Hyderabad: Astronomers have confirmed the
mysterious dark energy as the most comprehensive evidence yet
for the accelerated expansion of the universe, based on a
study of nearly half a million galaxies using the Hubble Space
They mapped the matter distribution and the expansion
history of the universe to conclude that the universe was
indeed expanding faster and faster with time, a BM Birla
Science Centre release said here on Sunday.
"Our results confirmed that there is an unknown source
of energy in universe which is causing the cosmic expansion to
speed up," leading astronomer Ludovic Van Waerbeke of Leiden
University in the Netherlands is quoted having said in the
Till 1997, the accepted model of the universe was that
assisted by some unknown substance called dark matter, the
universe is actually slowing down as it expands. It was
believed that ultimately the universe would halt and possibly
The identity of dark matter itself was anybody`s guess.
It could have been black holes or exotic particles or unseen
stars called brown dwarfs. This was called the Standard
Bib Bang Model, the release said.
The breakthrough published in the American Science
magazine recently has been supported by two observational
surveys called the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy and Sloan
Digital Sky Survey.
But early that year, Dr B G Sidharth, Director of the
B M Birla Science Centre proposed an opposite theory -- that
pushed by a mysterious force called dark energy, the universe
Early last century Einstein proposed a force called
cosmic repulsion so that the universe would not collapse, but
soon dismissed it as his greatest blunder when it was
discovered shortly thereafter that the universe was expanding,
the release said.
The latest finding from the HST is the most
comprehensive to date confirming this paradigm shift in
science, it said.