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No. 9: Winter 1979

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Large, unseen mass is pulling earth toward it

Recent measurements of the cosmic microwave background indicate that the earth moves relative to it. New cosmic X-ray data from the satellite Ariel 5 suggests that a large, hitherto unsuspected mass is located in the same direction that the earth is moving. Thus, both X-ray and microwave data could be explained by supposing this mass to be large enough to pull the earth (and our Galaxy) toward it. This mass would have to be about 10 billion light years away and weigh as much as 100 million Galaxies.

Such a gigantic blob or inhomogeneity in the universe would be very difficult to explain. As it is, the aggregation of stars into galaxies after the Big Bang remains poorly understood. The bigger the inhomogeneity, the harder it is to account for. The Big Bang should have spread matter out pretty evenly.

(Anonymous; "Large Mass May Pull Earth Through Space," New Scientist, 83:21, 1979.)

From Science Frontiers #9, Winter 1979. � 1979-2000 William R. Corliss