“Beyond the Edge of the Milky Way” –Dark Energy Probe Hints at an Enormous Invisible Halo of Dark Matter

Galaxy NGC 474

 

One early result of the ongoing Dark Energy Survey is the previously untold story revealed by old, giant RR Lyrae pulsating stars, which tell scientists about the region of space beyond the edge of our Milky Way. In this area nearly devoid of stars–the motion of the RR Lyrae stars hints at the presence of an enormous halo of invisible dark matter, which may provide clues to how our galaxy evolved over the last 12 billion years.

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Ripples in Spacetime –“Carry Clues to the Enigma of Our Rapidly Expanding Universe”

Galaxy Clusters

 

Following the inflationary epoch after the singularity of the Big Bang, the universe continued to expand, but at a slower rate. The acceleration of the expansion due to dark energy began after the universe was already over nine billion years old (four billion years ago). The weakest of the Standard Model forces, gravity, may provide the solution to this unsolved enigma –the cosmic elephant in the room–in astronomy.

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“The Big Bang Didn’t Happen Just Once” –Four Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe

 

Other Worlds

 

“There is probably no way to tell whether the mysteries faced by cosmologists today are the signs of a coming scientific revolution or merely the last few loose ends of an incredibly successful scientific endeavor. There is no question that we have made incredible progress in understanding our universe, its history, and its origin,” says Dan Hooper, a senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory about 40 miles west of Chicago and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

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“The Galaxy at the End of the Universe”

NGC 3432 Galaxy

 

Physicists have found that for the last 7 billion years or so — the anticipated halfway point of the lifetime of the cosmos – galactic expansion has been accelerating. Some unknown force is pushing the galaxies, adding energy to them. A force physicist have named “dark energy”.

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“The Big Bang Vanishes” –Scientists Doubt Most Famous Scientific Theory Since Einstein’s Relativity

Big Bang

 

“The Big Bang theory says nothing about what banged, why it banged, or what happened before it banged,” observed MIT theoretical physicist and cosmologist Alan Guth, who pioneered the the theory that the universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

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“Powering the Universe?” –Relic Light of the Big Bang Reveals an Exotic Unknown Force 

 

Dark Energy

 

Cosmologists speculate based on hints of twisted light that offer clues to an exotic substance called “quintessence”that could be the  unknown force accelerating the expansion of the universe, with implications not only for cosmology, but also for fundamental physics — the standard model of particle physics does not predict its existence.  This hypothetical form of dark energy –a relative of the Higgs Field that permeates the cosmos– could be an exotic unknown form of dark energy distinct  from any form of or normal matter, radiation, or even dark matter. 

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