Almost every time I try to find more information about the Axis of Evil, I end up with people trying to ignore the phenomena. The video The (Cosmological) Axis of Evil explains it.

However, it's no doubt that this discovery leads directly to earth-centered universe. Among with the many experiments that were never able to measure the movement of the earth, why isn't this discussed more seriously?

Both Einstein and Newton were able to imagine an Earth-centered universe, what about us?

If you have a good scientific argument that disproves my suggestions, please let me hear.

Also, I must ask you to forgive my English if there is anything wrong.

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    $\begingroup$ Coinicidence+various anomalies+error in the collection of data. If you haven't seen the wiki page already, then en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_of_evil_(cosmology) do check it out. $\endgroup$ – Rishabh Jain Oct 1 '19 at 10:17
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    $\begingroup$ The title of the question (and the question itself) seems to imply that doing boring rigorous physics is not serious, but that what is serious is to single out a particular open question about a specific measurement and just decide that it means everything we think we have understood about the universe in the last centuries is bogus. I don't think the OP is using the word 'serious' with its commonly accepted definition. $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Rollandin Oct 1 '19 at 14:56

There is a fault in the logic of your question. You say 'It's no doubt this discovery leads directly to [an] Earth-centred universe.' There is no scientific basis for claiming that.

The effect that has been dubbed The Axis of Evil can be explained as follows.

Wherever we look in the sky, we see microwave photons with a distinctive signature. Cosmologists have analyzed the phenomenon and are certain that these photons are a relic from the earliest days of the universe. They are called the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).

On average, the CMB radiation we receive is the same from all directions, suggesting that the Universe is on average the same in all directions. There are local variations all over the place, just as there are local variations in the light we see, arising from the fact that at a smaller scale the spread of matter and energy in the universe is lumpy (e.g. consider galaxies and the spaces between them). However, if the lumps are randomly spread then at a large scale things seem uniform.

The CMB has been analyzed statistically to assess the extent to which it is truly random. The statistical method used works as follows. Imagine if you had a group of 1024 people in a public square and you wanted to know if they were randomly distributed by height, or whether there was a tendency for the taller ones to clump together. One way to do that is to split the public square down the middle and compare the two halves, averaging the height of the people on each half. If they match, you can say that there is no clumping on that scale. You can then split the square into quarters to repeat the process and see if there is any clumping on that scale. Then you can split it into eighths, and so on. Eventually you will reach a point at which you do find some clumping but it will be random.

The analysis of the CMB has been performed in the same way, and the results showed that in most of the cases in which they split the sky into parts they found no systematic differences in the CMB. But in two cases they did find a tiny effect, which broadly speaking suggested that the CMB varied very slightly in two sets of directions, and there seemed to be a correlation with the alignment of the planets' orbits in the Solar System.

There are several possible reasons for this phenomenon:

  1. It is a real variation in the CMB, and it is just a matter of chance that it seems to align with the plane of the Solar System.

  2. It is not a real variation, but just noise in the measurements.

  3. It is an apparent variation caused by some relatively local effect which causes the CMB to appear to vary directionally, such as some foreground distribution of microwave radiation, or some local lensing effect.

  4. It is an artifact of the statistical procedure we have followed. We might have split the sky up for the purpose of analysis in a way that aligns with the axis of the Earth, which in turn is aligned with the orbits of the planets.

  5. It reflects that the Sun and the Earth are in a special position that somehow the Universe is centered about, even though neither the Sun nor the Earth existed at the time that the CMB was created.

I'll leave you to decide whether the phenomenon leads directly to point 5), especially given its final clause.

  • $\begingroup$ The axis of evil refers to relative orientation and not just the splitting in two halves, right? This is just a question for my own sake of clarity. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Oct 1 '19 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, and if the axis was perfectly aligned with the plane of the Solar System, or perfectly normal to it, and if the effect was very pronounced, and if there was a logic to explain why the two alignments were correlated other than being so randomly then the effect might get more attention. As it stands I am sure the anomaly will be investigated by diligent astronomists and cosmologists, but no-one should expect serious physicists to get excited about it being a clue to a special place for the Earth in the Universe. $\endgroup$ – Marco Ocram Oct 1 '19 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. My point was just about that at least is perfectly fine to have the halves. :) In reality I even fail to see where the special of the evil axes is...at least at cosmological scale. It seems to me at most suggesting the question why the ecliptic is oriented with the motion of the Galaxy, or the motion of our group of galaxies. You get what I mean? At most we are special locally. ...... $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Oct 1 '19 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Alchimista, apologies if I set the wrong tone. I think physics is confusing enough without people making sensational suggestions about the implications of certain phenomena! Best wishes. $\endgroup$ – Marco Ocram Oct 1 '19 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't there a sixth logical possibility that whatever causes the alignment (assuming it's real) also influences planetary formation in some way? It seems stupendously unlikely, and I don't propose taking it seriously. But it seems less unlikely than the anti-Copernican hypothesis. $\endgroup$ – Mark Foskey Oct 1 '19 at 15:41

The reason it is not taken too seriously, although it is still a legitimate avenue of research is that assuming we have a special place in the universe has always proved to be incorrect in the past, plus there are possibilities that remain to be explored that might explain the "anomaly". Further, it is stretching credibility to suggest that the orientation of the solar system, which is set by the pseudo-random turbulence in the giant molecular cloud that formed the Sun, could be affected by, or have any affect on, a cosmic microwave background that was formed about 8 billion years before the solar system.

The problem was reviewed by Schwarz et al. (2015). They conclude that the origin of the very weak alignment (it isn;t significant at the 5 sigma level) could be zodiacal dust or dust in the Kuiper belt. Of course the analysis teams for WMAP and Planck have tried to avoid such problems. These however seem to be plausible possibilities that cannot be wholly dismissed and therefore this seems more likely than some mystical overhaul of cosmology.


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