From The UK Telegrahp; 15 Jun 2010; By Heidi Blake
Dark matter and energy, the mysterious forces thought to make up 96 per cent of the universe, may not exist according to a groundbreaking study.
Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society, which published the findings, said: “This would challenge greatly our assumptions about the long term future of the universe, because the assumption at the moment is that the universe is expanding and if it isn’t that would be a huge shock. |
“It could even mean that the expansion of the universe is slowing down and could grind to a halt.”
A new analysis of measurements taken by NASA of Big Bang heat radiation in 2001 showed that the heat waves may be far smaller than previously thought.
When the measurements were first taken in 2001 the size of the ripples in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation led scientists to conclude that the cosmos is made up of four percent "normal" matter, 22 percent "dark" or invisible matter and 74 percent "dark" energy.
But scientists now claim that the waves of radiation which were previously measured at about twice the size of the full moon may in fact be less than half that size.
Professor Tom Shanks, who led the research, said: “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 matter particles dominate the universe. So the evidence that the universe has a dark side will weaken.”