Ranga-Ram Chary, an astrophysicist who works in California at the U.S Planck Data Center as a project manager, recently discovered a “mysterious glow” by mapping the cosmic microwave background (the light that was left over from a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang). Usually, Chary would have found nothing “except noise”. This time the spots of light were 4,500 times brighter than normal. Chary concluded that the glow could represent matter from another universe “leaking” or colliding into ours. If this is the case, it would validate that our universe is just a “region within an eternally inflating super-region”.
Even though many cosmologists have long speculated about multiple universes, they have yet to prove their existence. This finding is a pretty big deal considering it would give credence to the theory that cosmic inflation (the notion that the universe began inflating right after the big bang) led to multiple universes. This claim would “require a high burden of proof,” Chary wrote. He says there’s a 30% chance that the glow is nothing out of the ordinary.
Other scientists have shared their skepticism, such as Alexander Vilenkin, director of Tufts University’s Institute of Cosmology, who doesn’t see how “this signal can be explained by a collision with another bubble universe.” Any collisions must have been “more like little nudges,” Vilenkin added. “But a collision that would greatly enhance the density of protons seems to require a much more violent encounter.”
“The supposed observations of a giant void and an apparently cold spot in the cosmic background radiation have so many types of potential explanations,” says Jay Pasachoff, chair of the astronomy department at Williams College. He says it’s too premature to accept an alternate universe as the explanation.
“But it could also be something new and unexpected,” Vilenkin added.