An illustration of the Cosmic Microwave Background and the Planck telescope that studies it. Physicist Roger Penrose believes he has found Hawking points in the CMB which are remnants of ancient black holes from the previous universe. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Can Astronomers See The Remnants Of Ancient Black Holes From Another Universe?

In 2018, physicist Roger Penrose revealed a study claiming that he found Hawking points in the Cosmic Microwave Background. He believes that these are remnants of black holes from the universe that existed before ours.

Anyone interested in space and the scientific studies about our universe will know about the various theories that we live in a multiverse. These are the ideas that our universe is not the only one and there could be billions of others just like it. Imagine it like that: our universe is one of many in the multiverse just like the billions of galaxies we know of are part of the universe we live in.

While these ideas are nothing more than hypothetical at this point but we have to admit that this point of view certainly is attractive. Perhaps our Big Bang was not the only one. Individual universes could cool down in different ways, and, after all, they could be governed by different laws, and determined by different numbers.

The original assumptions that predict multiple universes are still speculative, but if they can be strengthened and linked to a theory that convincingly explains what we can observe, then we will have to take other (unobservable) universes seriously, just as we trust that. what our current theories say about quarks inside atoms or what is hidden inside black holes.

Another approach is that scientists generally suggest that there was another universe before ours. And yet, nobody has a definitive explanation as to what caused the Big Bang or what existed before it. With this, we arrive at our main question: could scientists prove the existence of another universe or a universe that existed before ours through black holes?

For instance, a couple of years ago, the scientist who proved the existence of black holes, Roger Penrose, revealed the results of a study claiming that they found remnants of black holes from another universe.

Penrose claims that the traces of these black holes can still be detected in the cosmic microwave background which is radiation left from the Big Bang. These dots have been named Hawking points in memory of the great Stephen Hawking.

You can see the Hawking points detected on the Cosmic Microwave Background in blue and gray here. Credit: DANIEL AN, KRZYSZTOF A. MEISSNER AND ROGER PENROSE
You can see the Hawking points detected on the Cosmic Microwave Background in blue and gray here. Credit: DANIEL AN, KRZYSZTOF A. MEISSNER AND ROGER PENROSE

This discovery, if we consider it as such, actually builds upon a previous controversial theory by Penrose from 2010 – Conformal Cyclic Cosmology. According to this hypothesis, the Big Bang that created our universe will repeat as it has repeated countless times in the past. In other words, the universe is part of an endless cycle of destruction and recreation.

At some point in many billions of years in the future, the universe will be made entirely of black holes that will begin to disintegrate. Once all the black holes are “dead”, the universe will be left completely massless and empty.

According to Penrose, we can find the remnants of the black holes from the previous universe in the Cosmic Microwave Background. He suggested that the energy of the decayed black holes transcends into the newly formed universe after the next Big Bang.

It is curious that there has not been any follow-up to these studies since 2018. I couldn’t find any news or publications to confirm whether Penrose has continued his work in this direction but I have no doubts that he did.

For now, his theory of the Conformal Cyclic Cosmology stands completely against the standard model of the evolution of our universe. As can be expected, these claims were met with a great deal of skepticism in the scientific community.

In fact, astronomers who operate the BICEP2 South Pole Telescope, which was used by Penrose for the discovery of Hawking points, claim that the anomalies in the data are by no means surprising and can be explained by gravitational waves from the expansion of the universe.

In the end, can astronomers see the remnants of ancient black holes from another universe? Unless Penrose comes up with a follow-up study and clearer data and evidence, for now – no. But the theory itself is attractive and something that should not be neglected.

I believe that the possibilities are endless and we are very far from understanding everything in the universe. In time, science may reach a point when the standard model is completely forgotten and all controversial theories become a reality.

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An, D., Meissner, K., Nurowski, P., & Penrose, R. (2020, March 02). Apparent evidence for hawking points in the CMB Sky.
Gurzadyan, V., & Penrose, R. (2010, November 16). Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of Violent pre-Big-Bang activity.
Letzter, R. (2018, August 21). Physicists think they’ve spotted the ghosts of black holes from another universe.
Shanahan, J. (2018, August 24). Did scientists actually spot evidence of another universe?
Whitwam, R. (2018, August 22). Physicists may have detected the remains of black holes from another universe.

Written by Vladislav Tchakarov

Hello, my name is Vladislav and I am glad to have you here on Curiosmos. My experience as a freelance writer began in 2018 but I have been part of the Curiosmos family since mid-2020. As a history student, I have a strong passion for history and science, and the opportunity to research and write in this field on a daily basis is a dream come true.

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