The universe may be younger than the standard model predicts

This computer simulation shows large-scale structure in the early universe. A new study measures the motions of satellite galaxies around large clusters of galaxies and suggests that our universe may be young. Standard model of cosmology predicts. Image via UCLA/ Andrew Pontzen/ Fabio Governato/ Wikimedia Commons.

The universe may be younger than predicted

The Standard model of cosmology A leading theory explaining the birth and development of our universe, but not without its complications. Now there's more to it. On January 22, 2024, Chinese Academy of Sciences said A new study measures the motions of satellite galaxies around a large cluster of galaxies. Scientists' findings suggest the universe may be younger than the standard model.

Scientists Published theirs Peer reviewed Research in Journal Natural Astronomy On January 22, 2024.

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Standard model of cosmology

The standard model of the universe states that the universe began with an explosion, followed by the formation of smaller structures. Those structures are then combined into larger structures. Eventually, massive galaxies formed web-like structures, as you can see in the simulation above.

As the universe ages, larger structures show less activity. Observing the motions of small satellite galaxies around large constellations provides astronomers with useful insights. By modeling the motions of these satellite galaxies, they can infer how the structures form and gather their ages.

What they found was that computer models and actual observations of the universe did not match.

A web of 2 galaxies circled in yellow and arrows towards a larger cluster with the viewer's view on the other side.
The yellow circles represent 2 satellite galaxies that fall into a larger group of galaxies. Scientists have measured the motions of these satellite galaxies to better understand the larger structures they orbit. Image via Liao Shihong/ Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Satellite constellation pairs

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences used the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to observe the motions of satellite pairs around massive groups of galaxies. They looked at pairs of satellites on opposite sides of massive star clusters from our point of view. The researchers analyzed the velocity offsets of satellites from the central galaxy. What they found was an excess of satellite pairs:

Correlated velocity offsets are compared to pairs that display anti-correlated velocity offsets.

Team leader Qi Guo of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said:

An excess of correlated satellite pairs indicates the presence of recently accreted or collapsed satellite galaxies.

The key word here Recently. New computer simulations also showed this excess. But real-life observations do not show the same degree of excess. The discrepancy between simulations and observations indicates that massive galaxy clusters are young in the real Universe. Author Qing Gu said:

Since the age of massive galaxy clusters is closely related to the age of the universe, these findings suggest a younger universe as a result of …

The study again shows that the standard model of cosmology is still in operation.

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Bottom line: A new study analyzed the motions of satellite galaxy pairs around a large group of galaxies. The results show that the universe may be younger than the standard model of cosmological predictions.

Source: Younger Universe as indicated by satellite pair correlations from SDSS observations of massive galaxy clusters

Via Chinese Academy of Sciences

Also Read: Universe Expanding Faster Than Theory Predicts

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