Follow for more talkers

Scientists unveil most detailed 3D map of the universe

The universe is thought to contain more than one hundred billion galaxies.

Avatar photo


(Via SWNS)

By Mark Waghorn via SWNS

The most detailed 3D map of the universe has been unveiled by scientists, shedding fresh light on the evolution of stars, planets and moons.

It includes dark matter - the invisible glue that hold the cosmos together and combines data collected by teams in Chile and Antarctica.

The Dark Energy Survey analyzed the sky over six years from a mountaintop in the Andes.

The South Pole Telescope looks for faint traces of radiation that have been traveling for more than 13 billion years - since the Big Bang.

The universe is thought to contain more than one hundred billion galaxies.

But just five percent is made up of known material such as atoms and sub-atomic particles.

One major finding is space is less "clumpy" than astro-physicists have previously suggested.

Co-author Dr. Eric Baxter, of the University of Hawaii, said: "It seems like there are slightly less fluctuations in the current universe than we would predict assuming our standard cosmological model anchored to the early universe."

It adds to previous evidence that there may be something missing.

All matter was created in a very hot, intense few moments and has been continually spreading outwards - cooling and gathering as it goes.

(Via SWNS)

Tracing its path helps experts understand what happened - and the forces that were in play.

Using two different methods reduces the chances results are thrown off by an error.

Lead author Dr. Chihway Chang, assistant professor at the University of Chicago, said: "It functions like a cross-check, so it becomes a much more robust measurement than if you just used one or the other."

Both looked at a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. As light travels across the universe, it can be slightly bent as it passes heavy objects - like galaxies.

It catches both regular matter and the mysterious dark form - as each exert gravity.

Rigorous analyses inferred where all the matter ended up. It is more precise than ever before - narrowing down the possibilities.

The new model incorporates currently accepted physical laws.

Chang and colleagues took the readings from the beginning and extrapolated them forward through time.

The results look slightly different from what we actually measure around us today.

Specifically, the universe clusters in certain areas rather than evenly spreads out.

The landmark study yielded important information - opening the door to a better future strategy.

More large telescopes are coming online in the next decades.

Chang said: "I think this exercise showed both the challenges and benefits of doing these kinds of analyses.

"There's a lot of new things you can do when you combine these different angles of looking at the universe."

The project involving more than 150 researchers is reported as a set of three papers in Physical Review D.

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers