What exactly is the “Axis of Evil” in cosmology?

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What exactly is the “Axis of Evil” in cosmology?

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A lot of astronomy is based on the idea that the Universe is essentially the same everywhere and our position in it is in no way special. However there are certain aspects of the Cosmic Microwave Background (the closest we have to a “background” of the Universe) that don’t appear entirely uniform. And, somewhat more troubling, the arrangement of those incongruities aligns pretty closely with our Solar System’s rotational plane.

The potential implications of this is that there *is* something special about our specific place in the Universe, in which case much of modern astronomy falls apart. Astronomers find this possibility a bit vexing, so they’ve nicknamed it the Axis of Evil.

Personally, I think it’s more likely that there’s simply some issue in our measurements we haven’t figured out yet that creates the anomaly. But until someone figures it out for sure we can’t rule out a scientific catastrophe.