As you probably know by now, less than a second after the Big Bang, the universe blew up from nothing to a hot and dense sea of neutrons and electrons, and it stretched across trillions of lightyears.
13.8 billion years later, the universe continues to expand, but at a much slower rate. The main theory known as the isotropy hypothesis argued that the universe is not only expanding, but it’s also doing this at the same rate in all the directions.
There’s a new study mentioned by Inverse.com that suggests this may not be the case.
New study contradicts previous theories about Universe expansion
This groundbreaking study was published this Wednesday in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, and it details how astronomers are challenging this cornerstone theory of cosmology.
According to the results, the universe is expanding, but it does not expand at the same rate in all the directions, as previously believed.
This study relies on observations of some of the cosmos’ largest structures – the galaxy clusters. The observations are made by three X-ray observatories: the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton, NASA’s Chandra, and the German-led ROSAT.
Experts looked at 800 galaxy clusters across the universe, and they measured the temperatures of each cluster’s hot gas.
After that, they compared the data with how bright the clusters appear to be in the sky.
The online publication mentioned above notes that if the universe is isotropic, the galaxy clusters of similar temperatures which are located at similar distances would have similar levels of luminosity. It seems that this is not the case.
Massive difference discovered
It’s essential to note the fact that experts saw massive differences.
“We saw that clusters with the same properties, with similar temperatures, appeared to be less bright than what we would expect in one direction of the sky, and brighter than expected in another direction,” Thomas Reiprich co-author of the new study, stated.
He continued and explained that “These differences are not random, but have a clear pattern depending on the direction in which we observed in the sky.”
We recommend that you check out the video in order to learn more, and you should also head over to the official notes on Esa.int.