These distant galaxies, unlike the Milky Way and its neighbors, would appear at rest with respect to the cosmic background radiation.
That velocity -- toward the Orion constellation -- doesn't match in speed or in direction the velocity that researchers assume our galaxy must have to explain a familiar pattern in the cosmic background radiation.
In one model proposed by Lauer and Postman, the velocity of the Milky Way simply does not match the velocity that astronomers insist our galaxy should have for the cosmic background radiation to look identical in all directions.
While Postman and Lauer presented their data without taking sides, Mathewson has adopted the heretical view that the cosmic background radiation does not provide an absolute reference frame with which to measure velocities.
In that case, Lauer and Postman assert, the galaxies in the Abell clusters must themselves be moving relative to the cosmic background radiation.
Indeed, says Lahav, by measuring clustering properties at large redshifts (up to z = 2), deep surveys "will fill in the gap between the cosmic background radiation
ripples of 14 billion years ago and the here and now of the 2dF survey." Two such projects are currently under way: the Lick Observatory DEEP (Deep Extragalactic Evolutionary Probe) survey, which is being carried out with the Keck telescopes in Hawaii and with the Hubble Space Telescope; and the French-Italian VIRMOS survey running on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile.
cosmic background radiation
studies together with other data, especially
While traveling through space, cosmic rays encounter photons of the cosmic background radiation
that gradually rob the particles of their energy.
This book is intended to answer all the questions asked of George Smoot, principal investigator for the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, so he can presumably get back to analyzing his data on variations in the cosmic background radiation
. This discovery was highly publicized but often poorly reported in the mass media.
Peterson is a member of one of several research teams using ground- and balloon-based telescopes to search for temperature fluctuations in the cosmic background radiation on an angular scale of about 1|degree~.
Peterson and his Princeton colleague Mark Dragovan hope to get around these problems with the South Pole Cosmic Background Radiation Anisotropy (COBRA) project.