The answer, published Monday in The Astrophysical Journal, is the case of 31.5 percent – giving or taking 1.3 percent of the total amount and energy – that make up the universe.
The remaining 68.5 percent is dark energy, a mysterious force that is causing the universe to expand over time, and was first inferred from observations of distant supernovae in the late 1990s.
Put another way, this means that the total amount of matter in the observable universe is equal to 66 billion trillion times the mass of our Sun, University of California, Riverside astrophysicist and head of the paper AFP reported.
Most of the cases – 80 percent – are called dark matter. Its nature is not yet known, but it may contain some as-yet-unseen subatomic particles.
The latest measurements match well with previously obtained values by other teams using various cosmological techniques, such as by measuring temperature fluctuations in low energy radiation left over from the Big Bang.
“It is a long process over the course of 100 years where we are gradually becoming more accurate”, said AFP, the study’s co-author and a professor at UCR.
“This planet is simply cool without Earth being able to make such a fundamental measurement about the universe,” he said.
So how do you actually weigh the universe?
The team respected a 90-year-old technique that involves looking at how galaxies occur inside galaxy clusters – large-scale systems that contain thousands of galaxies.
These observations told him how strong the gravitational force of each galaxy cluster was, from which its total mass could be calculated.
– the fate of the universe –
In fact, explained Wilson, his technique was originally developed by the pioneering astronomer Fritz Zwicky, who was the first to suspect the existence of dark matter in galaxy clusters in the 1930s.
They noticed that the galaxies whose combined gravitational mass they had seen in the nearby Coma galaxy cluster were insufficient to prevent those galaxies from moving away from each other, and felt that some other invisible material would be in play.
The UCR team refined Zwicky’s technique, developing a tool they called Galightight that more accurately determined which galaxies belong to a given cluster and which did not.
He applied his instrument to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the most detailed three-dimensional map of the currently available universe, measuring the mass of 1,800 galaxy clusters and creating a catalog.
Finally, he compared the number of clusters seen per unit volume in his list against a series of computer simulations, each of which was given a different value for the total case of the universe.
Very few case simulations had too few clusters, while those with too many cases had too many clusters.
The “Goldilocks” value they found the correct simulation correct.
Wilson pointed out that having a more accurate measurement of the total volume of the universe can bring us one step closer to finding out the nature of dark matter, because “we know the amount of time scientists see when moving particles needed”. For example, experiment in large hadron collider.
“The total amount of Dark Matter and Dark Energy tells us about the fate of the Universe,” he said, with the current scientific consensus that we are headed for the “Big Freeze”, where galaxies move back and forth. Are, and the stars of those galaxies eventually run out of fuel.
© 2020 AFP