Scientists have discovered that dark energy, the unknown force causing the universe to expand faster and faster, is evenly distributed throughout space and time. The study team stated that their findings help us understand how much of the universe’s energy and matter content is made up of dark energy. 

What is the eROSITA X-ray instrument?

Scientists used the eROSITA X-ray instrument to study galaxy clusters. This tool scans the entire sky from Earth to find groups of galaxies. After analyzing their observations, the scientists came to their conclusions. In 2019, a space telescope called Spektr-RG was launched into Earth’s orbit. It has a tool called eROSITA attached to it, which was made by both Russian and German scientists.

How Galaxy cluster helps us understand dark energy?

Galaxy clusters can help us understand dark energy. Dark energy is a strange force that works against gravity and stops huge structures from forming in space. By studying galaxy clusters, we can learn more about this mysterious force. Dark energy decides where and how the biggest objects in the universe, called galaxy clusters, can come into existence. 

Matthias Klein:

Counting the number of galaxy clusters formed in the universe over time can teach us a lot about dark energy, according to astrophysicist Matthias Klein from Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat Munchen in Germany.

What is the eROSITA Final Equatorial-Depth Survey (eFEDS), and what did it discover?

Scientists found around 500 galaxy clusters through the eROSITA Final Equatorial-Depth Survey (eFEDS). This is one of the biggest collections of low-mass galaxy clusters that have been discovered so far. We have observed clusters that span the last 10 billion years of the universe’s 13.8 billion-year history.

The researchers used information from eROSITA and Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program to conduct their study. Thanks to eROSITA, we were able to conduct the first-ever study of the universe’s structure using galaxy clusters.

How did the researchers compare their study’s results to predictions, and what did they find?

Scientists compared the study’s results to their predictions and found that dark energy makes up about 76% of the universe’s total energy. The research shows that the amount of energy in a given space is the same everywhere and doesn’t change over time. 

The team’s findings match up with other ways of studying dark energy, like looking at galaxy clusters and how gravity affects light. Although the new discoveries provide more information about dark energy, physicists are still curious to uncover the mystery behind this force. 

What makes dark energy a problem?

In the 1920s, an astronomer named Edwin Hubble looked at faraway galaxies and saw that they were moving away from us. Scientists discovered that the universe is expanding because galaxies that are farther away are moving away faster.

This was surprising because it challenged the widely accepted belief that the universe was unchanging and constant. In 1998, scientists discovered something strange. They found out that the universe is not only expanding, but it’s also getting bigger faster and faster. They learned this by studying faraway exploding stars. 

What is dark energy and how is it affecting the universe?

An astrophysicist named Joe Mohr explained that there is something called “dark energy” that causes the universe to expand faster. It’s like an opposite force to gravity.

Scientists know that dark energy makes up about 76% of the energy and matter in the universe, but they still don’t know what it is or why it started affecting the universe later on.

How does dark energy impact the expansion of the universe over time?

Dark energy causes the universe to expand faster as time goes on, similar to how a child swings more quickly after an initial push. This happens after the initial rapid expansion from the Big Bang. When the child stops swinging, the swing starts moving again on its own. It not only speeds up quickly, but it also goes higher and higher. 

Why is the study of dark energy necessary for our understanding of the cosmos?

Scientists use the swing analogy to explain that the accelerating expansion of the universe means that they are missing something important in their understanding of the cosmos.

Mohr explained that while there are still some mistakes in our understanding of dark energy, this study used a small portion of the sky called eFEDS, which is less than 1% of the entire sky. Scientists are trying to figure out what dark energy is and it could be a big discovery that wins a Nobel Prize.

It has taken decades of research for scientists to even begin to understand where Mysterious dark energy comes from. The rapid expansion of the cosmos suggests that some force is overpowering gravity, which should slow things down. Even though dark energy has been proposed as the source of that power, its origin has remained a mystery.

The collective study:

However, a group of 17 researchers from around the world, directed by scientists from the University of Hawaii, have found the first evidence that black holes are the source of Mysterious dark energy.

Black holes gain mass through either the accretion of gas or the merger with other black holes. In contrast, the older black holes are far larger than they should be based on growth by either of these two mechanisms, as determined by researching the history of black holes over nine billion years in dormant huge elliptical galaxies. So, these black holes must be gaining mass in some other way. Scientists think the answer lies in a sort of dark energy known as vacuum energy. According to a statement: “a kind of energy included in spacetime itself … [that] pushes the universe further apart, accelerating the expansion,”.

Dr. Chris Pearson:

As one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Chris Pearson of STFC RAL Space elaborated on the findings in a press release. He says: “If the theory holds, then this is going to revolutionize the whole of cosmology because at last, we’ve got a solution for the origin of dark energy that’s been perplexing cosmologists and theoretical physicists for more than 20 years,”

Einstein’s theory of general relativity:

This concept of black holes as sources of Mysterious dark energy is not new. Einstein put it into his theory of general relativity. It’s the first time astronomers have had observational evidence to back up the notion.

Duncan Farah:

Astronomer Duncan Farah of the University of Hawaii says: “We’re saying two things at once: That there’s evidence the typical black hole solutions don’t work for you on a long, long timescale, and we have the first proposed astrophysical source for dark energy.”


Published by: Sky Headlines