Universe continuing to expand, confirms study

December 20th, 2008 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Dec 20 (IANS) Canadian astronomers have rejected the new “void models” that say the earth is near the centre of a region of the universe which is almost empty.Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver said Friday that there is nothing special about earth’s location in the universe as proposed by “void theories” that reject the conventional view that the universe is ever-expanding because of an enigmatic dark energy.

Explaining their research, post-doctoral researcher Jim Zibin, who along with fellow researcher Adam Moss and his professor Douglas Scott, did the study, told IANS on phone from Vancouver that the new “void theory” was incapable of explaining the data they have accumulated.

“We were dealing with two theories that try to explain the universe. The first one, which is more conventional, says the universe is expanding because of some inexplicable mysterious or dark energy,” Zibin said.

“The alternate theory says that the earth is at the centre of a region in the universe which is very empty, with few stars and galaxies in it. The problem is if this alternate theory is true, you will not be able to explain supernova observations made recently,” he said.

He said recent supernova studies show that the universe is expanding at ever faster acceleration due to the repulsive force of the inexplicable mysterious or dark energy.

“We looked at observations and data collected at various research institutions - even by satellites in space - and found that the alternate ‘void theory’ cannot explain the latest data,” he said.

Their analysis of the data, he said, supported the conventional theory that the universe is filled with a mysterious dark energy that is causing the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

The study was published Friday in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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