The expansion of the universe may be speeding up now but it appears that this wasn't always the case.
Around 15 years ago astronomers used observations of supernovae to determine that the expansion of the universe was accelerating. The remarkable discovery raised a great number of questions about the future of the cosmos, would the expansion ever slow down and what was causing it to expand at an ever growing rate ? New measurements have now helped to fill in one piece of the puzzle - approximately 11 billion years ago the universe's expansion had actually been slowing down.
What this means is that at some point in the past, the slowdown stopped and the acceleration began. Could it be that the mysterious Dark Energy thought to pervade empty space becomes stronger the more the universe expands ?
"New measurements have captured the universeís expansion when it was slowing down 11 billion years ago, before a mysterious entity called dark energy took over and began spurring the cosmos to expand faster and faster."
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Source: Science News
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