Dark Energy Is Real, Say Astronomers
Dark energy, a mysterious substance thought to be speeding up the expansion of the Universe is really there, according to a team of astronomers at the University of Portsmouth and LMU University Munich. After a two-year study led by Tommaso Giannantonio and Robert Crittenden, the scientists conclude that the likelihood of its existence stands at 99.996 per cent. Their findings are published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Over a decade ago, astronomers observing the brightness of distant supernovae realized that the expansion of the Universe appeared to be accelerating. The acceleration is attributed to the repulsive force associated with dark energy now thought to make up 73% of the content of the cosmos. The researchers who made this discovery received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2011, but the existence of dark energy remains a topic of hot debate. Many other techniques have been used to confirm the reality of dark energy but they are either indirect probes of the accelerating Universe or susceptible to their own uncertainties.