The shape of the Universe we live in has remained a huge debate among scientists. Researchers previously agreed that the Universe is shaped like a pancake. But a new study seems to counter these previous studies and suggested that we might be living in a Universe shaped like a doughnut.
The new research finds that the strange patterns discovered in echoes of the Big Bang could be better explained by a Universe with a more complex shape. The study also points out that astronomers have not fully tested the flatness of the Universe, implying that we still have a lot of work to do to conclude the exact shape of the Cosmos.
What Scientists have discovered so far about the Shape of the Universe
Astronomers have conducted several studies attempting to figure out the actual shape of the Universe. The entire observations conducted in the course of these studies reveal that the Universe is flat. Scientists realize that the Universe does not have the same shape as Earth. This is because the lines of longitude on Earth started in a perfect parallel alignment to each other at the equator, implying that the longitude converges at the poles.
Hence, parallel lines intersecting with each other truly prove that Earth is not flat. Comparing the shape of Earth to that of the Universe, scientists realized that there is a huge difference. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) light released when the Universe was only about 380,000 years old, has now reached over 42 billion light years away. It features small fluctuations in temperatures across the Earth’s sky.
Researchers have measured the predicted size of these fluctuations and compared the outcome with several observations made so far. They discovered that the measured size of these fluctuations is different from the estimated predictions. This implies that the rays of light which began 380,000 years ago in parallel directions have altered their movement over space and time.
The outcome of this study enabled the scientists to conclude that the geometry of the universe is actually curved. However, researchers also revealed that if small-scale deflections from galaxies and black holes are ignored from those same measurements, then the overall geometry of the Universe is still considered flat.
How Astronomers came up with this fascinating discovery about the shape of the Universe
Scientists previously measured the topology of the universe in several ways. Their measurements relied on finding duplicates of patterns of galaxies to matching circles in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Every previous observation suggests that the Comsos is geometrically flat with a simple unwrapped topology.
However, a group of astronomers published a paper on Feb. 23 to the preprint database arXiv suggesting that the previous measurements of the Universe have limitations. Past studies have previously suggested that the Cosmos wraps around itself in only one dimension, implying that it has a less complicated topology. These observations made on CMB have shown some unexplained huge patterns which occur in strange spots where they should have not existed in the first place.
However, the new study is suggesting that a Universe with a more complicated topology could easily explain some strange patterns in the CMB. Even though this new study is still limited in explaining the complicated topologies, the astronomers still provided unique ideas for advanced studies of the CMB.
Scientists have been struggling to tell the actual shape of the Universe. Based on the observations conducted so far, we are a step closer to unveiling the real shape of the Cosmos. What do you think about this new fascinating study?