Understanding the expansion of the Universe, The reason behind the expansion of the Universe?

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Expansion of Universe

As galaxies race away from each other, they move not through but with space, for space itself is expanding.

The image often used is a loaf of rising bread.

As the dough rises, the raisins (representing objects in space, such as galaxies) move away from each other and so does the dough they rest in.

Expansion is a property of the universe as a whole and not just of galaxies.

Edwin Hubble first discovered that the universe is expanding in 1929.

In the decades since then, astronomers have turned their attention to the implications of this finding.

It countered prevailing ideas about the future of the universe, presumed to be a slowing down due to the pull of gravity from all its matter, which would result finally in a collapse that some termed the "big crunch".

With Hubble's findings, astronomers had to grapple with the implications of a universe that is not only expanding but accelerating as it goes.

Many astronomers believe the acceleration is tied to dark energy, a type of antigravity force radiating from deep space.

The nature of dark energy, about which we know very little, might determine the fate of the universe.

If dark energy is stable, the universe might continue to expand and accelerate forever. If it is unstable, the universe could ultimately be pulled apart in a scenario dubbed the "big rip".

If dark energy has the capacity to change, it could gradually decelerate and become an attractive force that contracts the universe in an implosion like a big crunch.

Scientists have given the name dark energy to the expansion generating force or substance of the universe.

Dark energy is the reverse of gravity: It pushes things away rather than pulling them together.

It is unknown whether the laws of physics or the general theory of relativity can account for dark energy.

In 1998 astronomers studying supernovae found them dimmer than anticipated.

This meant both they were farther away and the universe was expanding faster than expected.

The U.S. government's Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM) examined Type la supernovae, dying white dwarfs, because of their high and consistent luminosity. The program ended in 2010 and will be replaced by the Wide- Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

The video above explains the topic in-depth

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