When you're in something, it's hard to see its shape. We are still learning about the shape of our galaxy.
The shape of the universe? This is much harder to predict, but years of observational data, cosmological models, and physics suggest that it's flat. Send a beam of photons over the void, and the line stays straight.
A new study argues differently. Based on data published last year by the European Space Agency's Planck satellite, astronomers have argued the case that the universe is actually curved and closed, like an inflating globe.
This means that the photon beam would someday return to where they started, crossing other rays that would remain parallel in the scenario of the flat universe.
And it would be a big deal. According to an international team of astronomers led by Eleonora Di Valentino of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, their findings represent a "cosmological crisis" requiring a "drastic rethink of the current cosmological model of concordance".
The reference to the universe curvature, it is said, lies in the way that gravity bends the path of light, an effect that Einstein predicts as gravitational lensing.
Not just any light, but the cosmic microwave background (CMB). This is the electromagnetic radiation that remains in the space between the stars and the galaxies, some 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when the first neutral atoms of the Universe formed.
As soon as you have hidden all other sources of light, the room really shines, a kind of static background. It is the oldest light in the universe.
Looking at the data from the Planck satellite and especially the legacy data from 201
"A Closed Universe Can Provide a Physical Explanation For This Effect, where Planck's cosmic microwave background spectra now prefer a positive curvature with a confidence level greater than 99 percent," they wrote.
"Here we further examine the evidence for a closed universe of Planck and show this positive curvature, of course, explains the anomalous lens amplitude."
A curved universe may explain this anomaly, but there are some big problems – not least that all other analyzes of Planck datasets, including the legacy data of 2018, have concluded that our cosmological models are correct. That includes the flat universe.
There are also some other issues, and the team was careful to note them in their work. One of them is the Hubble constant, the speed at which the universe expands, and a thorn in the eye of cosmology. No two measurements of the Hubble constant match, and the curvature of the universe makes only the prediction difficult.
Data from measurements of baryonal acoustic oscillation of the dark energy – the unknown energy that accelerates the expansion of the universe – also do not agree with the model of the closed universe as well as cosmic shear data obtained from observations with gravitational lenses.
There is also another recent publication suggesting that the Planck-A discrepancy in the data is a type of blip (although there is still no peer discrepancy) -reviewed).
Astrophysicists George Efstathiou and Steven Gratton of Cambridge University also analyzed the Planck data for 2018 and found evidence of curvature evidence for a spatially flat universe. "
Generally speaking, much of the data seems to speak for a flat universe rather than a closed universe – except for this one lens anomaly – like a pebble in your shoe or a ridge in your shirt it nibbles And we do not know if the discrepancy between it and all other measurements is actually relevant, or if it's a human problem.
It's a problem that needs to be resolved, but that may not be solved for the time being becomes possible
"Future measurements are needed to clarify whether the observed deviations are due to unrecognized systematics or new physics, or simply represent a statistical fluctuation," the researchers wrote in their paper.
We will wait Respiratory Problems.
The research was published in Nature Astronomy .