MANOA (KHNL) - A team of astronomers at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy has found direct evidence for the existence of "dark energy," an unknown form that works against gravity to pull galaxies together which causes the universe's expansion to speed up.
The team, led by Dr. Istan Szapudi, says this latest detection is the clearest to date. There is only one in 200,000 chance that the detection would occur by chance.
"We were able to image dark energy in action, as it stretches huge supervoids and superclusters of galaxies," said Szapudi. "Superclusters are vast regions of space, half a billion light-years across, that contain an unusually high concentration of galaxies, while supervoids are similarly sized regions with a below-average number of galaxies. They are the largest structures known in the universe. The team made the discovery by measuring the subtle imprints that superclusters and supervoids leave in microwaves that pass through them."
Scientists say the nature of dark energy is one of the biggest puzzles of modern science.