(ORDO NEWS) — “Not clumpy enough,” one of the authors of the new study described the discovered anomaly.
In it, based on observations of two observatories at once, working with different radiation ranges, it was possible to create a map of the distribution of matter in the Universe with unprecedented accuracy.
Thanks to this, it turned out that the standard model – the main modern theory of the world order, describing all particles, fields and interactions, except for gravity – has every chance of being incomplete.
Measurements of one scientific instrument may be subject to systematic error in the technique or deficiencies of a particular instrument. Therefore, researchers always try to cross-check data with different methods.
And if we are talking about a microscope or a thermometer, then there should hardly be many problems.
But when it is required to verify the data not just from large telescopes, but the results of entire surveys of the night sky lasting for years, the task becomes truly gigantic.
It took the work of more than 150 astrophysicists and other specialists from around the world to do this trick for the Dark Energy Surveillance ( DES ) and South Pole Telescope ( SPT ) surveys.
The first, as the name implies, determined the distribution of dark matter, the second – the cosmic microwave background radiation.
In both data sets, the main reference point was gravitational lensing, that is, a change in the trajectory of electromagnetic waves near massive accumulations of matter.
Since the only thing that is guaranteed to be common to all types of matter – both “ordinary” and dark – is mass, gravitational lensing allows you to detect any objects of any size, even if they do not radiate anything.
Comparison of DES and SPT data is significant, since both surveys collected light from significant areas of the sky and did so in different ranges of electromagnetic radiation.
The Victor Blanco Telescope in Chile, with which the Dark Energy Survey was carried out, operates in the optical and near-infrared ranges.
Whereas SPT is a radio telescope that captures, among other things, microwave radiation.
The most important result of this fundamental work is a map of the distribution of matter in the Universe, made with unprecedented accuracy.
The scientific value here is that knowing where and how the substance turned out now, one can judge its evolution since the Big Bang, checking existing and promising models.
The first fruits are already there: the observed picture is slightly different from what can be expected on the basis of a proven and well-established cosmological theory.
Simply put, scientists can apply their knowledge of the fundamental laws of nature and model the behavior of matter from the beginning of its existence.
Based on this prediction, the expected macroscopic structure of the universe is obtained. For the most part, it agrees with what observations show.
However, there may be differences in the details – they shed light on possible gaps in the knowledge of mankind.
The anomaly found in the comparison of DES and SPT data is most simply described as a slightly greater “distribution” of matter or insufficient “lumpyness”.
The deviation is literally on the verge of significance, therefore, requires careful testing in future studies.
Among the potential explanations, there are three most likely: errors in measurements or data analysis, the influence of jets emitted by supermassive galaxies, as well as yet unknown forces that are not taken into account in the standard model.
The latter option is of particular interest, because it is the search for facts that are not consistent with already tested theories that moves science forward.
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