have reason to lean toward a 20 billion year age.  New instruments are being constructed to resolve the age problem. 

The galaxies appear as they did during the infancy of the BB or the infancy of whatever that initiating event was.  They are expecting to detect or see, evidence of the seething hot plasma, other than the microwave background, that was way too hot for any kind of matter called baryonic matter, that's the matter all around us and what we are made of. Matter that we are familiar with, which includes the essential substance occupying the internal content of the BIG BANG BUBBLE (BBB);  as they think it to be, because so much at present is inference. If another bubble was nearby could it be detected? Or if another bubble is slightly overlapping our or ours overlapping it, could it be detected?  In other words, can we ever see outside our bubble?  What really is out there, just how big is the inferred Universe?  If the radius is now indicated to be not less than 13.8 billion light years,  how much has the BB expanded? Is the real radius now, at this time, 25 to 40 billion years, is there a limit? When the content of the BB is finally reduced to just energy, perhaps then it will exceed a radius of 100 billion light years, what then? "This scenario is called the 'head death' of the universe." (Parsons p. 33) When will the BB cease to have life? Where will life then be?  As I learned in China from a wise old man, a fool can ask more questions in a minute than a wise man can answer in a life time!


"The  distance to such faraway objects is usually stated in terms of redshift; the higher the redshift, the more distant the object. Six of the seven galaxies described by Ellis and his team, all have redshifts higher than 8.5.  The interesting, possibly giant Elliptical galaxy, so recently found, may even have a redshift of 11.9.  It is named after the Ultra Deep Field: UDFj-39546284. When it was spotted earlier it was pegged at a redshift of 10.5 (SN Online: l/26/11) but the new Hubble data suggested it may be even more distant.'' (Ellis in Witz p. 5) And it is!


A series of surveys  with the HST are in progress. One recent survey found a handful of faraway galaxies with redshifts possibly in the range of 8.5 to 12.  CLASH looks for distant objects whose light has been bent and magnified by the gravitational influence of galaxies lying in the line of sight between the faraway objects and observers on Earth.  This gravitational influence boosts the light of dim objects making them easier to see. In September 2012  CLASH reported a redshift of  9.6 for a galaxy in the constellation Leo. Leo, the Lion, was recognized by the ancient Sumerians and the Romans as a lion. The Chinese saw it as a horse and the Incans as a puma. Leo's head is formed by an asterism known as the Sickle. (Davis p. 188)  In November 2012,  CLASH  astronomers announced finding a galaxy with a redshift of 10.8 in the constellation Camelopardalis.  James Dunlop, an astronomer at the University of Edinburgh who works with Ellis said: "Broadly speaking their results are consistent with ours." (Dunlop in Witz p. 6) There are fifty-four northern constellations, the ancient Greeks listed forty-eight. Camelpardalis, meaning Giraffe, was first outlined in 1624 from the fact the giraffe, in ancient times, was thought to have a head of a camel and spots of a leopard. Looking in that direction there would be less interfering stars.  In my class room I hung enlarged photos of  these Hubble results.  They are very impressive. Excellent reproductions are between pages 108-109 in Keel's book. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific also offer poster sized copies. It is not so much that different groups are trying to break some kind of record, rather, they are trying to find out what does a census of distant galaxies say about how and when the early Big Bang lit up?  When and what was going on when light was first emitted from the cooling radiation and expansion of the Big Bang energy? Only in the last decade or so could these questions be asked.


It is best to refer to the matter contained in the confines of the BB to be "matter of this order" because Mormons are familiar with matter of various orders or geographical areas of the real Universe, some Mormons might even say they know of at least seven different types of matter and how they are all linked together sequentially or separately.  So when matter is described that is used to build up with the blocks of physical matter, called baryons,  that  all are familiar with, then that matter is referred to as being "matter of this order."  Kolob governs matter of this order.

The story of the basic building block of all matter of this order begins before there was anyone to notice. Long before the earth and its planetary siblings existed, before the Sun and the Milky Way existed, and even before chemical elements like oxygen, sodium, iron, and gold existed, the hydrogen atom with its single proton was old, old news. (Rigden p. 6)

Hydrogen is the simplest of all atoms. In its dominant form, hydrogen consists of one electron and one proton; in its rare form, called deuterium, there are just three particles: an electron, a proton and a neutron. "By contrast, ordinary water, a simple molecule of two hydrogen atoms and one of oxygen, consists of twenty-eight particles: ten electrons, ten protons and eight neutrons.  The water molecule is very complicated when compared to the hydrogen or deuterium atoms. But because of its simplicity, hydrogen dominates the 15 billion year tale of our universe. Approximately 300,000  years after the origin of our universe, the temperature had cooled to approximately 3,000 degrees and the hydrogen and helium atoms took their characteristic forms. Even this early, a particular kind of universe was inevitable, a universe that would eventually become a hospitable haven for life." (Rigden p.7)  There was great precision in the creation. In the future nine critical numbers will be discussed. (Rowan-Robinson p. 149)

By the time the BB was 300,000 degrees, "neutrinos, (more on them later) , were aloof from their surroundings and did not participate in the birth of atoms, and photons, they were not essential to the atom-forming process. So, to form the first atoms of the BB there were [needed] electrons, protons, deuterons, and alpha particles. Protons outnumbered alpha particles about eleven to one with only a sprinkle of deuterons...when atoms formed, the ingredients present coupled with the particle recipes for hydrogen and helium resulted in an atomic mix of about 92 % hydrogen, 8 percent helium, and a fraction of a percent deuterium...15 billion years after hydrogen and helium were first formed, these elements remain the most abundant throughout the cosmos: hydrogen makes up approximately 90 % of the total...helium comes in at about 9 %." (Rigden p. 7) Have they ever found an area in the BB where new hydrogen is being formed? No!                

Current wisdom, or the Standard Model, simplified the unknown beginning that was the origin of space and time. "Since then the original point [if the BB was a point] has expanded in all directions to the dimensions of the current universe [BB] As the universe expanded, the cosmic clock ticked and the temperature cooled: at 0.0l second the Big Bang temperature was  100,000 billion degrees; 0.11 seconds, 30,000 billion degrees; 1.09 seconds, 10,000 billion degrees; 13.82 seconds, 3,000 billion degrees. By the time the universe was four minutes old, the basic ingredients required for all that was to follow were present and their basic modes of interaction were established. The stage was set for everything that followed."  (Rowan-Robinson pp. 81-83, 111) That sounds like sound engineering and planning on the part of somebody executing a pre-arranged plan. (See Themes 14-18 above)

So,  before 300,000 years had lapsed after the Big Bang, a period they call the 'dark ages', because there was nothing to generate any light of any kind,  hydrogen gas formed throughout  the newborn space.  But not until some 200 million years later did those clouds of hydrogen grow dense enough to gravitationally collapse and ignite fusion in the hearts of the first stars. (Arnett pp. 492-493)  At that time the Big Bang was much hotter and denser than today simply because it was smaller. At some point there were enough stars to start assembling together into the first galaxies. Until they get a clear picture of the early BB, astronomers will be unable to figure out the exact time scale of how those galaxies came together.  Did it happen quickly or was it a long, drawn out process? At the moment they are allowing for a period of time 200 to 400 million years, with a tendency to the lower limit, before stars began to be and as they collected or gravitationally assembled together the rudiments of galaxies began to form. During this period of time, up to nearly 400 million years, the expanding bubble (BB) was filled with neutral hydrogen gas, which rendered  everything murky and opaque. "When the first stars ignited, they released ultraviolet  radiation that essentially burned off the hydrogen fog. At first, individual stars  cleared pockets within the fog; later, more stars began to form and collect into galaxies, clearing larger pockets of space until the entire universe [bubble] was transparent...a process called "cosmic reionization." It is now estimated that the reionization extended from the beginning for up to one billion years before it ended. Soon stars also began forging heavier chemical elements, the carbon and iron, in their hearts. When the stars blew up and died, they spewed those elements into interstellar space, there to be incorporated into planets and people." (Witz p. 6) Do the new findings indicate that it might have been gradual?  HTS has found enough early galaxies spread out over different redshifts to suggest that they formed slowly.  "Cosmic dawn was probably not a single dramatic event." (Ellis p. 6)  So, what was it?

Rogier Windhorst, an astronomer at Arizona State University in Tempe, is surprised the new HTS surveys are finding only a few galaxies. "We might be able to see a number of the galaxies and HTS only sees a handful." (Witz p. 6)  Perhaps more of the early galaxies will be found in the ongoing study of the results of CLASH, lurking in the data, hidden by the bright lights of other, closer stars or galaxies, Windhorst suggests.


The JAMES WEBB SPACE TELECOPE  (JWST) will, hopefully,  be launched in 2018.  It will be the successor to Hubble Space Telescope (HTS) , designed to look in infrared wavelengths for the dim light of even more distant galaxies. "We can confidently predict there are many galaxies beyond this." (Ellis, in Witze p. 6) The Webb telescope should see objects with a redshift of 20 or even higher.  It will answer a lot of questions and no doubt shed light on the questions now being asked. John Grunsfeld, an astronaut who has visited HTS several times to upgrade its components, say the new images have a profound meaning that extends beyond the scientific value. "These are baby pictures of our big bang. Gurnsfeld is now NASA's associate administrator for science. We always wonder where we came from and where we're going, and Hubble is providing answers to both those questions. " (Witz p. 6)  In time it will be interesting to see just what answers they provide to these questions. In the meantime, there already some answers available.  Future PARTS of this series will be dedicated to answering them.


"We live in a Universe of matter...the mater that we see shining contains far more energy in its rest mass than all of the energy of the microwave radiation left from the BB. This matter is composed of electrons, protons, and neutrons  and their combined forms of nuclei, atoms, and molecules. Examination of the dynamics of galaxies indicates the existence of gravitational forces which imply still more matter, by roughly a factor ten, which is not shining in ways we have detected. This is the DARK MATTER,  and its nature is a deep puzzle."  (Arnett p. l)

"Of all the matter in the universe, or confined within the so called Big Bang, only 5 % is made of particles we know, all built up out of fusion in Super Nova explosions where conditions are sufficiently extreme for nuclear processing...nucleosynthesis ...a term coined...to refer to those processes by  which atomic nuclei are transformed on the cosmic scale...observed abundances of nuclei represent the ashes of previous stages of thermonuclear burning. ...the cosmic abundances of atomic nuclei are used to infer the events by which the universe was formed and evolved to its present state. a given sample of matter the dominant influences in determining the composition include (l) ATOMIC and MOLCULAR PROCESSES, and (2) NUCLEAR PROCESSES... the abundance ratios of different isotopes of the same element will be...less sensitive to atomic processes and therefore should provide...reliable clues as to the last nuclear processes to which the matter was exposed...The isotopic composition of matter represent the contributions of many sources of nucleosynthesis...one must try to determine the nature of individual events as well as their accumulated effect...our ideas about the nature of the Big Bang are largely constrained by the degree to which we can identify some abundances being the relic of cosmological [Big Bang] nucleosynthesis rather than the result of subsequent steller [nuclear fusion/fission] processes."   (Arnett p. 1-3) To get heavy elements, you need a lot of fusion.

"The visible universe seems the same in all directions around us, at least if we look out to distances larger than about 300 million light years...radiation has been traveling to us for about 14 billion years, supporting the conclusion that the universe at sufficiently large distances is nearly the same in all directions...observers in all typical galaxies at the same time see conditions pretty much the same. ..almost all of modern  cosmology is based on [the work of] Robertson [in 1935 and] Walker [in 1936 called] metrics, as at least a first approximation." (Weinberg p. 1) Shortly after 1916, Einstein produced a paper: Cosmological Considerations on the General Theory of Relativity. His work became the cornerstone of modern cosmology. A. Eddington confirmed the gravity bending of star light in 1919, The Dutchman, Willem de Sitter (1872-1934)  applied Einstein's theories to an expanding universe. In 1922, A. Friedman also suggested the universe was expanding from a dense earlier state. In 1927, the Belgian Jesuit, G. Lemaitre, stated not only was the universe expanding but by going back in time as Bishop Ussher did, one would  'discover a day without yesterday'.  All of this was theoretical until Edwin Hubble, in 1929,  demonstrated that distant galaxies were moving away from one another and established the universe of galaxies, or the Realm of the Nebula, as he called it. (Davis pp. 289-290)  Nearly everything is being done on the shoulders of giants. But there is still a long way to go. 

The results of all of the above and further clarifications provided in future Parts of this series, shows that the hypothesis of a Big Bang origin is not contradicted by observations of the chemical composition of the universe. Many alternate theories put forward to replace the BB THEORY cannot claim this.  This is how the cosmochemists unravel the events and nature of the Universe and weed out alternate theories. (Morris p. 112)  

DARK MATTER, is most recently considered to make up another 24 % of what's out there. Only 5 % is baryonic matter, the familiar matter, the remaining content of 71 % is yet unidentified. (Merali p.44)  These figures keep on changing as new information is obtained and interpreted.  As the scientists experimented and worked on the unknown, they finally gave it a name: Dark Matter.  "Scientists believe the Milky Way is embedded in a large halo of dark matter, a sort of fog, but studies have failed to find dark matter in the solar neighborhood. The first confirmation that much of the matter in the universe is invisible came when they noticed that the outer portions of a significant number of galaxies were rotating inexplicably fast. The outer stars seemed to be pulled by far more gravity than could be accounted for by adding up the contributions of the visible stars.  So the considered plausible answer was the galaxies contained clouds of what they dubbed 'dark matter' that could not be seen by conventional means, but which exerts a gravitational tug."  (Merali p. 45) The data from PLANCK will change this.

A promising candidate for dark matter is a massive particle (a few to a few thousand proton masses)  left over from the Big Bang. So, working on the idea that dark matter takes the form of  weakly interacting massive particles  (WIMPS) scientists have been working for twenty five years and great expense and time,  trying to directly detect dark matter particles by burying  detectors deep underground. They need to avoid contaminating back ground signals from cosmic rays and other sources.  They use a variety of substances capable of registering a collision with a WIMP.  It may be that they have not yet identified a substance that would registered a WIMP  passage.  But they are off to a good start, but it is mostly a process of elimination.

WIMPS are assumed to scatter off target nuclei and can be distinguished from the background of electron recoils based on their lower ionization signals. This improves the signal-to-background ratio in the CDMS detectors by more than four orders of magnitude.   

It is a matter of increasing the sensitivity. Current detection levels limit the search to less than one single WIMP caught in the mass equivalent of a human body per week.  However, in every one of us, more than 4,000 atoms of potassium decay every second. The issue then, is in distinguishing and positivity detecting that ONE particle of dark matter interaction from the vast background induced by abundant natural radioactivity.  (Lang p. 1582)  One of the most active radioactive elements in the earth is potassium, it can be concentrated in the earth enough to create sufficient heat to melt portions of the earth into magmas that can ascend towards the surface as magmatic intrusives or erupt as volcanoes. 

Because WIMPS  may annihilate each other upon collision, emitting detectable radiation or other particles, satellite, balloon borne experiments, and other space experiments are being used to search for particles that may be produced in these processes, for instance at the center of our galaxy.  (Lang p. 1582)  The challenge is to understand the backgrounds well enough to convincingly claim the discovery of a dark matter annihilation signal, something that is proving exceedingly difficult to do.  Enough of them have to be detected so their mass may be determined. The task is daunting, but time and money and people are dedicated to it.


The world's LARGEST telescope held its inauguration ceremony the second week in March on a high desert plateau in northern Chile.  It is made up of some 66 antennas, nearly all of them are now receiving data. The ATACAMA LARGE MILLIMETER/SUBMILLIMETER ARRAY (ALMA) is now operational and processing data at the telescope site 5000 meters above sea level.  The telescope cost more than $1.3 billion. It will permit astronomers to study the cold universe at wavelengths that fall between microwaves and infrared light.  Observing in that part of the electromagnetic spectrum will enable researchers to gain new insights into the origins of stars, galaxies and planets and hopefully penetrate into the initial stages of the BIG BANG.

It was funded by the United States, Japan and Europe.  ALMA began delivering science long before its 13 March inauguration ceremony, discovering that certain galaxies in the infant universe, during the first 3 billion years of the BB exhibited intense star formation. The finding was reported in Nature  the week of the ceremony.  Using just 16 of the antenna, the information suggests that the universe became a fertile birthing ground for stars long before than it was previously thought. (Science 15 March 2013 Vol. 339, p. 1258)


New equipment,  satellites and observatories will help map the dark side, shedding real light on the nature of the BB universe.  PART 2 will discuss some of the equipment and technology now being used to DETECT  and MAP the DARK SIDE and other new instruments planned and under construction to continue to reveal the BB universe and the Universe.


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