Have scientists discovered proof our universe wasn't the first?

Other universes have been theorized for years—just about every sci-fi TV show has an episode where characters from the universe next door pop in to wreak havoc on our heroes—but now this theory has been bolstered by photographic evidence.

National Geographic writes that a recent analysis of cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) shows microwave rings, and the temperature within these rings is extremely even, more so than in other parts of the CMB sky.

Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford and Vahe Gurzadyan of the Yerevan Physics Institute wrote that these rings are echoes of a "cyclic universe."

According to National Geographic:

One possible explanation for these rings is that they were created when black holes collided in a previous universe ...

Scientists think that when two black holes crash together, they emit ripples of energy known as gravitational waves. The more massive the colliding black holes, the more numerous and powerful the waves.

Gravitational waves distort the fabric of space-time and—according to Penrose and Gurzadyan—the waves can leave imprints of their passage in the form of ring-like patterns.

If our universe is one in a series of reborn universes, this would mean that the rings survived our big bang and now "allow us to 'see through' the big bang into the previous aeon," Penrose and Gurzadyan write in their study.

Their deductions have been met with some doubt within the astrophysics community, and three papers have already been written to rebut their claims. Until more is learned, it will have to remain a theory—but it's an awesome one.

NASA scientists have known about the remnant heat from the Big Bang, also called CMB, since 1965; according to NASA, it's been studied to "learn about conditions in the universe on very large scales." And the existence of other universes is a very large discovery.

Although this theory supports cyclical universes, it does not suggest that alternate universes exist in parallel to ours. Unfortunately, this means that groovy Mirror Spock is about as fictional as the real Spock.

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