What is the shape of universe? Scientists now have the answer based on dark matter measurement

As per the new theory, you will end up reaching the starting point in the universe, no matter which direction you travel

dark matter
Composite image of the Perseus galaxy cluster using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton and Hitomi, a Japanese-led X-ray telescope. X-ray: NASA/CXO/Fabian

The entire understanding of humans about the universe is built on observed, unexpected anomalies that have been encountered over the years. Until now, several space experts believed that the shape of the universe is flat, but now, a new research paper has suggested the universe could be actually curved.

In a recent article written in the Conversation, Eleonora Di Valentino, a Postdoctoral Researcher of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester who took part in the study detailed the new findings which could actually reshape the current cosmology theories. Valentino revealed that the probability of the universe being curved is more than 99 per cent.

"We show that the shape of the universe may actually be curved rather than flat, as previously thought – with a probability larger than 99%. In a curved universe, no matter which direction you travel in, you will end up at the starting point – just like on a sphere. Though the universe has four dimensions, including time," wrote Di Valentino.

Scientists who took part in this study made this assumption after analyzing the Cosmic Microwave Background, the light leftover from the Big Bang, with the help of Planck Satellite. As per Einstein's theory of general relativity, mass wraps time and space around it. Due to this, gravitational lensing happens where light rays take a turn around a massive object rather than travelling in a straight line. In the study report published in the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists noted that there is much more lensing in the Planck data than there should be, which indicates the presence of more dark matter in the universe.

"In our study, we showed that a closed universe can provide a physical explanation to this effect because it is able to host a lot more dark matter than a flat universe. Such a universe is perfectly compatible with general relativity," added Di Valentino.

A few weeks back, another study report had suggested that dark matter might have formed just a few fractions of seconds before the Big Bang. Even though this finding did not have any connection between particle physics and astronomy, experts claim that this hypothesis could help to understand more about the origin of this mysterious entity that forms more than 85 per cent of the universe.