Big Bang Theory was Right; Universe is Slowly Cooling

First Posted: Jan 24, 2013 09:44 AM EST

The Big Bang theory may not be right about everything, but it's right about at least one thing; the universe is cooling down, just as it predicted. Astronomers recently made the most precise measurements ever recorded and have noted that the universe has cooled down during its 13.77 billion year history.

An international team of astronomers used an Australian radio telescope in order to measure the temperature of gases billions of years ago in a distant galaxy--about 7.2 billion light years away. They compared the motion of different gas molecules in the unnamed galaxy and were able to pinpoint the temperature at the time radio waves passed through the galaxy.

Their findings would probably give scientists who believe in the Big Bang theory an ego boost. The researchers found that the galaxy had a temperature of almost 268 degrees Celsius below zero. That's a couple degrees above the current temperature of minus 270, only three degrees above absolute zero.

If the Big Bang theory does indeed hold true, leftover radiation from the Big Bang warmed these deep space gases which helped reveal the underlying temperature of the universe. As the universe expands, the temperature of the background radiation smoothly drops.

This is the first time that the temperature of the ancient universe has been measured so precisely. According to Robert Braun and his team of astronomers, the reading is accurate to within one-tenth of a degree. The findings are important to help check and support theories on how the universe is and was evolving.

Although the temperature of the universe will slowly creep toward absolute zero, it will never quite get there. And even if it did, it wouldn't matter. We're far more affected by what happens on Earth and in our own galaxy than the radiation bath that the universe lives in.

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