Science/Tech

Astronomers Unveil The Shape Of Universe And It’s Not Flat

A new study debunked the idea that the Universe is flat. Astronomers found evidence suggesting that the vast space holding galaxies may be curved and closed like a massive, inflated balloon.

The new study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, analyzed data provided by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Planck satellite in 2018. 

Previous studies suggested a beam of photons released in space would only travel in a straight line since the Universe is flat. The latest findings state otherwise since photons would move around the curved universe and eventually return to its origin. 

The study would require the scientific community to make "drastic rethinking of the current cosmological concordance model," according to Eleonora Di Valentino, lead researcher from Manchester University in the United Kingdom. 

The researchers said the Universe’s balloon-like shape allows gravity to bend the path of light. Einstein in the past studied such effect called gravitational lensing, ScienceAlert reported Tuesday.

Researchers explained that when you block all sources of light in the Universe, space would glow and show the oldest light in the Universe. Another clue to the shape of the Universe is the cosmic microwave background (CMB), which appears gravitationally lensed based on data from the Planck satellite.

"A closed Universe can provide a physical explanation for this effect, with the Planck cosmic microwave background spectra now preferring a positive curvature at more than the 99 percent confidence level," the researchers said. "Here, we further investigate the evidence for a closed Universe from Planck, showing that positive curvature naturally explains the anomalous lensing amplitude."

Problems With Curved Universe 

The researchers noted more studies are needed to confirm their findings. The study faced some problems, including the accuracy of previous analysis of Planck datasets.

Another idea that challenges the curved Universe model is the Hubble Constant, which suggests the Universe is expanding. Researchers said the two conflicting findings would make it difficult for astronomers to further understand the form of the Universe. 

"Future measurements are needed to clarify whether the observed discordances are due to undetected systematics, or to new physics or simply are a statistical fluctuation," the researchers said. 

milky way Analysis of data from European Space Agency's (ESA) Planck satellite found that the shape of the Universe may look like a massive, inflated balloon. Pixabay

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