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BREAKING: Scientists have just found the ‘missing’ 70% of the universe

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It makes up most of the universe, yet hardly anything is known about the so-called Dark Energy that envelopes us.

The unusual ‘something’ – one of the great mysteries of cosmology – is believed to be an unknown force that is pushing things apart more strongly than gravity and causing the universe’s expansion to accelerate.

Now, scientists from Imperial College London believe they may finally have an explanation for the source of unknown energy — black holes.

Dr Chris Pearson, study co-author, said: ‘If the theory holds, then this is going to revolutionize the whole of cosmology.

‘At last we’ve got a solution for the origin of dark energy that’s been perplexing cosmologists and theoretical physicists for more than 20 years.’

Breakthrough: Scientists have found the first evidence that black holes are the source of dark energy. They studied galaxies and the supermassive black holes at the heart of them. Pictured is NGC 1316, a lenticular galaxy about 60 million light-years away in the constellation Fornax

Astronomers have always believed that Dark Energy could revolutionize physics as we know it, because its discovery 20 years ago threatened to blow Albert Einstein’s research out of the water.

The legendary physicist can rest easy for now, however, because the team of international researchers have found the first evidence that Dark Energy really does fit with his Theory of Relativity after all.

The main stumbling block to Einstein’s science – black holes and how their extremely strong gravity could be opposed by a secret force expanding the universe – has been dismissed by experts at the University of Hawaii and Imperial.

They say that the Theory of General Relativity is correct because black holes actually contain Dark Energy, or the energy from space that Einstein originally predicted.

It also means that nothing ‘new’ or undiscovered has to be added to our picture of the universe to account for the ‘missing’ 68 per cent that Dark Energy equates to.

Not only that, but the idea of black holes having a ‘singularity’ at their centre where nothing – not even light – can escape, has been brought into question, too.

The new theory provides a way to ‘circumvent’ this mathematical problem, the researchers say, by making the idea of a singularity ‘go away’.

Confused? 

Essentially, the Big Bang theory of the creation of our universe originally predicted that its expansion would slow down – or even begin to contract – because of the pull of gravity.

But in 1998, astronomers were surprised to find that not only was the universe still expanding, this expansion was also accelerating. 

To account for this discovery, it was proposed that a ‘Dark Energy’ was responsible for pushing things apart more strongly than gravity. 

This was linked to a concept Einstein had proposed but later discarded — a ‘cosmological constant’ that opposed gravity and kept the universe from collapsing. 

Black holes posed a problem though — their extremely strong gravity is hard to oppose, especially at their centres, where everything seems to break down in a phenomenon called a ‘singularity’.

To dig deeper into the problem, a team of 17 researchers from nine countries studied nine billion years of black hole evolution. 

They observed ancient and dormant galaxies and found that black holes gain mass in a way that is consistent with them containing vacuum energy, or Dark Energy.

In fact, the size of the universe at different points in time fitted closely with the mass of supermassive black holes at the heart of galaxies.

In other words, the amount of Dark Energy in the universe can be accounted for by black hole vacuum energy — meaning black holes are the source of dark energy.

Mystery: The idea of black holes having a ‘singularity’ at their centre where nothing – not even light – can escape, has been brought into question by the research, too. Pictured is the supermassive black hole at the heart of galaxy M87

It means that nothing ‘new’ or undiscovered has to be added to our picture of the universe to account for the ‘missing’ 68 per cent that Dark Energy equates to. Pictured is NGC 524, a lenticular galaxy in the constellation Pisces about 90 million light-years away from Earth

The scientists observed ancient and dormant galaxies and found that black holes gain mass in a way that is consistent with them containing vacuum energy, or Dark Energy. Pictured is NGC 4150, an elliptical galaxy 45 million light years away in the constellation Coma Berenices

Such is the excitement and significance of the discovery, the scientists responsible for the new research said they ‘may have found the answer to one of the biggest problems in cosmology’.

Study co-author Dr Dave Clements, from the Department of Physics at Imperial, said: ‘This is a really surprising result. We started off looking at how black holes grow over time, and may have found the answer to one of the biggest problems in cosmology.’

The research is the first observational evidence that black holes actually contain vacuum energy and are ‘coupled’ to the expansion of the universe, increasing in mass as the universe expands — a phenomenon called ‘cosmological coupling’. 

Black holes are formed when massive stars come to the end of their life and are known as supermassive ones when found at the centres of galaxies. 

These contain millions to billions of times the mass of our sun inside them in a comparatively small space, creating extremely strong gravity.

Black holes can increase in size by accreting matter, such as by swallowing stars that get too close, or by merging with other black holes.

However, the researchers found that this increase in mass was ‘significantly bigger’ than what could be explained purely by astrophysical processes such as merging, which led them to the theory that black holes contain Dark Energy and are linked to the expansion of the universe.

If further observations confirm it, cosmological coupling will redefine our understanding of what a black hole is, the astronomers added.

Study author Duncan Farrah, from the University of Hawaii, said: ‘We’re really saying two things at once: that there’s evidence the typical black hole solutions don’t work for you on a long, long timescale, and we have the first proposed astrophysical source for dark energy.

‘What that means, though, is not that other people haven’t proposed sources for dark energy, but this is the first observational paper where we’re not adding anything new to the universe as a source for dark energy: black holes in Einstein’s theory of gravity are the dark energy.’

The work is published in two papers in the journals The Astrophysical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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There’s one last place Planet Nine could be hiding

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A study recently submitted to The Astronomical Journal
continues to search for the elusive Planet Nine (also called Planet X),
which is a hypothetical planet that potentially orbits in the outer
reaches of the solar system and well beyond the orbit of the dwarf
planet, Pluto.

The goal of this study, which is available on the pre-print server arXiv,
was to narrow down the possible locations of Planet Nine and holds the
potential to help researchers better understand the makeup of our solar
system, along with its formation and evolutionary processes. So, what
was the motivation behind this study regarding narrowing down the
location of a potential Planet 9?

Dr. Mike Brown, who is a Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of
Astronomy at Caltech and lead author of the study, tells Universe Today,
“We are continuing to try to systematically cover all of the regions of
the sky where we predict Planet Nine to be. Using data from Pan-STARRS
allowed us to cover the largest region to date.”

Pan-STARRS, which stands for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid
Response System, is a collaborative astronomical observation system
located at Haleakala Observatory and operated by the University of
Hawai’i Institute of Astronomy. For the study, the researchers used data
from Data Release 2 (DR2) with the goal of narrowing down the possible
location of Planet Nine based on findings from past studies.

In the end, the team narrowed down possible locations of Planet Nine
by eliminating approximately 78% of possible locations that were
calculated from previous studies. Additionally, the researchers also
provided new estimates for the approximate semimajor axis (measured in
astronomical units, AU) and Earth-mass size of Planet Nine at 500 and
6.6, respectively. So, what are the most significant results from this
study, and what follow-up studies are currently being conducted or
planned?

“While I would love to say that the most significant result
was finding Planet Nine, we didn’t,” Dr. Brown tells Universe Today. “So
instead, it means that we have significantly narrowed the search area.
We’ve now surveyed approximately 80% of the regions where we think
Planet Nine might be.”

In terms of follow-up studies, Dr.
Brown tells Universe Today, “I think that the LSST is the most likely
survey to find Planet Nine. When it comes online in a year or two it
will quickly cover much of the search space and, if Planet Nine is
there, find it.”

LSST stands for Legacy Survey of Space and Time, and is an
astronomical survey currently scheduled as a 10-year program to study
the southern sky and take place at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in
Chile, which is presently under construction.

Objectives for LSST include studying identifying near-Earth asteroids
(NEAs) and small planetary bodies within our solar system, but also
include deep space studies, as well. These include investigating the
properties of dark matter and dark energy and the evolution of the Milky
Way galaxy. But what is the importance of finding Planet Nine?

Dr. Brown tells Universe Today, “This would be the 5th
largest planet of our solar system and the only one with a mass between
Earth and Uranus. Such planets are common around other stars, and we
would suddenly have a chance to study one in our own solar system.”

Scientists began hypothesizing the existence of Planet Nine shortly
after the discovery of Neptune in 1846, including an 1880 memoir
authored by D. Kirkwood and later a 1946 paper authored by American
astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh, who was responsible for discovering Pluto in
1930.

More recent studies include studies from 2016 and 2017 presenting
evidence for the existence of Planet Nine, the former of which was
co-authored by Dr. Brown.

This most recent study marks the
most complete investigation of narrowing down the location of Planet
Nine, which Dr. Brown has long-believed exists, telling Universe Today,
“There are too many separate signs that Planet Nine is there. The solar
system is very difficult to understand without Planet Nine.”

He continues by telling Universe Today that “…Planet Nine explains
many things about orbits of objects in the outer solar system that would
be otherwise unexplainable and would each need some sort of separate
explanation.”

“The cluster of the directions of the orbits is the best know, but
there is also the large perihelion distances of many objects, existence
of highly inclined and even retrograde objects, and the high abundance
of very eccentric orbits which cross inside the orbit of Neptune. None
of these should happen in the solar system, but all are easily
explainable as an effect of Planet Nine.”

More information:
Michael E. Brown et al, A Pan-STARRS1 Search for Planet Nine, arXiv (2024). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2401.17977

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‘October Surprise’: Russia To Launch Nukes in Space

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The ‘national security threat’ announced on Wednesday is
about Russia planning to launch nuclear weapons in space, causing some
to speculate whether it’s really an election year ploy.

The panic began when House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner
(R-Ohio) asked President Biden to declassify information about a
“serious national security threat”.

Modernity.news reports: The weapon would reportedly be designed to be used to take out satellites.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) responded by telling reporters he wanted “to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm.”

The big, scary threat is serious business and involves a space-based nuke controlled by evil dictator Putin, but it’s also “not an immediate crisis,” according to what three members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee have told Politico.

Okay, then. Just for election season, is it?

Zero Hedge reports: “So, the question is – was this:

a) a distraction from Biden’s broken brain, or

2) a last desperate attempt to get more funding for anything-but-the-US-border, or

iii) a path to pitching Putin as the uber-bad-guy again after his interview with Tucker Carlson.”

Just by coincidence, Mike Turner recently returned from Ukraine having lobbied for billions more in weapons and aid for Zelensky’s government.

Some questioned the timing, suggesting it might all be a deep state plot to keep American voters afraid when they hit the ballot box.

Speculation will now rage as to whether this is “the event,” real or imagined, that billionaires and elitists the world over have been building underground survival bunkers in preparation for.

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