Largest dark energy map could reveal the fate of the universe -
Jan 13, 2022 1 min, 39 secs

Its purpose is to create an even larger 3D map of the universe, to yield a better understanding of the physics of dark energy, the mysterious force that is accelerating the expansion of the universe.

"But within them, you find an imprint of the very early universe and the history of its expansion since then." The researchers hope that understanding the effects of dark energy could help them determine the ultimate fate of the universe.

By examining the color spectrum of the light from each galaxy, scientists can determine how much the light has been "redshifted" — that is, stretched toward the red end of the spectrum by a Doppler effect caused by the expansion of the universe.

Because those structures carry echoes of their initial formation as physical ripples in the material of the infant cosmos, the researchers hope to use the data to determine the expansion history of the universe — and its ultimate fate.

Scientists used to think that the universe was expanding at a constant rate, or that the combined matter and energy in the universe might eventually cause that expansion to slow down.

But observations of powerful stellar explosions called supernovas beginning late in the past century showed that the expansion is actually accelerating, so scientists coined the phrase "dark energy" to account for this unexpected phenomenon.

Calculations now suggest that dark energy makes up around 70% of the total energy in the observable universe.

The effects of dark energy are now recognized as the "cosmological constant" that Albert Einstein included in his theory of general relativity; understanding dark energy has become a crucial scientific goal in recent decades, according to Smithsonian magazine.

It seems that more dark energy is created as the universe expands, which accelerates the expansion of the universe, according to the statement.

Ultimately, the effects of dark energy will determine the destiny of the universe — whether it expands forever, rips itself apart or collapses again in a type of reverse Big Bang.

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