Astronomer Mike Hawkins from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh came to this conclusion after looking at nearly 900 quasars over periods of up to 28 years. When comparing the light patterns of quasars located about 6 billion light years from us and those located 10 billion light years away, he was surprised to find that the light signatures of the two samples were exactly the same. If these quasars were like the previously observed supernovae, an observer would expect to see longer, “stretched” timescales for the distant, “stretched” high-redshift quasars. But even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth.
"Theyre already very old," explained Patrick McCarthy, a co-principal investigator on the study from the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution. "In fact, they're ancient."
I still think they're trying to read tea leaves.
Astronomers already knew large-scale CMB fluctuations are weaker than those at small scales, and this finding would indicate they're weaker still, according to Starkman. Therefore, inflation may have to be tweaked again in order to accommodate the finding.
The correlation involves the largest-scale fluctuations of the CMB. If some of those large-scale fluctuations are a local, rather than a cosmological, phenomenon, it would mean the truly cosmological large-scale fluctuations are even less intense than previously thought.
"Dark matter particles continue to escape our instruments, yet we are getting much more clever in our search and feel confident that we will soon unveil them," said Elena Aprile, spokesperson of the XENON100 experiment and a professor of physics at Columbia University.
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