Reconciling Olbers' Dark Sky Paradox, Dark Matter and Cosmic Background Radiation

by David Bryan Wallace
Cape Coral, Florida, USA
Copyright © 2014-02-03
Edited 2014-03-07

Why is the sky dark at night? Stars visible to the unaided eye fill only a minute fraction of the sky, yet in the dark space between are other more distant stars. If there are infinitely many stars in a universe of infinite extent, then virtually every line of sight, if nothing blocks it, will end at a star. So the question, “Why is the sky dark?” is answered by, “Dark matter blocks most of the light.”

Consider photographic images of the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Patches of dark clouds obscure more distant stars. Dark matter obscures much of the light from distant stars.

Galactic Center
Galactic Center

Why isn't the dark matter heated by the starlight until it too emits incandescently? It does! It heats until the radiant power absorbed is equaled by the power radiated. At the distance of the earth from the sun, according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, energy intensity of sunlight is matched by the radiation of a black body at 394 K (about 121°C or 250°F). The cosmic background radiation has a thermal black-body spectrum at a temperature near 3 K. Dust, gas and plasma together with larger cold bodies comprise the dark matter of the universe. The surface of a star is very hot and stars are much larger than dust particles, so average temperature of substance could be much higher than 3 K, but the surface to mass ratio of dust is vastly greater than that of a star. The average surface temperature appears to be less than 3 K. The distance from the sun that would reduce the energy intensity of sunlight to that of a 3 K black body is about one quarter of a light year, far less than the average distance between nearby stars.

The conjecture that the cosmos is expanding because it had a beginning at a point (or singularity) with a Big Bang defying normal laws of physics and that the cosmic background radiation is the luminous residue of that event is a wildly outlandish notion. Black body radiation accounts for the cosmic background radiation. Surely there must be a better way to account for the observed red shifting of the light from distant stars.

Could the interaction of highly rarefied matter with starlight produce red-shifting as a tired-light effect? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Model the movement of two stars. Their trajectories must (1) collide, (2) orbit, or (3) escape. Collision would produce a supernova-like event producing ejected or orbiting plasma, gases, dust, planets and perhaps two orbiting stars or star remnants. Orbiting would simply continue unless it decays by ejecting matter or energy leading the main bodies to ultimate collision and coalescence. Hyperbolic escape trajectories approach, pass and recede without abating energy. In collisions some matter ultimately coalesces and the rest ultimately escapes outward. The net effect is that of large cosmic bodies or orbiting systems giving off an outward wind. Might this over unlimited time create the appearance of a predominantly expanding universe? If the apparent expansion of the visible universe is real and not a tired-light phenomenon, could this or something like it be all the explanation we need?

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