What is the dark energy? The answer is considered to be the greatest mystery of our time. Science knows practically nothing about the dark energy. It is invisible, it fills the Universe, it separates galaxies, pushing them away from each other, it makes outer space constantly expand. One of the ways science defines the concept of dark energy is the cosmological constant, derived by Albert Einstein: it is the result of the energy of empty space itself.
Many physicists are not satisfied with the concept, and they are looking for a clearer description of the nature of. the dark energy. Can it represent a new type of energy field, or can it be expressed in some new exotic liquid unknown to science?
Scientists' new project related to the study of the dark energy is the study of baryonic oscillations that describes the largest ever created three-dimensional cosmological map. There is only one way to study the dark energy. It consists in observing the Universe. The further away galaxies are, the younger they appear. Their light reaches terrestrial telescopes millions and even billions of years later and due to that property, it is possible to measure different distances in outer space at different cosmic times, thus determining how quickly the Universe is expanding.
For example, using the Sloan Digital Sky Surve telescope, the scientists were able to measure more than two million space objects, including quasars and black holes. The newly compiled map covered about 11 billion years of space history, about which there was no previous information. It also talks about the dark energy.
The results indicate that about 69% of the energy in outer space is the dark energy that is consistent with the Einstein's theory. By combining the available knowledge about it, the scientists concluded that there are gaps in the understanding of cosmological evolution.
For example, the expansion rate of the Universe is 10% lower than values obtained by direct measurements of the distance to nearby galaxies. But both methods of calculation may not be accurate, the researchers allow variants of statistical randomness. The lack of precision reinforces the crisis of understanding dark energy. Perhaps there is a gross error in the compilation of the calculation schemes, and new physics is required to correct it.
One exciting possibility is that a previously unknown form of matter could have left its mark on the early Universe. Some dark energy may actually existed when the Universe was young, and could changed the rate of the cosmic expansion.