Dark Energy

Type 1a Supernova Credit: NASA/Swift/S. Immler)

Forget the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), with its alleged ability to create earth-sucking microscopic black holes, its forthcoming efforts to simulate conditions a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang 100 metres beneath the Swiss countryside. There is a far bigger puzzle facing science that the LHC cannot answer: What is the mysterious energy that seems to be accelerating ancient supernovae at the farthest reaches of the universe?

In the late 1990s, the universe changed. The sums suddenly did not add up. Observations of the remnants of stars that exploded billions of years ago, Type Ia supernovae, showed that not only are they getting further away as the universe expands but they are moving faster and faster. It is as if a mysterious invisible force works against gravity and pervades the cosmos accelerating the expansion of the universe. This force has become known as dark energy and although it apparently fills the universe, scientists have absolutely no idea what it is or where it comes from, several big research teams around the globe are working with astronomical technology that could help them find an answer.

Until type Ia supernovae appeared on the cosmological scene, scientists thought that the expansion of the universe following the Big Bang was slowing down. Type Ia supernovae are very distant objects, which means their light has taken billions of years to reach us. But, their brightness could be measured to a high degree of accuracy that they provide astronomers with a standard beacon with which the vast emptiness of space could be illuminated, figuratively speaking.

The supernovae data, obtained by the High-Z SN Search team and the Supernova Cosmology Project, rooted in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, suggested that not only is the universe expanding, but that this expansion is accelerating. to make On the basis of the Type Ia supernovae, the rate of acceleration of expansion suggests that dark energy comprises around 73% the total energy of the universe, with dark matter representing 24% of the energy and all the planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, etc containing a mere 4%.


Professor Karl Gebhardt and Senior Research Scientists Dr Gary Hill and Dr Phillip McQueen and their colleagues running the Hobby Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) based at the McDonald Observatory in Texas are among the pioneers hoping to reveal the source and nature of dark energy. Those ancient supernovae are at a “look-back time” of 9 billion years, just two-thirds the universe’s age. HETDEX will look back much further to 10 -12 billion years.

HETDEX DomeHETDEX will not be looking for dark energy itself but its effects on how matter is distributed. “In the very early Universe, matter was spread out in peaks and troughs, like ripples on a pond, galaxies that later formed inherited that pattern,” Gebhardt explains. A detailed 3D map of the galaxies should reveal the pattern. “HETDEX uses the characteristic pattern of ripples as a fixed ruler that expands with the universe,” explains Senior Research Scientist Gary Hill. Measuring the distribution of galaxies uses this ruler to map out the positions of the galaxies, but this needs a lot of telescope time and a powerful new instrument. “Essentially we are just making a very big map [across some 15 billion cubic light years] of where the galaxies are and then analyzing that map to reveal the characteristic patterns,” Hill adds.

“We’ve designed an upgrade that allows the HET to observe 30 times more sky at a time than it is currently able to do,” he says. HETDEX will produce much clearer images and work much better than previous instruments, says McQueen. Such a large field of view needs technology that can analyze the light from those distant galaxies very precisely. There will be 145 such detectors, known as spectrographs, which will simultaneously gather the light from tens of thousands of fibers. “When light from a galaxy falls on one of the fibers its position and distance are measured very accurately,” adds Hill.

The team has dubbed the suite of spectrographs VIRUS. “It is a very powerful and efficient instrument for this work,” adds Hill, “but is simplified by making many copies of the simple spectrograph. This replication greatly reduces costs and risk as well.”

McQueen adds that after designing VIRUS, the team has built a prototype of one of the 145 unit spectrographs. VIRUS-P is now operational on the Observatory’s Harlan J. Smith 2.7 m telescope, he told us, “We’re delighted with its performance, and it’s given us real confidence in this part of our experiment.”

VIRUS will make observations of 10,000 galaxies every night. So, after just 100 nights VIRUS will have mapped a million galaxies. “We need a powerful telescope to undertake the DEX survey as quickly as possible,” adds McQueen. Such a map will constrain the expansion of the universe very precisely. “Since dark energy only manifests itself in the expansion of the universe, HETDEX will measure the effect of dark energy to within one percent,” Gebhardt says. The map will allow the team to determine whether the presence of dark energy across the universe has had a constant effect or whether dark energy itself evolves over time.

“If dark energy’s contribution to the expansion of the universe has changed over time, we expect HETDEX to see the change [in its observations],” adds Gebhardt, “Such a result will have profound implications for the nature of dark energy, since it will be something significantly different than what Einstein proposed.”


Scientific scrutiny of the original results has been so intense that most cosmologists are convinced dark energy exists. “There was a big change in our understanding around 2003-2004 as a triangle of evidence emerged,” says Bob Nichol of the University of Portsmouth, England, who is working on several projects investigating dark energy.


First, the microwave background, the so-called afterglow of creation, showed that the geometry of the universe has a mathematically “flat” structure. Secondly, the data from the Type Ia supernovae measurements show that the expansion is accelerating. Thirdly, results from the Anglo-Australian 2dF redshift survey and then the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) showed that on the large scale, the universe is lumpy with huge clusters of galaxies spread across the universe.

The SDSS carried out the biggest galaxy survey to date and confirmed gravity’s role in the expansion structures in the universe by looking at the ripples of the Big Bang across the cosmic ocean. “We are now seeing the corresponding cosmic ripples in the SDSS galaxy maps,” Daniel Eisenstein of the University of Arizona has said, “Seeing the same ripples in the early universe and the relatively nearby galaxies is smoking-gun evidence that the distribution of galaxies today grew via gravity.”

But why did an initially smooth universe become our lumpy cosmos of galaxies and galaxy clusters? An explanation of how this lumpiness arose might not only help explain the evolution of the early universe, but could shed new light on its continued evolution and its ultimate fate. SDSS project will provide new insights into the nature of dark energy’s materialistic counterpart, dark matter.

As with dark energy, dark matter is a mystery. Scientists believe it exists because without it the theories that explain our observations of how galaxies behave would not stack up. Dark matter is so important to these calculations, that a value for all the mass of the universe five times bigger than the sum of all the ordinary matter has to be added to the equations to make them work. While dark energy could explain the accelerating acceleration our expanding universe, the existence of dark matter could provide an explanation for how the lumpiness arose.

“In the early universe, the interaction between gravity and pressure caused a region of space with more ordinary matter than average to oscillate, sending out waves very much like the ripples in a pond when you throw in a pebble,” Nichol, who is part of the SDSS team, explains. “These ripples in matter grew for a million years until the universe cooled enough to freeze them in place. What we now see in the SDSS galaxy data is the imprint of these ripples billions of years later.”

Colleague Idit Zehavi now at Case Western University adds a different tone. Gravity’s signature could be likened to the resonance of a bell she suggests, “The last ring gets forever quieter and deeper in tone as the universe expands.” It is now so faint as to be detectable only by the most sensitive surveys. The SDSS has measured the tone of this last ring very accurately.”

“Comparing the measured value with that predicted by theory allows us to determine how fast the Universe is expanding,” explains Zehavi. This, as we have seen, depends on the amount of both dark matter and dark energy.

The triangle of evidence – microwave background, type Ia supernovae, and galactic large-scale structure – leads to only one possible conclusion: that there is not enough ordinary matter in the universe to make it behave in the way we observe and there is not enough normal energy to make it accelerate as it does. “The observations have forced us, unwillingly, into a corner,” says Nichol, “dark energy has to exist, but we do not yet know what it is.”

The next phase of SDSS research will be carried out by an international collaboration and sharpen the triangle still further along with the HETDEX results. “HETDEX adds greatly to the triangle of evidence for dark energy,” adds Hill, “because it measures large-scale structure at much greater look-back times between local measurements and the much older cosmic microwave background,” says Hill. As the results emerge, scientists might face the possibility that dark energy has changed over time or it may present evidence that requires modifications to the theory of gravity instead.


The Anglo-Australian team is also undertaking its own cosmic ripple experiment, Wiggle-Z. “This program is measuring the size of ripples in the Universe when the Universe was about 7 billion years old,” Brian Schmidt at Australian National University says. Schmidt was leader of the High-Z supernovae team that found the first accelerating evidence. SDSS and 2dF covered 1-2 billion years ago and HETDEX will measure ripples at 10 billion years. “Together they provide the best possible measure of what the Universe has been doing over the past several years,” Schmidt muses.


The Dark Energy Survey, another international collaboration, will make any photographer green with envy, but thankful they don’t have to carry it with them. The Fermilab team plans to build an extremely sensitive 500 Megapixel camera, with a 1 meter diameter and a 2.2 degree field of view that can grab those millions of pixels within seconds.

The camera itself will be mounted in a cage at the prime focus of the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a southern hemisphere telescope owned and operated by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). This instrument, while being available to the wider astronomical community, will provide the team with the necessary power to conduct a large scale sky survey.

Over five years, DES will use almost a third of the available telescope time to carry out its wide survey. The team hopes to achieve exceptional precision in measuring the properties of dark energy using counts of galaxy clusters, supernovae, large-scale galaxy clustering, and measurements of how light from distant objects is bent by the gravity of closer objects between it and the earth. By probing dark energy using four different methods, the Dark Energy Survey will also double check for errors, according to team member Joshua Frieman.


Subaru 51

According to Nichol, “The discovery of dark energy is very exciting because it has rocked the whole of science to its foundations.” Nichol is part of the WFMOS (wide field multi-object spectrograph) team hoping to build an array of spectrographs for the Subaru telescopes. These spectrographs will make observations of millions of galaxies across an enormous volume of space at a distances equivalent to almost two thirds the age of the universe. “Our results will sit between the very accurate HETDEX measurements and the next generation SDSS results coming in the next five years,” he explains, “All the techniques are complimentary to one another, and will ultimately help us understand dark energy.”


If earth-based studies have begun to reveal the secrets of dark energy, then three projects vying for attention could take the experiments off-planet to get a slightly closer look. The projects all hope to look at supernovae and the large-scale spread of matter. They will be less error prone than any single technique and so provide definitive results.

SNAP, SuperNova/Acceleration Probe, is led by Saul Perlmutter of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, one of the original supernova explorers. SNAP will observe light from thousands of Type Ia supernovae in the visible and infra-red regions of the spectrum as well as look at how that light is distorted by massive objects in between the supernovae and the earth.

Adept, Advanced Dark Energy Physics Telescope, is led by Charles Bennett of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This mission will also look at near-infrared light from 100 million galaxies and a thousand Type Ia supernovae. It will look for those cosmic ripples and so map out the positions of millions of galaxies. This information will allow scientists to track how the universe has changed over billions of years and the role played by dark energy.

Destiny, Dark Energy Space Telescope, led by Tod Lauer of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, based in Tucson, Arizona, will detect and observe more than 3000 supernovae over a two-year mission and then survey a vast region of space looking at the lumpiness of the universe.


So, what is dark energy? “At this point it is pure speculation,” answers Hill, “The observations are currently too poor, so we are focusing on making the most accurate measurements possible.” Many scientists are rather embarrassed but equally excited by the thought that we understand only a tiny fraction of the universe. Understanding dark matter and dark energy is one of the most exciting quests in science. “Right now, we have no idea where it will lead, adds Hill.

Supernovae (NASA collage)

“Despite some lingering doubts, it looks like we are stuck with the accelerating universe,” says Schmidt. “The observations from supernovae, large-scale structure, and the cosmic microwave background look watertight,” he says. He too concedes that science is left guessing. The simplest solution is that dark energy was formed along with the universe. The heretical solution would mean modifying Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, which has so far been a perfect predictor of nature. “Theories abound,” Schmidt adds, “whatever the solution, it is exciting, but a very, very hard problem to solve.”

This David Bradley special feature article originally appeared on Sciencebase last summer, having been published in print in StarDate magazine – 2007-07-01-21:12:X1

30 thoughts on “Dark Energy”

  1. Mike, I think it is made clear in this relatively old feature article that no one knows what dark energy is, except that its existence can explain the observations better than anything else. At the moment.

  2. From Mike Landis via email:

    “Why is everyone claiming that dark energy has been discovered? Nobody discovered anything except that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. No one has isolated dark energy. Can you please not jump to conclusions.”

  3. Luis, I strongly recommend you ask a native English speaker to edit your website if you wish to try and get your message across, it’s very hard going as it stands…

    As to the technical aspects, who says the universe is expanding at light speed?

  4. I’m against Universe expansion and also with accelerated expansion:

    For example a question: – The universe expand in any radius at light speed: How can accelerate? At what speed expand the diameter (radius x 2)?

    This and more questions, doubts, proofs and hypothesis in bigbangno.wordpress.com


  5. @Brian Why should common sense apply. Common sense is simply an evolutionary adaptation that allowed our earthbound ancestors to understand their environment and survive, there’s no reason why our brains should be able to understand the universe using common sense.

    But, look at it this way: stare at the back of your hand, the light reflected from your skin that reaches your eyes and is transformed into an image in your brain that you “see” takes a finite amount of time to reach your consciousness, that means that you’re seeing the back of your hand in the past. It’s the very recent past but the past nonetheless. Light from the sun takes a few minutes to reach the earth, so that’s slightly further into the past. Light from distant stars takes even longer…

  6. Then there is the claim that by looking further into the Univserse we are looking back in time.
    This pre supposes that from where we are in this scheme of things our sitiuation is relativly new……
    and “out there” is very very old.
    Try proving that.

    Then there is this contradiction……
    If all this around us is the product of the “big bang….” should that not ensure
    that everty thing we see and measure in the universe, will be of the same age?

    Where in the Universe are things stationary, and where are those that are moving away…..away from what?
    surely not us here!
    There shouild be a new chair introduced in our Universities, and an oportunity for students
    to study for a degree ( PhD ) in Commonsense. what a difference that would make.

  7. “far reaches” doesn’t just mean a long, long way away…observing phenomena at “far reaches” cosmologically speaking means a long, long time ago too.

  8. We are constantly reminded that all things in the Universe. that will provide us with the answers to “how, why and when” with regard to the Universe, are always identified as being in the “far reaches of the Universe “

    The planet that we all rest on, it also is located in the far reaches of the Universe.

    We have a sample of the countless trillions of Suns in the Universe, right here on our door step,
    Not to mention moons, planets ….It’s all here. Why bother with rest.

    Accuracy is more easily achieved right here, inaccuracies are proportional to the square of the distance from Earth.

    Distance and Astronomers are amongst the biggest liars in the Universe.

    Dark energy? You mean Invisible energy.

    All of the potential energy that drives the Universe is all around us. Universe means universal.
    All energies are universal through out the Universe.

    The only dark energy in the Universe is in the form of the black clouds of doubt,
    Hovering over the heads of the cosmologists.

  9. @Brian “Edudicator” – nice homonym, or was it just a typo. For a theory to be considered it most certainly does not have to be understood by as many people as possible. I suspect there are millions of people who don’t understand the theory behind tunneling diodes and yet they know it is valid every time they switch on their TV or various other electronic gadgets…

  10. If A theory ,is to be concidered, it must be understood by as many people as possible, not just
    by a small group of intelectuals.
    Common sense must be the edudicator.

    The “big bang”concept is so devoid of commonsense that it is embarrassing .
    Ask a proponent of the “big bang”concept to explain this idea but with out using any
    mathematical formulae whats so ever……then see what emerges.
    This planetery system of ours is almost insignificant in this infinite Universe.
    We àre not in the centre of anything….. we are almost not there at all.

    Try sitting on your mortor boards, and think carefully about it before jumping to some
    unreasoable conclusion. the Univere is much more simple that the physists would have us believe.

  11. Mark. There are indeed a lot of unknowns, but I’m afraid reverting to universal consciousness as some kind of binding force is just plain nonsense. We dress our consciousness up with all sorts of fancy notions, commonly known as spirituality, but the fact of the matter is, we’re just that matter, nothing more nothing less.

  12. We have a lot of unknowns. So, let me make the situation worse. Assuming we humans have evolved a form of consciousness and plants have a form of it, is it not likely that the whole universe is conscious in some way. Yeah, I know, “go to the spirituality blogs ding ding.” But I’m not into spirituality here. I’m really just saying that, if we have a form of consciousness and we are made of the same stuff of the cosmos (and we are). Then matter and energy are potentially or wholly conscious. Maybe what we are looking for in Dark matter is the soup that binds us to consciousness or it is consciousness. Any imagination from you folks might help me get this.

  13. Yeah, it’s hard to get one’s head around all this. In some senses the universe is like a vast black hole, in fact in more than some senses…everything we know is locked within our universal “event horizon”, what is beyond that, who knows? More universal black holes, perhaps, bumping into us and giving rise to dark energy anomalies?

  14. Perhaps the 11 dimensions and parallel universes that pass through them account for the dark matter and energy. And, what about the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Space also is a fabric. What kind of fabric is it? Potential energy and mass. Maybe if we squeezed space down as in a black hole we would not only run into other layers, but layers of differing types of matter matter – like a deck of cards. Maybe that accounts for the mystery force.

    Just a notion

  15. Brian, I’m not sure I understand your comment at all…I realise that dark energy, dark matter, string theory, extra dimensions etc etc are all theoretical constructs that attempt to solve discrepancies in our observations, but what are these potential energies of which you speak?

  16. Dark energy just one more side effect brought about by the inability of cosmologists to realise that all of the visible and measurable energies in this Universe have their origins in the Vacuum of Space.

    99% of the energy available in the Universe is locked away as a reservoir of potential energies; these energies are available to all of us and the real Universe on demand.

    I believe that the transfer from “Potential” energy to real energy takes place as a
    “Simultaneous Transition” thus ensuring stability and perfection in the extraction process.

    Much of the deep space images are optical illusions, such as a “Globular Cluster”

    A Globular Cluster does not exist in reality.
    If you went out there looking for one…you would never find it.

    In the wake of some of the theories expounded by many scholars,
    It would be well to remember this.

  17. Well…yes…I kind of think that’ what they mean by dark energy, it’s an all pervading force hidden in some continuity that we cannot yet perceive other than through its manifestation in the effect on those most distant supernovae

  18. Could it not be that space has a stress or tension that is manifested in dark Energy? Could it not be that the membranes cross our universe and we just can’t see or understand its dimentional properties?

  19. > If you assume that…a 100 percent of the makeup of the universe was visible matter, what has happened since [the Big Bang]

    I think therein lies the flaw in your argument. Who’s to know that the universe was comprised 100% visible matter nanoseconds after the Big Bang?

  20. I read an article in the paper about the makeup of our universe – 23% dark matter, 4% visible matter and 73% dark energy. ( Sydney Morning Herald on the ninth of May 2009). I’ve heard about dark energy before, in fact its existence was apparently only revealed 11 years ago.

    “This weird, invisible force that is pushing the Galaxies apart at a faster and faster rate accounts were almost three quarters of the universe.” University of Chicago Cosmologist Michael Turner.
    “ dark energy began to become dominant over the pull of gravity about 8 billion years ago”
    “It seems to be smoothly distributed throughout the universe”, Michael Turner, again “the universe is slowly fading away from us”.

    If you assume that when the universe was created, nanoseconds after the “big bang”,
    that a 100 percent of the makeup of the universe was visible matter, what has happened since that time – over 17 billion years – to change its makeup.

    I only did physics to the School Certificate level and find that the complexities of arguments, equations and terms now found in quantum mechanics, just so overwhelming
    .My physics goes as far as remembering the law that states that matter can neither be can be created nor destroyed..

    Therefore, what was, at the start of the universe, still is, only in a different form going from 100% visible mass to 4% visible 23% dark matter that 73% dark energy.

    Assuming we know where dark matter comes from, the dark energy must also come from the initial mass. Isn’t it logical that this energy is the result of 17 billion years of visible matter of radiating light and other energy waves in the form of photons that ceaselessly traverse, or create, or expand the universe.
    If you took any specific point in space at any specific point in time, whether in our solar system, or anyone else’s solar system, or galaxy for that matter, it must be by definition full of photons from all the stars that have radiated light, all the trillions of stars, that we may not be able to see but have still sent out electro-magnetic waves.
    So at that specific point in the universe at that specific time, there is a coming together of a significant number of photons or energy, and this happens at every point in the universe and beyond at every point in time. Photons because they are electromagnetic waves are deemed to be weightless, i.e., they are energy but assuming Einstein’s E equals and mc squared, when clustered and all pervasive that energy must assume the equivalency of a huge mass, huge enough to explain that 73% of missing mass in the universe? It would also explain why the universe is expanding because an increasing amount of this energy would be outside the bounds of the physical universe. And it would explain why this energy is evenly spread throughout the universe.
    It seems too simplistic to believe, but can someone tell me the logic error in this argument.

  21. -1/3 spin because the particle would actually have to be a bosonic fermion, if thats even possible.

  22. Actually the idea of Dark Energy being a source of centrufugal force is an interestign concept, actually I have always wondered if the Universe was not expanding but rather going through a rotational phase that would take place over trillions of billions of years. I have always wondered if this rotation would follow a major symmetry pattern that contains all the symmetries found within Quantum Mechanics, such as the rotational structure of an exceptional Lie Group like E8 and such forth. Otherwise about the force concept, i have also wondered if dark energy was actually a negative gravitational force supplied by a new particle (similiar to the graviton except with -1/3 spin or something like that), and that you could show it was a force by first renewing General Relativity to take into consideration the already known quantitative effects of dark energy and then by taking this differnce and quantitizing it using the same methodologies used in Loop Quantum Gravity, then combine it with Gravity by the same concept that the Gravi-Weak force was united. Thus producing a “Dark Gravi-Weak” force that would incorporate the new forces in unison and show that all these forces would have to be projections of the strong nuclear force, of course causing it to become a force by allowing to be a particle would almost completely throw off every known LQG model and alot of graviton symmetries. unless of course you show that this particle is more similiar to a photn than a graviton and actually corresponds more to the characteristics of energy rather than gravity, and thus being able to point out that its interactions with other particles is actually through two completely insignifanct ways: 1.) it is insignifacant by the fact that its photon likness is what gives it the energy concpet which allows it to bend space-time, and 2.) the graviton likeness would allow it to have -1/3 sspin to apply a negative pressure to the space-tiem continuum, this could work but the mathematics behind would be impossible for me at this moment at time. if anyone else has any ideas about this please let me know, or email me at: KawajamaGuitar88@yahoo.com , by the way I am not a scientist, i am actually just a 17 year old student, just in case you wanted to ask me about super technical questions.

  23. There is a book published to the effect that this ‘dark energy’ is tne energy of the SPINJ of an orbiting body, such as a space-probe or a spiral galaxy. According to this book, POAMS (the Pope-Osborne Angular Momentum Synthesis see website) the anomaly resides in the Newtonian ‘theory of orbits which traditinally assumes the existence of a mysterious ‘in vacuo gravitational force’ being responsible for the orbital motions of bodies. Insofar as this Newtonian theoretical ‘centripetal force’ takes no account of the spin-energy of orbiting bodies, that theory is anomalous. whence the ‘darkness’ in question lies in the Newtonian theory, not in nature.

    Viv Pope.

  24. Regarding the excelerating expansion of the universe, could it be that the whole universe is spinning (like most things within) and the centigfugal force is the mystery energy? I appreciate that the universe is expanding in all direction but lets not be narrow minded. With no datum we would not appreciate the spin. Just thinking aloud.

  25. A preprint paper (yet to be formally peer reviewed) on the physics arXiv server suggests that tweaking Einstein’s equations for relativity could explain away dark energy. It seems that everyone has it in for the concept of dark energy at the moment.

    “If one assumes that the dynamics of the expanding Universe is described by general relativity, then the observed cosmic acceleration implies that the Universe is dominated by a ‘dark energy’, which has negative pressure. In principle however, it might be possible to explain the acceleration without invoking dark energy. This is because while the Universe is homogeneous on sufficiently large scales, it is inhomogeneous on smaller scales. Although the gravitational dynamics of the inhomogeneous Universe is described by Einstein’s equations, the dynamics of the homogeneous Universe obtained by averaging out the inhomogeneities, obeys modified Einstein equations. Could these modifications by themselves explain the acceleration? We answer this question in the negative. Starting from realistic initial conditions, and using a well-defined averaging scheme for a simple but generic model of nonlinear inhomogeneity, we show that the modifications have a negligible influence on the average cosmological dynamics.”

  26. It’s a useful blog. You mention SDSS an a few places so I thight this little beauty closely related to SDSS and indirectly related to Google Sky might be interesting for you:

    For the first time, SKY-MAP.ORG was able to present the famous Hubble Ultra Deep Field on the Internet using a visual form, convenient for browsing on a regular monitor screen. The SKY-MAP.ORG technology makes it possible to view this image at any scale. Furthermore, all objects from the UDF directory (10,000 galaxies) on SKY-MAP.ORG are identified. By pointing the mouse at any object, a user causes a browsing window to open. This window will contain brief information about the object. A mouse click on the object opens a window with detailed information and new articles about this object.

    The unique SKY-MAP.ORG technology can conveniently display any images, including enormous photographs of very high resolution. To view these images and photographs is often very difficult because of a computer’s limited capacity. Moreover, SKY-MAP.ORG allows, with ease, to combine multiple images into one. This amazing technology is a powerful tool, which makes it possible for the general public to easily manipulate data, which earlier could be accessible only by a limited circle of professionals due to technical reasons.


    Hubble Ultra Deep Field: http://www.sky-map.org/?img_source=IMG_all&zoom=13&object=udf

    Horsehead Nebula: http://www.sky-map.org/?object=Horsehead Nebula&zoom=9&img_source=IMG_all&img_borders=1

    M45, The Pleiades: http://www.sky-map.org/?img_source=IMG_all&zoom=7&ra=3.772&de=23.948&img_borders=1

  27. Ms Blogmyway, if I understand you correctly, you’re taking issue with the notion that the observations of these supernovae are actually looking close to the very edge of the universe. However, the “edge” of the universe is not simply a case of imaging some kind of shell within which the universe is housed but looking back in time to the dawn of the universe. In that sense, we “see” the edge of the universe in the cosmic microwave background that permeates the whole of space.

  28. I wish we can see the edge of the universe. I guess not in my life time, because to achieve such wishful task, we must have come up with the stuff that can travel billion times faster than the speed of light. LOL… speed of light is the slowest speed to measure the universe, but it’s also the fastest speed that mankind/womankind dreaming of to attain. If we know where is the edge of the universe, by that time we probably already know everything that the universe had contained.

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