Sept 5, 2006 ( – The apparent absence of shadows where shadows were expected to be is raising new questions about the faint glow of microwave radiation once hailed as proof that the universe was created by a “Big Bang.”

In a finding sure to cause controversy, scientists at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) found a lack of evidence of shadows from “nearby” clusters of galaxies using new, highly accurate measurements of the cosmic microwave background.

A team of UAH scientists led by Dr. Richard Lieu, a professor of physics, used data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) to scan the cosmic microwave background for shadows caused by 31 clusters of galaxies.

“These shadows are a well-known thing that has been predicted for years,” said Lieu. “This is the only direct method of determining the distance to the origin of the cosmic microwave background. Up to now, all the evidence that it originated from as far back in time as the Big Bang fireball has been circumstantial.

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