Cosmologists are going to destroy a 100-year-old hypothesis about the Universe

In space, beyond our planets, stars and galaxies, the sprawling and boundless Universe stretches, endless and monotonous space without any noticeable features. At least that’s what astrophysicists used to think. This was the main idea behind the standard cosmological model aimed at explaining the consequences of the Big Bang and the evolution of the universe over about 13.7 billion years. And if this assumption is wrong?

The universe is not what it was thought 100 years ago. Photo: Unsplash

This week, leading cosmologists from around the world are gathering at the Royal Society of London to question this hypothesis. According to Professor Subir Sarkar from the University of Oxford, the symposium was planned after a number of recent astronomical observations violated this generally accepted view. It has already become outdated, because it was first formulated back in 1922.

Among the new observations, it has been noticed that expansion occurs at different rates in different parts of the universe. The existence of several megastructures in space — huge clusters of galaxies tightly connected by gravity — has been found and proved. Cosmic fluxes have also been discovered — huge jets of matter that cannot be explained within the framework of existing theories. 

Dr. Nathan Secrest of the U.S. Naval Observatory, collaborating with Sarkar, presented results that put the question of the uniformity of the universe. His analysis of more than a million quasars showed a small but significant difference in their location in the sky.

The generally accepted hypothesis about the universe cannot explain the latest cosmic discoveries. Photo: Unsplash

Dr. Konstantinos Migkas from Leiden University spoke about the changes in the Hubble constant, indicating that the existing standard model might not be completely accurate. His findings highlighted the discrepancy between the observations and the predictions of the model.

Alexia Lopez, a PhD student at the University of Central Lancashire, discovered cosmic megastructures called Big Ring and Giant Arc. These shapes, traceable as galaxies and clusters of galaxies, arise on a scale beyond which the universe should be smooth and actually featureless. 

Nevertheless, not all cosmologists agree that the discovered anomalies of the universe are convincing enough to immediately reject standard theories. Professor George Efstathiou from the University of Cambridge believes that there are many questions that remain open. Other scientists point out that more research is needed to have extremely convincing evidence to crack the standard model, which has stood the test of time. Such an active debate at the conference testifies to the development of cosmology and the need for further research to understand the universe.

Earlier, we told the TOP 7 unsolved mysteries of the universe.

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