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Space Science

Galaxy Clusters' Stunted Growth Confirms Dark Energy 167

Posted by kdawson
from the glimmer-of-fur dept.
A new study of 86 galaxy clusters in the early universe has provided independent confirmation of the existence of dark energy. In its absence, gravity's pull should have caused the number of clusters to increase by a factor of 50 over the last 5.5 billion years. What is observed is a factor of 10 increase. "Together with earlier observations... the new data strengthen the suspicion — but do not prove — that dark energy is a weird antigravity called the cosmological constant that was hypothesized and then abandoned by Albert Einstein as a 'blunder' almost a century ago. If that is true, the universe is fated to empty itself out eventually, and all but the Milky Way's closest neighbors will eventually be out of sight. ... Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins and the Space Telescope Science Institute, said: 'If this was a fox hunt and dark energy was the fox, I think they have closed off another escape route. But there is still a lot of terrain left for the fox, and we've seen little more than a glimmer of fur.'"
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Galaxy Clusters' Stunted Growth Confirms Dark Energy

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  • I love how one part of logic can necessitate the existence of this dark energy, but the other questions how most of our universe can be made up by something we cannot see. Oh science, why are you such a cruel mistress.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, I often wonder about how I manage to breathe. There's all this stuff I can't see, and I'm not really sure it's really there.

      (Hint: Just because something doesn't interact with photons doesn't make it pseudo-scientific.)

      • Re:Logic (Score:5, Funny)

        by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @03:40AM (#26142663)

        You think that's air you're breathing now?

        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by StarfishOne (756076)

          No, I nearly died choking on my lunch when I read your reply. ;O

      • by jabithew (1340853)

        (Hint: Just because something doesn't interact with photons doesn't make it pseudo-scientific.)

        *cough*

        Air does interact with photons. Just not ones we've evolved to see. Because, you know, what would be the point otherwise?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by maxwell demon (590494)

          It also interacts with the photons we can see. Otherwise, the refractive index of air would be exactly 1, instead of 1.00029

          • by jabithew (1340853)

            That's really interesting, I didn't know that.

            Is the effect too small to notice or do our brains compensate?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      Yes, what an impossible thing. To think, that humans, the pathetic little barely-smarter-than-a-chimp creatures on a rock in the middle of nowhere might have... *gasp* limits ;)

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by Snaller (147050)

        That comment is ample proof that the wrong people are allowed to moderate here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by floodo1 (246910)
      The part of logic that "necessitates" the existence of dark energy is inductive logic, which relies on inferences. Right now the evidence infers that dark matter exists, but as is the case with all inferences it could be wrong. Hence TFA stating that this discovery adds to the evidence but does not PROVE its existence (which would be deductive logic).

      In either case dark matter may not be necessary at all. This is because in logic necessary has a hugely different meaning than the way you used it :( To quo
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MindKata (957167)
        "In either case dark matter may not be necessary at all"

        I agree dark matter may not be the correct answer, but more like, the current best fit answer, given current available evidence. One concept that could explain what is going on, without the need for dark matter, is the idea of Dark Flow.

        If Dark Flow can be proven, (big if?! ... Instant Nobel Prize winningly big if?!), but joking aside, if Dark Flow can be totally proven, then it would mean our idea of the universe, is simply only based on our visi
    • Yes, because it's just "Lets say this is happening" without other facts it corrilates to, and mountains of evidence that says it has to be there.

      Provide the same for another viewpoint without starting out at the proposed solution and your argument may be taken more seriously. But I'm sure armchair physicists who haven't taken the time to understand astrophysics know more then those who have dedicated their lives to the practice.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect [wikipedia.org]
    • by Facetious (710885)
      Damn straight. Dark Energy seems to have a lot more in common with magic than science. I, for one, view it as a conjecture patch to fix a broken theory.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @02:35AM (#26142399)
    Galaxy Clusters' Stunted Growth Confirms Dark Energy

    "Together with earlier observations... the new data strengthen the suspicion â" but do not prove â" that dark energy is a weird antigravity called the cosmological constant that was hypothesized and then abandoned by Albert Einstein as a 'blunder' almost a century ago.

    Wait, what?
    • by osu-neko (2604) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @05:17AM (#26143073)

      Dictionary: confirm

      1. To support or establish the certainty or validity of; verify.
      2. To make firmer; strengthen

      See definition 2. Incidentally, in science, "confirm" always means 2. Certainty is impossible to establish using the scientific method. An experiment that produces the expected result confirms the theory, but certainly does not prove it.

      • What about the scientific consensus though? CNN tells me that the scientific consensus is that Global Warming is real.

      • I hope you don't try to evaluate regexps in your head.

        1) ((To support) || (establish) ) ( (the certainty) || (validity of) ); verify.

        Number one works--to support the validity of.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Isn't dark energy a general name for whatever it is that causes our universe do things that aren't explained by our equations?

      So I guess this confirms Dark Energy even more because it invalidates even more equations than before. So it isn't the old equations that are wrong; it is only because part of the equation does not include variable D.

      • by Urkki (668283)

        Nope. Dark energy is something that fits into our current equations. But we don't know what it is, and there are several alternatives that match the observations.

        Then there's the alternative explanation, that our equations are wrong and there is no dark energy.

        The support seems to be gathering on the side of dark energy (and dark matter too) being real, but it's still far from being "a fact".

  • Fox Hunt? (Score:5, Funny)

    by GradiusCVK (1017360) <(originalcvk) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @02:38AM (#26142413)

    Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins and the Space Telescope Science Institute, said: 'If this was a fox hunt and dark energy was the fox, I think they have closed off another escape route. But there is still a lot of terrain left for the fox, and we've seen little more than a glimmer of fur.'

    Hmmm, not sure if I follow, someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like what he's saying is that if this were a highway chase and dark energy were a criminal's car, then they have placed a police car as a barracade in the way... but there's still a lot of exits around, and we've only seen a glimmer of chrome?

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @03:02AM (#26142499)

      You got it wrong, he wasn't talking about fox, the animal, but about Fox Mulder.

      Dark energy is what took his sister to a distant galaxy and that distance is growing every day. The FBI are closing escape routes, but the dark energetic abductor has still much galaxy to run.

      The glimer of fur thing must be a reference to the sister.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Xest (935314)

      Seeing as fox hunting involves a bunch of extremely rich (inherited rich, never worked a minute in their life rich) people with a taste for animal blood riding horses around, sending a small army of dogs after a fox and ripping it to shreds just for the sake of it, I think your analogy is actually better.

      I'm not sure there are many rich physicists out there that ride horses round their labs wearing red jackets and joppers, nor am I sure how dogs would help track down dark matter but I am at least sure it's

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by grahamd0 (1129971)

        ...nor am I sure how dogs would help track down dark matter...

        Duh! You take one of dark matter's old socks give the tracking dogs a whiff. It doesn't take an astro-physicist to figure that out.

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        Seeing as fox hunting involves a bunch of extremely rich... and ripping it to shreds just for the sake of it

        Except in Australia where Foxes devastate the native wildlife.

        And hunting foxes is hard, you rarely see them in the day and at night, when you hunt them you can only see the gleam in their eyes, which they learn to close so they can hide - very cunning animal. In the meantime they have ripped apart thousands of species of birds and marsupials, so if those "extremely rich" want to come over here and

        • They're also intelligent and very arrogant, one walked past where I was bar-be-queing, not more than 3m away; he looked me dead into the eye, threw his nose up into the air, arched his back, curled his tail and began prancing to taunt me!

    • He was saying that they need someone named John Peel on the project to make any progress, along with his assistants Ruby, Ranter, Royal,Bellman and True. (Those who are thinking of the public school educated DJ rather than the Cumberland farmer should refer to this page [sterlingtimes.org] though I disagree slightly with the version of the song there.
  • by RuBLed (995686) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @02:48AM (#26142449)
    It's not dark energy, it's your mom [xkcd.com]!
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @02:49AM (#26142453)

    If that is true, the universe is fated to empty itself out eventually, and all but the Milky Way's closest neighbors will eventually be out of sight.

    Not only that, but depending upon the key value of state w, the ratio between dark energy pressure and its energy density, if the value of w is less than -1 then the universe will eventually be pulled apart as the rate of expansion begins to accelerate towards infinity. First the nearest galactic clusters will fade from view, then the nearest galaxies in our cluster, then the stars in our galaxy. Finally, approximately three months before the end, the solar system itself will become gravitationaly unbound, in the last minutes stars and planets will be torn apart, and finally, an instant before the end of everything individual atoms and their subatomic pieces will be ripped into ever smaller pieces until there is nothing left (i.e. the last bits just wink out of existence). The end, if it were to occur in this way, is around 50 billion years, or approximately 3.8 times the current known age of the universe, into the future. This hypothesis is known colloquially as the Big Rip [wikipedia.org].

    • by ChangelingJane (1042436) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @03:42AM (#26142675)
      Until they find yet another force we didn't know about, and the model changes again... Hopefully this will keep happening over and over, because all of these different end-of-the-universe theories are morbidly fascinating.
    • by MRe_nl (306212)

      "And AC said: "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" And there was light--"

    • by ErkDemon (1202789) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @08:52AM (#26143933) Homepage
      That timescale may not take into account the additional effects of the expansion on local rates of timeflow. You can have an extended version of the Hartle-Hawking bubble in which there's a larger conservation law between massenergy and spacetime, and the local rate of timeflow goes towards infinity as the background massenergy density goes towards zero (think of this as the inverse of the gravitational time dilation efect). [wikipedia.org]

      In that sort of model, the Hubble redshift is only proportional to the expansion ratio as a first approximation (whose range is roughly analogous to the range within the elastic limit of a spring).
      There then becomes an upper limit to the possible size of the universe, that corresponds to the total (finite) massenergy contained within it. As we approach that limit, things unravel. The resulting increase in atomic instability can then be expressed as an effect of decreased nominal inertial mass due to the reduced background field strength (nuclear stability is a function of inertia).

      But a decrease in local inertia also corresponds to an increase in the local rate of timeflow. The absolute end of the universe then represents a point in time where the nominal rate of timeflow is infinite (although, by then, there's nothing left to measure it with), so the period at which the universe nominally ends, measured in "insider-time", is in the infinitely far future. Okay, so its not quite infinitely far away, because the last proton evaporates at a finite time, but the timescale is effectively infinite to most intents and purposes, as far as we're concerned.

      The advantage of this form of time-scaling is that it tidies up the Hartle-Hawking model - it allows the "equator" of the H-H bubble to represent the apparent end of the universe for insiders, and to be totally smooth. This removes the messiness that we'd otherwise tend to get when the bubble reaches its maximum size and parts of it start to contract. Contraction implies reversed entropic timeflow, so the HH bubble has a problem in that an observer living through the expansion-contraction region might see some mightily strange things going on. Some regions might be seen to be ageing in opposite directions to others. But if the interior rate of timeflow goes to infinity at the equator (as the angle of "proper" time approaches the angle of axial time, and its angle with the radial time-parameter 'a' tends to 90 degrees), then interior detail is totally erased at the equator, and the apparent inconsistencies with observerspace physics disappear ... you can never survive a transition past the equator, and the event-meshes of each hemisphere are isolated from each other by the equatorial evaporation zone.

      The expansion and contraction phases of the bubble then both effectively belong to two separate universes, both of which think they're expanding, and both with opposite senses of proper time. The equatorial evaporation zone keeps both sets of causalities isolated, and prevents nasty messy phase transitions where the two "worlds" collide.

      If we look at the geometry of one hemisphere of the extended H-H bubble model, and we use axial time as our reference, or we take a tangent to a given zone and extend that zone's local sense of proper time as as a straight line to give us our time-reference for the rest of the bubble, then what we end up with is a description that seems to describe a "Big Rip" at a definite, finite time. Our projection tells us that the universe contents speed up and start to "fizz and whizz" at an increasing rate before finally disappearing altogether. But to physics performed inside that universe, things aren't hotting up, they're cooling down -- instead of matter mysteriously evaporating after few billion years, it's decaying more conventionally over rather vaster timescales.

      Cosmological timescales and reference systems

      The thing one has to be careful o

      • I honestly can't tell if you're incredibly insightful or just adding words after one another. My brain hurts either way.
  • blunder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sstory (538486) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @03:00AM (#26142489) Homepage
    (Sigh). Everytime I see a story about the cosmological constant I have to see the obligatory "that dark energy is a weird antigravity called the cosmological constant that was hypothesized and then abandoned by Albert Einstein as a 'blunder' almost a century ago." as if Einstein was so smart he predicted dark energy 100 years ago. No. He put a term in the equation to stabilize the universe, which was then thought to be static, against gravity. Then it turned out the universe wasn't static, it was expanding. That was the blunder. If there's an outward force, as there now seems to be, you'd put a term in the same place. But it's based on new data. I'm sick and tired of the "Aha! Einstein was right all along and he didn't even know it!" comment that has to be stuffed in every cosmological constant story these days.
    • Re:blunder (Score:5, Funny)

      by reallyjoel (1262642) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @03:39AM (#26142657)
      Bah, you're not so smart, who do you think you are, Einstein?
    • There's a few annoying science memes like that. The one that always makes me cringe is when people claim that the idea of atoms in physics originated with the Greek philosophers.
    • by khallow (566160)

      I'm sick and tired of the "Aha! Einstein was right all along and he didn't even know it!" comment that has to be stuffed in every cosmological constant story these days.

      Still it is mostly accurate anecdote. The only real problem with it is that it gets overused.

    • True. Look at it this way, if Einstien had known about dark energy and the 'big rip', he probably would have put yet another term in his equations to balance everything out and make the universe last forever.

      The point of the constant wasn't science, it was designed to make his science line up with his philosophy. People just don't like to hear that Einstien could fall into the same kind of trap that creationists and and young earthers fall for.

  • And I who thought that theories cannot be confirmed by real-world observations, only supported. ...as the blurb also mentions, actually.
  • ...reportedly spinning and expanding by a factor of 50 as he realizes he shouldn't have called it a blunder. :-)
  • by little1973 (467075) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @04:17AM (#26142829)

    I believe that our knowledge about the universe is quite limited. I can imagine the scientists of the future will laugh about how we could seriously consider dark matter and dark energy. I think it is quite possible that gravity behaves differently over great distances (and I know about the latest "evidence" of dark matter where the dark matter was "imaged" but it is an indirect evidence, there may be other things up in the universe's sleeve which causes this).

    I believe there will be another Einstein who will shed light upon this "mistery" and everything will be simple again.

    • by Zdzicho00 (912806)
      Exactly like you have written, there already exist explanation for this:
      http://www.engon.de/protosimplex/posdzech/px_g_gravi1e.htm [engon.de]

      Read more here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heim_theory [wikipedia.org]
      /Joss
    • 'I believe there will be another Einstein who will shed light upon this "mistery" and everything will be simple again.' well put. what worries me is it hasn't happened even with the internets...?
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      I believe there will be another Einstein who will shed light upon this "mistery" and everything will be simple again.

      Simple again?

      Whan was the last time everything was simple?

      I'm thinking caveman's "If you don't know how something works, it must be a spirit".

    • by Urkki (668283)

      I believe that our knowledge about the universe is quite limited. I can imagine the scientists of the future will laugh about how we could seriously consider dark matter and dark energy.

      I don't think scientists will laugh about it. I mean, there was phloginston, there was lamarckism, there was aether. We don't laugh about 19th century scintists considering them and taking them seriously. We might laugh if somebody still considered them seriously after a mountain of evidence showing they're not true.

      I believe there will be another Einstein who will shed light upon this "mistery" and everything will be simple again.

      Uh huh. I find "dark matter" and "dark energy" to be remarkably simple ideas.

      Especially "dark matter" is very intuitive. I mean, it's pretty certain that there are particles we don't know about.

  • einstein was a goddam genius. the world needs another einstein. Maybe we could clone him ;P
  • Link to full paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mwahaha (824185) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @05:00AM (#26142997)
    For those interested the full paper is here [arxiv.org]. Apart from a couple of cosmological parameters they don't really improve previous estimates. It's still nice though that all the parameters agree very well with the previous (CMB + Supernova 1a) data with a completely independent method, hence the confirmation talk. I think though if there had been disagreement our understanding of clusters would have been blamed first. So in some senses this confirmed the current cluster models more than the cosmological constant, but that's not as 'sexy'!
  • by ghostdoc (1235612) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @05:05AM (#26143031)

    So let me get this straight...we have Dark Matter because there's not enough gravity within a galaxy to explain the observations, and Dark Energy because there's too much gravity between galaxies to explain the observations.

    Surely Occam's Razor comes into play here? Surely it's obviously simpler to say 'we've got the maths wrong for gravity beyond solar system scale' and start again at the chalkboard?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Zdzicho00 (912806)
      Heim Theory got Simple explanation for that. Every field got "field mass" associated with it:
      http://www.engon.de/protosimplex/posdzech/px_g_gravi1e.htm [engon.de]

      Because of equivalence of mass and energy Heim says there must also exist a field mass of the field energy of each field. However in case of gravitational field this results in a secondary (very weak) additional gravitative source because a field mass possesses its own gravitational field.
      In a volume V0 there is mass which may be distributed in any kin
    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @07:15AM (#26143533) Homepage

      Surely Occam's Razor comes into play here? Surely it's obviously simpler to say 'we've got the maths wrong for gravity beyond solar system scale' and start again at the chalkboard?

      Well, from what I've understood adjusting the constant of gravity would explain some things but would make other predictions incorrect again. All in all, dark matter / dark energy is causing less headaches than the opposite, so unless you can pair it off with some other theory to make the world right again it won't get accepted.

    • by jandersen (462034) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @08:48AM (#26143897)

      Surely Occam's Razor comes into play here? Surely it's obviously simpler to say 'we've got the maths wrong for gravity beyond solar system scale' and start again at the chalkboard?

      Which is, in effect what we are saying. However, it makes little sense to simply scratch the whole, current understanding of the world and start over; introducing an assumption that gravity behaves differently outside a certain distance begs the question why it should be so, and we don't have any compelling answer to that.

      My own favourite, which admittedly comes out of thin air, is that negative gravity corresponds to negative mass. If you look at the classical equation as a rough approximation, you'll see that a negative mass should repel a positive mass, but attract another negative mass. Intuitively this seems to potientially explain the "dark energy" phenomenon, and it might explain how, at the beginning, mass seems to have been created from nothing - perhaps an equal amount of positive and negative mass was created, so that mass was preserved, in total, and then it exploded apart. How about that for an explanation?

      • by nasch (598556)

        introducing an assumption that gravity behaves differently outside a certain distance begs the question why it should be so, and we don't have any compelling answer to that.

        If I'm not mistaken, we don't have any answer as to why gravity should exist at all. Is there ever a scientific answer to "why" questions about fundamental forces? Why does a positive electric charge attract a negative one, for example?

        • by jandersen (462034)

          It's true that we may never know the ultimate answer to everything - that is to be hoped; once we know everything, there will be nothing new to discover and no need for scientific inquistiveness. But I think we can and should always try to see if we can derive our understanding from more basic principles. Perhaps it is not massthat is the cause of gravity, but instead it is gravity that causes mass? Gravity on its own can be seen simply as "the shape of space-time", loosely speaking. Very loosely speaking.

          • by nasch (598556)

            Actually that's not quite what I was getting at. What I'm wondering is, are all the why questions even answerable scientifically? Could there ever be a scientific experiment or observation that demonstrates why gravity exists? I can't think how there could be.

            If science cannot determine why gravity exists, could we expect it to determine why it behaves in a particular way? Perhaps we should be content with science discovering how gravity works, and leave the why as a philosophical question.

            • by jandersen (462034)

              You "why" as in "what is the purpose"? I think that simply lies outside science; science deal with cause and effect and doesn't need to assume that there is a higher purpose. I think in a scientific context, the only valid meaning of "why" is "what is the cause".

    • by Burnhard (1031106)
      I have to agree with ghostdoc. IANAP but my instinct tells me that rather than create a new entity and adding it into current orthodoxy to explain difficult facts, one should examine current orthodoxy. The theory of Epicycles was a pretty good explanation of the movements of heavenly bodies in the Ptolemaic system, but quite wrong. I'm reminded of quite a nice quote:

      "Really new trails are rarely blazed in the great academies. The confining walls of conformist dogma are too dominating. To think original
      • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @12:18PM (#26146515) Homepage

        I have to agree with ghostdoc. IANAP

        Obviously. If you were even passingly familiar with the area, you'd realize that a) people *have* been re-examining the orthodoxy (see MOND, among other things), because, you know, some scientists are as smart as you (or perhaps even smarter) and realize that it's an interesting area of research, and b) no one has found an alternate theory that explains the current set of observations (see the Bullet Cluster, and some even more recent results).

        Honestly, what is it with laymen who somehow believe that *they* have some insight into an area that those who've been studying it their entire lives do not?

        • by Burnhard (1031106)
          I wasn't making a claim to any special knowledge of this area but I do have a healthy scepticism of scientific claims in general. In this particular case it's easy to see that either there's lots of "dark stuff" floating around out there, or our theory of gravitation is incorrect. Given the history of scientific discovery, my money would be on the latter.
    • Take a huge formula on the wall, and every test we've ever done with that formula has been 100% accurate.

      Then we look at galaxys, and they are slightly off... but always off by the same amount.

      We add a "Two" or something to a line of the formula, and suddenly, the formula works again.

      Logically, should we scrap the whole thing, and the years of perfectly accurate information the formula has provided us, or should we check to see if there is something out there that would add that "Two" so it makes s
  • by EdibleEchidna (468353) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @06:33AM (#26143363)

    Instead of proving the existence of Dark Energy, perhaps what this finding really does is prove that our models are wrong.

    I often wonder if we're looking in the wrong place for an explanation...flaws in our cosmology sound more plausible to me than weird forms of matter and energy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cnettel (836611)

      Well, if we are able to go about it in a totally different way, that the dark matter/energy estimates weren't ad hoc-adjusted to fit, and we still see that those estimates fit, it means something. It might be something else, including a weirdness in gravity, but overall the data fits well with something that is quite similar to matter.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      I often wonder if we're looking in the wrong place for an explanation...flaws in our cosmology sound more plausible to me than weird forms of matter and energy.

      Yes, because no one has been looking in other places, say modified Newtonian gravity, for alternative explanations...

      The real problem is that no one has come up with an alternative theory which both excludes dark matter/dark energy while simultaneously explaining all current observations.

  • all but the Milky Way's closest neighbors will eventually be out of sight

    Wouldn't that only happen if they were receding at greater than the speed of light? Otherwise the light would still get to us, just being dimmer because of the increased distance.

  • Probably because you spend all your nights in an observatory staring at the sky. I'd get out to the bars more and feed shots to some sorority chicks on rush week.
  • "But there is still a lot of terrain left for the fox, and we've seen little more than a glimmer of fur."

    That's a damn stretch from "confirms", especially coming from a primary in the research.

    All the study confirmed was that early galaxies appear to have behaved in a manner as though gravity were different or affected by another force. It doesn't mean they did, it means their observations can be taken that way. It doesn't mean there was dark energy, it means they don't seem to act as though they not affect

    • Dictionary: confirm

      1. To support or establish the certainty or validity of; verify.
      2. To make firmer; strengthen

      I'd say this study helps to support the validity of dark energy theory. In fact it helps to strengthen it.

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