62  Metallicity of distant objects

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According to the big bang theory, all objects in the universe originally consisted of hydrogen and helium. Heavier elements formed slowly over billions of years because of supernova explosions. Nevertheless, there is no systematic difference in the metallicity (frequency of metals) between distant objects and close objects. This contradicts the big bang model. The light, which we see today from distant celestial bodies, should have been travelling for billions of years according to the big bang theory before it reached us, offering a glimpse into the remote past.

Frequently it is said that the light reaching us from distant objects allows a glimpse into the past of the universe. This light has allegedly been travelling for many billions of years before it reaches us. The systematic differences in the metallicity we expect between remote and near objects according to the big bang theory are, however, not clearly detectable. (1) (2). If the light (e.g., the spectrum) from celestial bodies is analyzed, it is possible to estimate quite precisely the quantity and quality of elements present in the specific celestial body. The term metallicity is a common designation for the presence of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. According to the big bang theory, hydrogen and helium developed to continuously heavier isotopes in the stars in a process lasting billions of years. Assuming that no metals were present at the beginning, conclusions can be drawn regarding the age of an object.

The distance of the galaxies is determined based on the red shift in the light from these galaxies. According to the big bang theory, it should be possible to identify young galaxies during their initial phase of development. New measurements have, however, shown that there is no significant difference betweens the metallicity of galaxies close to Earth (i.e., old galaxies) and remote galaxies (i.e., young galaxies) (3).

Rotating universe:

According to the theory of relativity, light is subjected to a red shift when an object moves crosswise (transversely) to the observer (4). It is therefore possible that the universe is considerably smaller than assumed according to the big bang theory and that it rotates around an axis that possibly extends through our Milky Way. If this were true, the estimated age of the universe would have to be reduced drastically.

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(1) Anna Frebel, Auf der Spur der Sterngreise, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Sept. 2008, pages 24-32.
(2) Peter Bond, First stars seen in distant galaxies, Royal Astronomical Society Meeting, 5 April, 2005.
(3) Norbert Pailer und Alfred Krabbe, Der vermessene Kosmos, Hänssler, 2006, pages 64-66.
(4) Andreas Müller, wissenschaft-online.de, August 2007, http://www.wissenschaft-online.de/astrowissen/lexdt_d02.html.

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