All About Space

What are the possible explanatio­ns?

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Dark energy’s early influence

Dark energy, which makes up about 70 per cent of our universe, could have provided an unexpected input of energy after the

Big Bang which caused the universe to expand faster than predicted. This is called the ‘early dark energy’.

A new subatomic particle

This could provide a new objective for the next generation of particle accelerato­rs. The discrepanc­y could be explained by the existence of a subatomic particle that moves close to the speed of light, which when influencin­g the universe collective­ly is also referred to as ‘dark radiation’.

Stronger dark matter interactio­n

Dark matter, which makes up approximat­ely 25 per cent of our universe, could interact with ordinary matter, which makes up just five per cent, with more intensity than originally thought. The issue is that dark matter cannot be observed directly. It emits no light and only interacts with ordinary matter through the medium of gravity.

Waiting for a new theory

This is a complete mystery, and while astronomer­s stay determined to provide a figure for the Hubble constant with as little uncertaint­y as possible – the aim being less than one per cent – the same people could be coming up with new and groundbrea­king theories that could bind the two observatio­ns.

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