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No. 23: Sep-Oct 1982

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The Cosmic Whirl

From the analysis of position angles and polarizations of some radio stars, it seems that the entire cosmos is rotating with an angular velocity of about 10-13 radians per year. The Big Bang scenario allows for uniform, universal expansion but certainly no general rotation. P. Birch, the author of this article, puts his finger on the problem in his abstract:

"This would have drastic cosmological consequences, since it would violate Mach's principle and the widely held assumption of large-scale isotropy."

(Birch, P., "Is the Universe Rotating?" Nature, 298:45l, 1982.)

Comment. Since Birch's indicators of rotation are positive in one half of the sky and negative in the other, are we really seeing an entire universe rotating about the earth (and humankind) as a center? What an anti-Copernican thought; we are the focus of everything after all!

Reference. Other evidence for universal rotation may be found at ATB4 in our Catalog: Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos. This Catalog volume is described here.

From Science Frontiers #23, SEP-OCT 1982. 1982-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987