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Dark matter may be older than the big bang, study

Dark matter may have existed before the big bang, study

Testing the origin of dark matter by observing the signatures dark matter leaves on the distribution of matter in the universe.
These galaxies are selected from a Hubble Space Telescope program to measure the expansion rate of the universe, called the Hubble constant. The value is calculated by comparing the galaxies' distances to the apparent rate of recession away from Earth (due to the relativistic effects of expanding space). By comparing the apparent brightnesses of the galaxies' red giant stars with nearby red giants, whose distances were measured with other methods, astronomers are able to determine how far away each of the host galaxies are. This is possible because red giants are reliable milepost markers because they all reach the same peak brightness in their late evolution. And, this can be used as a "standard candle" to calculate distance. Hubble's exquisite sharpness and sensitivity allowed for red giants to be found in the stellar halos of the host galaxies. The red giants were searched for in the halos of the galaxies. The center row shows Hubble's full field of view. The bottom row zooms even tighter into the Hubble fields. The red giants are identified by yellow circles. Credit: NASA, ESA, W. Freedman (University of Chicago), ESO, and the Digitized Sky Survey

New Hubble constant measurement adds to mystery of universe’s expansion rate

In a new study, scientists announced a new measurement of the Hubble constant using a kind of star known as a red giant and indicated that the expansion rate for the nearby universe is just under 70 kilometers per second per megaparsec (km/sec/Mpc).
Just as a wine glass distorts an image showing temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background in this photo illustration, large objects like galaxy clusters and galaxies can similarly distort this light to produce lensing effects. (Credit: Emmanuel Schaan and Simone Ferraro/Berkeley Lab)

New method to provide a clearer window into dark universe

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is thought to be leftover radiation from the Big Bang or the time when the universe began. Also known...
Astronomers developed a mosaic of the distant Universe, called the Hubble Legacy Field, that documents 16 years of observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The image contains 200,000 galaxies that stretch back through 13.3 billion years of time to just 500 million years after the Big Bang. The new set of Hubble images, created from nearly 7,500 individual exposures, is the first in a series of Hubble Legacy Field images. The image comprises the collective work of 31 Hubble programs by different teams of astronomers. Hubble has spent more time on this small area than on any other region of the sky, totaling more than 250 days, representing nearly three-quarters of a year. The team is working on a second set of images, totaling more than 5,200 Hubble exposures, in another area of the sky.

2,65,000 galaxies in an extensive legacy field mosaic

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has recently captured an image of a legacy field, showing 2,65,000 galaxies, each at different stages in their life cycles,...
his Hubble Space Telescope image represents a portion of the Hubble Legacy Field, one of the widest views of the universe ever made. The image, a combination of thousands of snapshots, represents 16 years' worth of observations. The Hubble Legacy Field includes observations taken by several Hubble deep-field surveys, including the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest view of the universe. The wavelength range stretches from ultraviolet to near-infrared light, capturing all the features of galaxy assembly over time. This cropped image mosaic presents a wide portrait of the distant universe and contains roughly 200,000 galaxies. They stretch back through 13.3 billion years of time to just 500 million years after the universe's birth in the big bang. Credits: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Connecticut), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), P. Oesch (University of Geneva) and the Hubble Legacy Field team

Assembling wide view of the evolving universe

Astronomers have put together the largest and most comprehensive "history book" of galaxies into one single image, using 16 years' worth of observations from...
Dark matter exists, confirms study

Dark matter exists, confirms study

Most of the universe is made up of dark energy, a mysterious force that drives the accelerating expansion of the universe. The next largest...
A representation of the timeline of the universe. Credit: WMAP Collaboration

New way to probe primordial universe before the big bang

Most everybody is familiar with the Big Bang — the notion that an impossibly hot, dense universe exploded into the one we know today....
Image of planetary nebula NGC 7027 with illustration of helium hydride molecules. In this planetary nebula, SOFIA detected helium hydride, a combination of helium (red) and hydrogen (blue), which was the first type of molecule to ever form in the early universe. This is the first time helium hydride has been found in the modern universe. Credits: NASA/ESA/Hubble Processing: Judy Schmidt

The universe’s first type of molecule is found at last

The first type of molecule that ever formed in the universe has been detected in space for the first time, after decades of searching....
An artist's illustration showing the patterns of signals generated by primordial standard clocks in different theories of the primordial universe. Top: Big Bounce. Bottom: Inflation. Credit: CfA/Zhong-Zhi Xianyu, Xingang Chen, Avi Loeb

What happened before Big Bang?

The Big Bang hypothesis is a push to clarify what occurred at the very beginning of our universe. Revelations in astronomy and physics have...