back to article Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

Cosmologists are scratching their heads after data from the Hubble Space Telescope has shown that the universe is expanding between 5 and 9 per cent faster than first thought. A team led by Nobel Laureate Adam Riess took measurements of 300 visible Type Ia supernovae spread among an assortment of galaxies, as well as around 2, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well..

    Top boffinry all round!

    "The third option is that Einstein's theories of gravitation are wrong, or at least in serious need of revision."

    Trouble is if that is true, just what the the hell are we supposed to change in Einstein's equations? Anyone got any ideas as to what should be changed?

    Einstein himself didn't like the original form of his equations, and was pleased that Hubble's findings allowed him to get rid of an ugly and implausible constant.

    The one thing is this. Relativity and quantum mechanics do not agree with each other, so something is wrong somewhere.

    1. itzman
      Boffin

      Re: Well..

      Relativity and quantum mechanics do not agree with each other, so something is wrong somewhere.

      One is a description of a macro world built along classical lines, the other is a description of a world behind the classical world, so to speak, so there is no reaosn why they should agree.

      Its a bit like expecting the workings of a computer to obey the geometry of a picture displayed on its monitor.

      Quantum reality is not a 'part of' classical reality. Classical reality is the observation of quantum reality on a macro scale.

      Cart before horse.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Well..

        Quantum reality is not a 'part of' classical reality. Classical reality is the observation of quantum reality on a macro scale.

        Correct. And Gravitation is likely to turn out to be a not-quite-cancelled effect of something else. The efforts to explain it as an "entropic force" haven't gone anywhere though.

      2. cyfahead

        Re: Well..

        @itzman "[Quantum mechanics].. is a description of a world behind the classical world, so to speak, so there is no reaosn why they should agree.

        Its a bit like expecting the workings of a computer to obey the geometry of a picture displayed on its monitor."

        I like it!!! Have you ever thought of a career in economics?

        Paraphrasing the present level of philosophical expertise in this field . We have a similar situation "[Real Human Behaviour].. is a description of a world behind Classical (and neoclassical economics), so to speak, so there is no reason why they should agree...." I by golly they don't!!! Not even remotely.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Well..

      Einstein himself didn't like the original form of his equations, and was pleased that Hubble's findings allowed him to get rid of an ugly and implausible constant.

      Well, that constant happens to not be implausible, it is actually different from zero, empirically.

      So there.

      There are number of modifications of Einstein Gravity, some of which are mathematically good-looking and fitting what we see, but so far there has not been compelling evidence to prefer them over bog-standard "simple" GR: Alternatives to GR.

      Even Gödel tried his hand at that: Gödel metric.

  2. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    My favourite Asimov quote...

    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"

  3. hellwig Silver badge

    Too early to tell.

    The universe is constant, no wait, it's expanding, so... Dark Energy!

    Well, wait a minute, it's not expanding as fast as we thought, so.... Dark Matter!

    Oh shoot, now it's expanding faster than we thought, so... Dark Energy 2: The Darkening!

    I think it's time to admit we don't have such a good idea about what's going on, and re-evaluate ALL our assumptions on the matter (no pun intended).

    1. tony72

      Re: Too early to tell.

      I think it's time to admit we don't have such a good idea about what's going on, and re-evaluate ALL our assumptions on the matter (no pun intended).

      It's not about assumptions, it's about theories. And it's always time to re-evaluate theories in the light of new information; we call this process "science".

      1. roytrubshaw
        Linux

        Re: Too early to tell.

        "It's not about assumptions, it's about theories. And it's always time to re-evaluate theories in the light of new information; we call this process "science"."

        Strictly speaking it's about hypotheses, not theories; and just because new information may cause us to expand an existing theory it doesn't stop us continuing to use the old theory as long as its predictions are still useful.

        Einstein's General Relativity may have superseded Newton, but Newton's theories are still good enough for NASA successfully to compute the orbits for the Voyager missions for example, and when something replaces General Relativty, our GPS systems will continue to work in spite of that.

      2. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Too early to tell.

        "we call this process "science"."

        Except saying "a wizard did it!" is not exactly science - and for all intents and purposes dark matter and energy are pretty much the equivalent of that. Something that we basically seem to know nothing at all about, introduced arbitrarily solely to handwave a problem away. And _IF_ that is not so, then I have to say scientists did a piss-poor job of communicating to the rest of us why those concepts might make perfectly good sense for a large number of different reasons that seem to support each other, if such a thing exists. Because otherwise it sure as hell looks like all that dark stuff is just "something we made up to make 1+1 = -5 work even though it doesn't"...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too early to tell.

          Dark matter and Dark Energy are not hand-waving explanations. They are placeholders until we can determine what is causing the effects that we observe. The 'Dark' is an explicit statement of ignorance.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: Too early to tell.

            >The 'Dark' is an explicit statement of ignorance.

            And it's a good thing to admit that we don't know what's going on. I think the objection is that the terms "dark matter" and "dark energy" appear to be designed to give the impression that we know more than we do.

            If we substitute P (pixie dust) for dark matter and M (magic) for dark energy we haven't actually got to change the equations.

            This doesn't change the investigative science but it might redress the balance in the weight we give to scientific pronouncements based these things in the layman's mind.

            "Dark matter is stuff we know is there but can't detect with today's instruments" and "sometimes the results don't tally with expectations" sounds like homeopathy with better jargon.

            Undefined stuff with undefined effects is not strong science. That doesn't invalidate the idea, but for laymen, a caveat of "Here be dragons" might be more enlightening, even if it does strip the scientists of some of their priestly robes.

        2. fandom Silver badge

          Re: Too early to tell.

          And Pauli postulated the existence of neutrinos so the equations would fit even though he thought we would never be able to detect them

          And yet, we now have neutrino detectors.

          So, now they are postulating the existence of something called 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' to make things fit, and, certainly, they may end up going the way of Phlogiston or Aether, but then, we may also end up detecting them.

          As Einstein said: If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

          As for scientists not explaining clearly, well, I am nothing but a lowly engineer, and yet I am used to getting blank stare from mundanes when I try to explain something technical, so?

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Too early to tell. @dropbear

            I see it more as we have

            1+1+x=-5 now we know the x is there, we just need to figure out what the hell it is (and possibly whether it really is +, -, x, / or whatever), as someone said it's a placeholder, we know there's something skewing results we just don't know what but you have to call it something.

            1. DropBear Silver badge

              Re: Too early to tell. @dropbear

              Sorry to return to this thread, but in my book "we are missing $236571 in our balance, therefore there's definitely an unknown quantity of -$236571 operating in the universe" is simply called "bullshit". If you can tell me "well the orbit of Mercury has always been a teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeny bit off, and that -$236571 you mentioned would explain the discrepancy perfectly" then I'll be inclined to accept you found something meaningful, but just plugging a hole with an invented plug of "just the right size" for no other good reason just doesn't cut it with me, sorry. "1+1= -5 PLUS FUCKING MAGIC FOR NO FUCKING GOOD REASON" is charlatanism, not science. Feel free to convince me otherwise, but be advised you'll need to bring along unrelated and well-founded arguments.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: I think it's time to admit we don't have such a good idea about what's going on

      You need to listen to this.

    3. cyfahead

      Re: Too early to tell.

      16 Up votes versus 16 Down votes !! You are spot on. Congratulations... IT IS DEFINITELY 'TOO EARLY TO TELL'!!!!

      Talking of turning things on their heads... I have this theory...

      Its not Gravity that sucks... but the 'aether' that is pushing back at all this stuff that the big bang produced. The more massive the stuff is the harder aether pushes back at it. That's why Dark Energy is concentrated around Matter. That and the unaccounted for Momentum in spinning Black Holes, neutron stars and galactic objects.

      Dark Matter... Oh, that's just the anti-matter that we cannot detect! It hangs around the matter it was created with.. negative gravity is attracted by positive gravity, but the negative grav anti-matter stuff pushes hard against the adjacent anti-matter the closer the bits are squeezed together as they crowd in on real Matter and so can never get close enough to the real stuff to annihilate the whole lot. The closer they get the harder they push against each other and the less likely they are to meet any real matter.

      Should that ever happen you would of course get one h**ll of an explosion, quite a Big Bang in fact...

      Hmmm mmm mm m?

  4. Byz

    I'd put good money...

    On Einstein not being wrong.

    As a physicist I have seen this so many times and Einstein wins every time.

    Gravitational waves were discovered before they even ran tests on the detection equipment, they turned on the detector and there they were :o

    Also Einstein's work is based on very simple principles all other theories are based on very complicated hypotheses so are more likely to fail.

    Special and General Relativity have been tested to very precise levels (10^16) even quantum mechanics is only accurate to (10^8) - Voyager passing Jupiter.

    tick list

    1) does is break the second law of thermodynamics, if so fail !!!!

    2) does it contradict General Relativity, if so fail !!

    1. Keef

      Re: I'd put good money...

      I don't think anyone is accusing Big Al of being wrong as such.

      His observations, thoughts and conclusions have proven to be a wonderful model and will continue to be whatever we observe/conclude/prove in the future.

      But there is something we are missing as we still don't have a Theory Of Everything.

      I'd hope as a physicist your mind is more open to being shown a new theory than most.

      And that might mean some of the things believed to be true now are wrong, maybe not very wrong, but maybe not exactly right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd put good money...

        And, as credulous as I am, I do remember being promised the Grand Unified Theory of Everything, any time now (so keep those grant dollars coming, implied) - over 25 years ago. It seems Aristotle was right when he said "The more you know, the more you know you don't know."

    2. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: I'd put good money...

      > As a physicist I have seen this so many times and Einstein wins every time.

      Actually, Einstein's late fight with some parts of quantum mechanics seems, at this moment, quite misguided. There is a rather general consensus that in fact ‘god plays dice with the universe’. There are no hidden variables, the Bell's inequalities are violated and while quantum mechanics does not permit transmitting information faster than the speed of light, there is something odd with entangled particles from the relativity standpoint: Bell inequalities are violated even when no information could not propagate between the two parts of the experiment.

      So, fail.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd put good money...

      >As a physicist I have seen this so many times and Einstein wins every time.

      Yep ask that Italian guy who thought neutrinos went faster than c what happens when you try to kill the king and miss. Your ass gets cold fusioned.

      1. ZSn

        Re: I'd put good money...

        They didn't think it went faster than light - their results said it did. Half the group thought that it was an experimental error, the other half probably thought so too, but published it anyway.

        In science there is no 'King' (so what about Dirac et al then?), just cold hard facts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd put good money...

          And coming up with a theory getting cold hard facts consistently right is why we put one dude on money and quickly forget about the rest. Still from what I understand the irony being the world of science was already waiting for special/general relatively to come together and it was actually the quanta of light that was Einsteins brilliant discovery out of left field.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd put good money...

      1) does is break the second law of thermodynamics, if so fail !!!!

      It means you are actually in a simulation with "make do" pseudo physics.

      Then the Universal WIndows 10 upgrade kicks in....

  5. Len Goddard

    Not wrong, just not completely right

    It is quite possible that Einstein's equations do not hold on the largest scales. His theory could be an excellent description of the physics of the universe we could detect and measure 50 years ago but inadequate to completely describe the universe we can now see - just like Newton's equations are good enough for everything in the solar system except the perihelion precession of Mercury and GPS devices.

    At some stage we have to have a theory which will unite quantum mechanics and relativity. It has to give the same results as both those theories as currently verified so it will probably manifest as unexpected results in new or more precise measurements. Now we just need a Newton/Einstein level genius to have a dose of inspiration and come up with an explanation. Of course, there is no rule to say that it has to make sense to us ...

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Not wrong, just not completely right

      "At some stage we have to have a theory which will unite quantum mechanics and relativity." -- Len Goddard

      This is my thinking but a tiny voice asks me "do we?" Is there any sense in which we could end up with incompatible but accurate theories and an undecidability problem? Sort of like choosing between ZF and ZFC? (The large set of people who know more maths than me may laugh and/or downvote according to their personal preference, but I'd be glad of some expert input!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not wrong, just not completely right

        " Is there any sense in which we could end up with incompatible but accurate theories and an undecidability problem?"

        An undecidable problem is a known issue with number theory and so on. But to say an undecidable problem physically exists in nature implies there are two distinct rules in effect for the universe. in order to end up with an undecidable universe.

    2. MrDamage

      Re: Not wrong, just not completely right

      "Now we just need a Newton/Einstein level genius to have a dose of inspiration and come up with an explanation."

      Unfortunately, most of my inspiration comes from a tequila bottle, but that only leads me to find new ways to butcher songs in a karaoke bar.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Not wrong, just not completely right

        "Unfortunately, most of my inspiration comes from a tequila bottle"

        Most of my inspiration seem to come from a (fairly polluted) atmosphere, and worse, it seems I have to keep expiring most of it right back out shortly thereafter. No wonder I have no earth-shattering insights under conditions like these...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The third option is that Einstein's theories of gravitation are wrong, or at least in serious need of revision. That opens up a whole new can of worms.

    OK, so let us open that can of worms, after all that is how science learns new things.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. cyfahead

      Its amazing how inspirational an afternoon of fishing (or walking, or watching a waterfall) can be!!!

      It is rumoured that some even used to take a bath for inspiration....

      I am sure I heard that somewhere. Either way it as all 'fishing', when you have a problem on your mind.

  7. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Newtown, Einstein, and...?

    Newtown was consider right until things started moving at speeds closer to c. What we discovered, wasn't that Newtown was wrong, just that his theory didn't work at a certain scale.

    It could be that we're reaching something similar with general relativity. It's not that it's wrong, just that it needs adjustment at certain scales.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Newtown, Einstein, and...?

      Very friggin far from a spelling or grammar nazi but Newtown should be Newton right? Or did I just get trolled.

    2. Chemist

      Re: Newtown, Einstein, and...?

      "Newtown was consider right until things started moving at speeds closer to c. What we discovered, wasn't that Newtown was wrong, just that his theory didn't work at a certain scale.

      Newton can be be considered to be approximately correct for aspects of gravity. But his theory does not accurately predict even the orbit of Mercury, and has nothing to say about the effects of gravity on time etc.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Newtown, Einstein, and...?

        Are we talking about the same Newton that was an Alchemist and (apparently co-incidentally) also worked for the Royal Mint?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was it Hoyle who suggested that the Hubble constant may actually vary with time ?

    1. MrDamage

      Murphys Law of Mathematics states

      Constants aren't and Variables won't.

  9. asdf Silver badge

    The Big Rip

    is not a shitty 80s movie.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See, see

    I told the Universe to stop with the pizza, now look at the result!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: See, see

      Yes, the Universe is female. She lies about her weight!

  11. julianh72

    RE: "our calculation on the effects of dark energy could be wrong"

    "Firstly, our calculation on the effects of dark energy could be wrong. Dark energy, which can't be detected on current instruments, is already causing the expansion of the universe and may have additional properties that theorists haven't accounted for."

    Surely the fundamental problem is that we don't know what Dark Energy is, or have anything like a coherent theory of how it works - so what chance is there that our "calculations" (guesswork?) would be right?!

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: RE: "our calculation on the effects of dark energy could be wrong"

      I thought with dark matter we are still pretty much clueless but dark energy they pretty sure is vacuum energy. The only problem being accounting for why there isn't more dark energy really.

  12. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    MOND ?

    If the MOND theory is correct then the Dark Energy and Dark Matter theories will go the way of the phlogiston theory of fire.

    (The MOND theory explains the galaxy rotation paradox by gravity having a very weak 1/r field as well as the much stronger 1/r^2 field. For more details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics )

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: MOND ?

      MOND is not even a theory, it's adapting a formula to observation with no theory to buttress it .

      1. cyfahead

        Re: MOND ?

        ...much like Dark Energy and Dark Matter?

        ..of course to get back to my Theory of Everything, if the Aether is so resentful of being pushed around by all this MattI stuff, and his "Anty Mater", (they are Finish..) and is pushing back at both of them then you get this interesting effect in the region of a Galaxy....

        Remember that the Galaxy we see is Matter, and Anty Mater is crowding in hard but getting nowhere close the the middle. In fact sort of squashed in at the outer regions, just managing to split some matter out there into spirals because there is more of Anty Mater out there pushing in than there is Matter pushing in ( so you will find, when you can detect the stuff, Dark Matter 'encasing' the galactic spirals.. mark my words!). Now because there is all this pushing and shoving activity going on out there at the edge of the galaxy there has to be lost more kinetic energy around. Energy which will tend to adopt the directionality of what is already moving and speed it up beyond what we poor mortals had expected... so much so in fact that it is this excess speed (i.e. the speed above the characteristic angular velocity of the entire galactic structure0 in the outer layers of the galaxy that in increasingly pushing past the slower inner Matter (Anty M and all..) that causes the spiral arms to form. Simply the outer bits slowly overtaking the inner bits creating arcs of from 'layered pushing' rather than from the frictional effects of air upon Catherine Wheel particles as we are used to when we play with fireworks.

        Simples.... can I go and have a bath now? I feel a Eureka moment coming on.

    2. mosw

      Re: MOND ?

      Such a theory might be able to model dark energy but it won't likely work for dark matter.

      Gravitation lensing has been used to as a means to observe the concentrations of dark matter (whatever it may be) around remote galaxies. These observations indicate that concentrations vary independently of the amount of visible matter. So a simple change to the gravitational equation is unlikely to fit these observations.

  13. corestore

    Or... time?

    I recall reading a fascinating new theory - or conjecture - that turns everything on its head: it suggests that the apparent observed change in rate of expansion which lead to the necessity of inventing this unobserved and perhaps unobservable 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' (perhaps the mythical 'ether' of the 21st century?) is just that - an *apparent* change; the true underlying mechanism is that *time itself* is slowing down and will - eventually - stop entirely. It's an elegant conjecture certainly.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Or... time?

      > is that *time itself* is slowing down

      Sure I will get torn to shred by boffins on here with my decidedly arm chair physics knowledge but I thought time was largely a change in entropy in the universe. Wouldn't you need a mechanism to explain why the rate of entropy would be changing?

      edit: nevermind, looks like arrow of time != time itself.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Or... time?

        Knowing my luck, time will grind to a halt and we will all be stuck in a dreary, wet, Sunday afternoon in October.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or... time?

      "Time slowing down" doesn't really make sense. A second will always be a second to you. You may have places with different clock speeds of course, which we have currently in gravitational wells.

  14. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Pint

    What does this mean to me?

    Will the time between Monday and Pubday pass 5-9% faster?

    1. Only me!
      Unhappy

      Re: What does this mean to me?

      I not sure it does mean that time will go faster......but you will have 5%-9% further to walk there!!!!!

  15. Tromos
    Joke

    In order to pin down a value for the Hubble constant, it first needs to be renamed as the Hubble variable. This is based on one of the well established laws of Sod as applied to computing, namely "Constants aren't and variables won't."

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Except there are other constants in the universe that ARE holding: like Avogadro's Constant and Planck's Constant. If either of those constants AREN'T, then we have more serious problems at hand.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. asdf Silver badge

        Supposedly the fine-structure constant has changed very slightly in the past but I still don't buy it. Needless to say we are talking a tiny amount because if that one changes much as you say we have some serious problems at hand.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Supposedly the fine-structure constant has changed very slightly in the past

          No, follow-up observations to that idea from 2000 or so have not shown any significant evidence that this happened.

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Kind of what I figured. Constants changing get headlines but anytime you have to explain something by changing the laws of physics the problem is with your theory (handful of exceptions aside).

  16. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Did they (Team Riess*, WMAP, PlanckSat) all look in the same place? (Yes I know, they all looked at the ovservable universe, duh.) The point I'm trying to make is: the universe might not be expanding in a homogenous way. Some parts of it may be travelling at other speeds than other parts, so to speak. After all, the observable matter in the universe isn't distributed equally/homogenuous; it seems the Big Bang didn't create a perfect sphere of expanding spacetime and matter but something a bit irregular and, in search of a better word, bubbly.

    * Adam Riess - I always read that as 'Adam Riese' first, and keep having flashbacks from my time in primary school. Is it just me?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. asdf Silver badge

      >. After all, the observable matter in the universe isn't distributed equally/homogenuous

      At the largest scales (observational scale of roughly 100 Mpc) it is to an very high degree, like 1 in 10^5. Technically yes it not completely homogenous but for the vast majority of practical purposes its safe to assume it is.

  17. thondwe

    Quantum theory has history too

    Atoms where it, then Atoms where sets of particles, then particles were waves/smaller particles/strings...

    Quantum theory - we need a new particle, then we've found it, then we need another one... So are there just infinite possibilities? New model needed?

    We're fish in a pond trying to work out where the water's coming from/going to - lots of models/theories will work, but without being outside looking in we'll never really know

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quantum theory has history too

      No, the Standard Model looks suspiciously complete but deep question remain about whether Quantum Field Theory is actually "the thing" or an approximation to "the thing" + large question remain about what it actually says or whether other descriptions would shed better light on the going-ons in what can only be called the SUBSTRATE.

  18. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Obligatory xkcd

    https://xkcd.com/1489/

    "Of these four forces, there's one we don't really understand."

    "Is it the weak force or the strong--"

    "It's gravity."

  19. 4thFloorPenny

    Cooper v Kuthrapali

    I just can't wait to see who mentions this on the next season of The Big Bang Theory!

  20. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    Dark Energy

    It's a fudge anyway, the more fudge "Dark Matter" you estimate, the more of it needed.

    I don't see a problem with equations, only with fudge. Less Dark Energy solves it. Or less Dark matter, and less Dark Energy.

    Likely the only "problem" is the Dark fudge previously added.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Dark Energy

      The dark side also has fudge? I thought they only had cookies!

      Count me in!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dark Energy

        Definitely fudge is on the Dark Side

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKbLquqxBAQ

    2. D@v3

      Re: mmmmmmmmmmmmm

      Dark fudge...........

    3. Gobhicks

      Re: Dark Energy

      Dark Fudge - my new favourite band, especially their killer tune, Big Bang Baby. If they don't exist, it will be necessary to create them.

  21. Chris Hexter
    Coat

    Dark Energy

    The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dark Energy

      Harry Potter, please!

  22. Matthew Taylor

    MiHsC

    MiHsC, developed by Mike McCulloch, offers an alternative model for inertia, which works well in large, low acceleration situations. It predicts galaxy rotation accurately, without any need of additional dark matter. I wonder if it might apply in this situation.

  23. Esme

    My hypothesis

    is that, despite what some experiments have reported, that the space we live in isn't Euclidean (it just appears so on sufficiently small scales (as in a durned sightlarger than galazies 'small') and that some of the oddness we are trying to grapple with comes down to the effect that has on how things like gravity and electomagnetic radiation interact with the universe about it.

    It seems to me that we ought to be in a universe with elliptic geometry*, which implies that if you model the universe as being Euclidean, your calculations fail over large distances, because ther eisn;t as much 'there' 'Out There' as you think there is. With interesting possible consequences for how gravitation behaves over large distances. Which, sadly, I'm not up to working out (or haven;t managed to yet, anyway).

    But I'm strictly an amateur, that simply enjoys thinking about this stuff for fun. I look forward to finding out what the active scientists find out over the next few years..

    Esme

    *because, for various reasons, I'm convinced that what we consider to be the universe must be the inside of something that is, functionally, a humungous black hole. Let's not go into whether that may be part of a larger 'multiverse' just now, or we'll be here all weekend, and there's a bottle of wine at home with my name on it!

    1. Nixinkome

      Re: My hypothesis

      Sorry if this spoils anyone's weekend but I thought I'd read that large, somewhat local, galactic clusters were shrinking due to gravitational forces but that the distances between them were expanding with the universe as is, due to 'other' forces.

      Thus:

      The established theories and constants can remain - it's just the interpretation of the latest figures that may be wrong.

      We don't have to disturb Esme and the bottle of wine with talk of multiverses this weekend.

      I've always dreamed of dark, chocolately toffee not fudge but either is not good for teeth and sugar levels.

      Where's amanfrommars 1 when these questions arise?

      No matter [haha], I've enjoyed reading this lot.

  24. Palf

    Forget that old theory

    Looks like we need DARKER Energy.

  25. Quotes
    Alien

    Distance to Mars

    The new value is 66.53 (plus or minus 0.62) kilometers per second per megaparsec (3.26 million light-years). That means in 9.8 billion years the distance between cosmic objects will double.

    So, the distance from Earth to Mars is increasing at roughly 5 metres per year.

    Is this being factored into the fuel estimates for forthcoming expeditions?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Distance to Mars

      That's not how it works.

      No "universal expansion" in gravitationally bound systems ... in the same way as there is no expansion of atoms in a rapidly expanding cloud of gas.

      You would see local effects if the expansion acceleration accelerated ... I think. Someone more au fait with the math may shed light on this.

  26. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    Corn Syrup

    Gotta be corn syrup. We eat tons of the stuff in the US and we're expanding faster than we should. Next thing they'll discover is that the universe has diabetes...

  27. YARR

    I wonder if Bill Gaede's rope hypothesis can explain this observation?

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    God did it

    The end.

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