Several astronomers from North America and Europe have studied over 446,000 galaxies to create a map of the universe. The astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to accomplish the task and have confirmed the accelerating expansion of the universe as well as Einstein’s theories about gravity. They proved that the universe is growing larger at an accelerated rate and is controlled by a force called dark energy.
In his widely studied theory, Einstein also predicted that the galaxy held a substance called dark matter. He used this term to explain the blank space that makes up 80 percent of the universe as well as causes the gravitational pull which in turn causes the galaxies to form. He also termed the universe’s accelerating expansion dark energy.
3D map of the large-scale distribution of dark matter, reconstructed from measurements of weak gravitational lensing. The field of view covers about nine times the size of the full moon, and the third dimension stretches from redshift z=0 to z),
One of the astronomers on the team, University of B. C astronomer Ludovic Van Waerbeke, said, “If you think the universe is essentially made of matter and radiation, there is absolutely no way you can explain the acceleration. It is absolutely impossible. So the only reasonable way of explaining this acceleration is by having a new source of energy in the universe which has very funny behavior. We called it dark energy.”
This is the third study to confirm the existence of dark energy.
Einstein also predicted that gravity is caused by matter warping space and time. In simpler terms this means that light bends near massive objects. This was seen by using a technique where light from distant galaxies is seen bending as it travels through outer space; this technique is known as weak gravitational lensing.
Astronomers now believe that the universe is made up of three components: normal matter such as the grass, trees, animals, stars, other planets; dark matter which is invisible to the naked eye but is known to exist because of the gravitational pull; and dark energy which causes the universe to expand.