From: DOE / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Published August 4, 2017 03:51 PM

Standard Model of the Universe Withstands Most Precise Test by Dark Energy Survey

Astrophysicists have a fairly accurate understanding of how the universe ages: That’s the conclusion of new results from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), a large international science collaboration, including researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, that put models of cosmic structure formation and evolution to the most precise test yet.

The survey’s researchers analyzed light from 26 million galaxies to study how structures in the universe have changed over the past 7 billion years – half the age of the universe. The data were taken with the DECam, a 570-megapixel camera attached to the 4-meter Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Previously, the most precise test of cosmological models came from measurements with the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite of what is known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – a faint glow in the sky emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

“While Planck looked at the structure of the very early universe, DES has measured structures that evolved much later,” said Daniel Gruen, a NASA Einstein postdoctoral fellow at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), a joint institute of Stanford University and SLAC. “The growth of these structures from the early ages of the universe until today agrees with what our models predict, showing that we can describe cosmic evolution very well.”

Read more at DOE / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Image: Map of dark matter made from gravitational lensing measurements of 26 million galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey. Red regions have more dark matter than average, blue regions less dark matter. Credit: Chihway Chang / University of Chicago / DES collaboration

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