Scientists from several Chinese universities and the University of Cordoba have developed a new way to better understand the universe.
They published their study in the journal natural astronomy after working on it for over two years.
This new research may help us find out more precisely than before how far apart things are in the universe.
You may be wondering: how do they do it?
They use so-called Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO), which act like ancient echoes of the Big Bang.
These BAO’s are really important because they help us measure distances in the universe. Knowing these distances can tell us a lot about how the universe grew and what it is made of.
The Big Bang was the event that created the universe. Immediately after it happened, BAO started spreading like sound waves.
They moved through super-hot material that acted like a liquid. Imagine throwing a rock into a pond and watching the waves spread – that’s what those waves did.
Eventually the universe cooled and these waves were “frozen”.
These BAO waves are interesting because we know how long they lasted. This makes them useful for finding out how far galaxies are from each other and from Earth.
This is really important if we want to accurately map distant parts of the Universe.
Antonio J. Cuesta, a University of Cordoba scientist and one of the study’s authors, explained how they developed a new method to detect these BAO waves.
They studied about a million galaxies, paying particular attention to two things: the shape of the galaxies and how many other galaxies were nearby.
Normally, due to the pull of gravity, galaxies expand towards areas where there are more galaxies. But sometimes that’s not the case.
Cuesta said that there are BAO waves there because they also act like gravitational magnets. Simply put, they found that when galaxies weren’t expanding where one would expect them, it was an indication that BAO waves were nearby.
This new method helps scientists find out where galaxies really are in the Universe and how far they are from Earth. Cuesta said it’s like looking back in time because understanding these BAO waves can tell us something about the early universe.
So why is this important? Well, knowing more about where things are in the universe can give us clues as to how the universe has expanded over time.
It can also help us understand mysterious things like dark matter and dark energy. These are things in the universe that we cannot see but that we know must be there because of the movement of the galaxies and other signs.
In short, this new study opens up exciting possibilities to learn more about the universe.
By better understanding these Big Bang waves, we can create more accurate maps and potentially solve some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.
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