Astronomy Wonder Project

What is the mysterious force known as dark energy that is causing other galaxies in our universe to move at a quicker rate from our own galaxy?

Dark Energy: 

Astronomers believe that a force dubbed “dark energy” is responsible for pulling galaxies upon galaxies apart from one another and further and further from our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Dark energy is believed to construct about 70% of the universe. There is more noted dark energy than there is “normal” energy that we currently know of in existence.

The universe was born about 15 billion years ago however, 7.5 billion years ago, objects in space began flying apart at an increasingly fast rate due to an unknown force.

Why is this an issue?

While this has not necessarily been proven to  be concerning to us specifically, it would be relieving to know why and how this force has come about.

We have tried to find more clues on what might the dark energy be or just how affective it is in spreading galaxies apart. Astronomers used NASA`s “Hubble space telescope” to look for supernovae which are an explosive reaction that occurs at the end of a stars life span. Because supernovae are very bright, astronomers hoped to observe and measure whether or not the universe was expanding faster or slower in the past, the brightness of the supernovae helps them to capture better images or see to further distances as space is very dark.

It has since been concluded that the universe was remarkably slower at expanding in the past, some believe it to be reminiscence of the Big Bang, however that does not explain how it has since began to speed up rather than slowly take its course.

During a search, “Hubble” which is a telescope that orbits Earth, has discovered 42 new supernovae including 6 that are among the the furthest distance ever discovered. This shows us that the the universe was decelerating a long time ago but has since began to accelerate, remarkably changing gears that has baffled scientists and astronomers alike.

How much do scientists actually know about this topic?

It is true that this sudden acceleration happened approximately 7.5 billion years ago, two independent teams of astronomers have only been  able to conclude the acceleration in the year, 1998.

In the coming decades, scientists believe that promising new telescopes will be built  to reveal essential clues about this black energy, “Our ignorance on this subject is profound” says Wendy Freedman from ‘University of Chicago’. Scientists released data from the first dark energy survey or ‘DES’ for short which collected observations from mid – 2013 until early 2016. The camera used to document observations, catalogs 310 million galaxies and 80 million stars.

We have not been assured that cosmic acceleration is a constant occurrence but if it is, dark energy`s origins could be space time itself. According to quantum mechanics, even a vacuum is not empty, there for sure is more to dark energy than scientists can assume at this point in time.

What dark energy may or may not be is definitely something to concern anyone, because uncertainty should always be concerning especially since whatever this unknown force is, makes up 70% of our existence.



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Information Fluency Reflection:

1) What questions did you need to research in order to research your project?

I had to research questions about what dark energy might be or how much we know about it, I also had to research some words that I found in articles that I cam across just to make sure that I understood what everything meant so if someone asked me about it, I could give them an educated response. For example, I went further into detail about supernovae to make sure that i knew what it was and how to pronounce it. I had to research questions about what sort of scientific advancements are being made to aid the ongoing investigation of the dark energy force.

2) What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked through this project?

I decided to do my project on edublog because I usually use PowerPoint or Prezi for my projects, so I wanted to get better at making the format and the over all appearances of a post better on edublog. I was also nervous about my project not looking so professional as it was done in a post so I played around with the placements and the images that had a nice contrast with a black background to make my project not only be informative but also pleasant to look at.

3) What was the process you used to investigate the topic?

First I looked in the online textbook provided on the blog, there was not any usable information on my topic so I decided to use the online library links, and I managed to find a good website that gave me multiple good articles to read from. I also did a google search and came across the government NASA website which seemed promising as the post was overlooked by a NASA expert. I prefer having my research and notes written out by hand rather than typed because I retain information a lot better this way, and I wanted to get the most out of my project rather than essentially “copying and pasting” my information without any real knowledge on the topic.

4) How did you verify and cite the information you found?

I looked at their citations and I also looked for who they gave credit too, for example both of the articles I found from the school library link were cited from a textbook. I also wanted to make sure that the information from the NASA website was written or overseen by someone who knew about the topic, and credits were given there too. I really wanted to take the safe route for this project because I realized that some of the statistics I had found on other random websites didn’t match at all what NASA was saying in their article.

5) How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better?

I really enjoyed this project because the topic was definitely something that really interested me. The process was fun and simple, finding valid articles at first was difficult but once I had my research and my thoughts were collected, writing the rest was quite easy. Something I could have done better would have been to have more sources for where I got my information because out of my three articles, two of them came from the same website, but they were such good articles that I really wanted to use and I felt they had some really interesting and essential information for my research that I might not have been able to find somewhere else.

Side Note: My original question had a part about why our own galaxy isn’t moving as quickly, however since I have been doing more research I found out that everything in the universe sped up in acceleration, so all I did was removed that end part of my question for the project, so it was a bit altered.

4 thoughts on “Astronomy Wonder Project”

  1. From this blog post on Dark Energy, it answered the question in detail about what Dark Energy is and why this is causing our universe to move at a quicker rate. Even though I did not have any knowledge on Dark Energy, I have learned many things from this blog post. It taught me that this is something we should know about since it is still being discovered currently and scientists are doing research on it. This blog post was very detailed and had almost every information that I needed to know in order for me to understand this topic and showed it through many graphics and visuals which was great.

  2. I really enjoyed your project, and your information on dark energy. I liked how you included questions relating back to your topic and answered them accordingly. I also enjoyed the pictures embedded in your project that gave your words more meaning, and gave us a better visual understanding. I learned that dark energy is responsible for pulling galaxies apart from one another, and further from the milky way.

  3. Great job Odett. I learned so many things from your post including how there is much more dark energy than regular energy.

  4. Odett,

    I like how research you were able to refine your original inquiry question. This shows us what we know or believe to be true is constantly changing, always motivating the quest for knowledge.

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