Astronomers may soon have the answer to what is perhaps the greatest mystery of modern science –is dark energy a uniform force across space and time, or has its strength evolved over eons?
Observational cosmologists are actively searching for a “new physics” that may solve the enduring enigma of our rapidly expanding Universe. Quasars are the ancient cores of galaxies where a supermassive black hole is actively pulling in matter from its surroundings at very intense rates may old the clue to solving the mystery.
Our understanding of the first seconds of our Universe’s existence is little more than an informed guess, based on inference and extrapolation. “Yet these first moments are the key to many of our most urgent and enduring cosmic mysteries,” cosmologist Dan Hooper at the University of Chicago told The Daily Galaxy. “Understanding this era,” he adds, “is essential to understanding our universe.”
An enormous amount of gravity from a cluster of distant galaxies causes space to curve so much that light from more distant galaxies is bent. This “gravitational lensing” effect has allowed University of Copenhagen astronomers to observe the same exploding star –SN Requiem–in three different places in the heavens, and may help solve the mystery of cosmic expansion and reveal the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
Scientists are on the hunt for primordial magnetic fields dating back to the Big Bang, which would transform our understanding of how the universe evolved and solve a major mystery of our Universe. The unsolved question is: where did these enormous magnetic fields — an invisible primordial ‘magnetic soul’ that pervades the Cosmos — come from, if they existed at all?
Dark energy has been described as everything from a fifth force to a new form of matter, but so far, no direct evidence has been found of its existence. “I have absolutely no clue what dark energy is,” says Noble Prize winning physicist Adam Riess . “Dark energy appears strong enough to push the entire universe – yet its source is unknown, its location is unknown and its physics are highly speculative.”