Largest cosmological map created can explain what dark energy is

Dark energy, alongside dark matter, is one of the greatest mysteries of science. Everything that is known about the dark energy that it is invisible, fills the entire universe and gradually drives away the galaxies. However, an idea introduced by Albert Einstein can explain it simply – and correctly.

It was the project Spectroscopic Study of Oscillation Barinico (eBOSS, in the acronym in English) that brought up again the possibility that dark energy is a “cosmological constant”. In a work composed of 23 publications, some of which are already being peer-reviewed, the scientists involved described the largest traditional cosmological map ever created.

For now, the only way to perceive dark energy is by observing the distant universe. The understanding of the scientific community that the younger the galaxies appear, the more distant they are. After all, the light they emit took millions or even billions of years to reach the telescopes and this reveals the age of these galaxies. In addition, this type of measurement is a true time machine, since it allows discovering different cosmic times and, consequently, the speed with which the universe is expanding.


Expansion of the universe. Image: Simulation

Therefore, using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope, located in the United States, the eBOSS team was able to measure more than two million galaxies and quasars – extremely bright and distant celestial bodies fed by black holes – a study that mapped about 11 billion years of an unexplored history, which has everything to do with dark energy.

The results obtained by eBOSS show that about 69% of the energy in the universe is dark and that Einstein’s “cosmological constant” theory is the one that most closely matches what has been observed.

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Observations also revealed that the rate of measurement of the expansion of the universe is currently considered to be correct about 10% less than the amount discovered in methods such as that used for this study.

Still, even after so many surveys, cosmologists will remain intrigued by the apparent simplicity of dark energy. The way to continue creating increasingly larger and more detailed maps of the universe.


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