Mystery deepens as scientists discover ‘universe is expanding too fast’

The universe is expanding at an accelerating pace over the last several billion years, and some scientists think it's inflating too fast.

The Times reported that "the most precise study ever of the composition and evolution of the cosmos" found that the universe is expanding at more than 160,000 miles per hour.

The findings, from boffins leading the Pantheon+ analysis, means that the current understanding of the cosmos is skewed, as the figure is faster than the expansion rate predicted by accepted scientific models.

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The Harvard Gazette reported that "cosmologists find themselves at a crossroads," because of the findings that deepen the mystery of the universe, rather than solving it.

“With these Pantheon+ results, we are able to put the most precise constraints on the dynamics and history of the universe to date,” says Dillon Brout, an Einstein Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.

“We’ve combed over the data and can now say with more confidence than ever before how the universe has evolved over the eons and that the current best theories for dark energy and dark matter hold strong.”

Brout is also the lead author of a series of papers describing the new Pantheon+ analysis, published in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

The Pantheon+ analysis reveals how fast the universe expands during different epochs. The information is then used to test theories of the fundamental components of the universe.

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The expansion of the universe is down to something called dark matter, so called because it is an invisible force.

The Pantheon+ plus analysis also found that the universe is 66.2% dark energy and the remaining 33.8% is a combination of ordinary matter – planets or stars – and dark matter

The current expansion rate of the universe is known as the Hubble constant, which is 73.4 kilometers per second per megaparsec with only 1.3 percent uncertainty.

A megaparsec is 3.26 million light years. Brout said "the Hubble tension continues to be a major challenge."

“Pantheon+ is giving us our best chance to date of constraining dark energy, its origins, and its evolution,” added Brout.

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