But the Science Was Settled!

One thing about science. It is never settled.

Now, after years of intense discussion about dark matter and energy, scientists say: Nevermind.

Sawangwit and Shanks used astronomical objects that appear as unresolved points in radio telescopes to test the way the WMAP telescope smoothes out its maps. They find that the smoothing is much larger than previously believed, suggesting that its measurement of the size of the CMBR ripples is not as accurate as was thought. If true this could mean that the ripples are significantly smaller, which could imply that dark matter and dark energy are not present after all.

Prof. Shanks comments “CMB observations are a powerful tool for cosmology and it is vital to check for systematic effects. If our results prove correct then it will become less likely that dark energy and exotic dark matter particles dominate the Universe. So the evidence that the Universe has a ‘Dark Side’ will weaken!”

In addition, Durham astronomers recently collaborated in an international team whose research suggested that the structure of the CMB may not provide the robust independent check on the presence of dark energy that it was thought to.

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