|Thirteen years ago
first presented indicating that most of the energy in our
universe is not in stars or galaxies but is tied to space itself.
In the language of cosmologists, a large
cosmological constant is directly implied by new distant
Suggestions of a
cosmological constant (lambda) were
not new -- they have existed since the advent of
modern relativistic cosmology.
Such claims were not usually popular with astronomers,
though, because lambda is so unlike known
universe components, because
lambda's value appeared limited by other observations,
and because less-strange cosmologies
without lambda had previously done well in explaining the data.
What is noteworthy here is the seemingly direct and reliable method of the observations and the good reputations of the
Over the past thirteen years, independent
teams of astronomers have continued to accumulate data
that appears to confirm the existence of
dark energy and
the unsettling result of a presently
This year, the team leaders were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.
above picture of a supernova that occurred in
on the outskirts of a
was taken by one of these collaborations.
Credit: High-Z Supernova Search Team,