New analysis shows that the rulers used to measure Supernova 1A brightness curves were unknowingly measuring two different types of Supernova 1As (1) with two different brightnesses. The analysis also found the brighter types at larger distances. This, at least partially, nullifies both Acceleration and “Dark Energy.”
In 1998, some astrophysicists got excited about distant Supernovae IA seemingly acting differently than close ones. Specifically they found distant Supernovae (at intermediate Redshifts) appear about 25% dimmer than expected at maximum brightness. This comparison was from a total of only 58 “near” and far supernovae events.
The interpretation of this purported difference in close vs far Supernovae 1As, is that dimmer means the more distant Supernovae must be farther away than standard Big Bang expects them to be, thus the Big Bang conjectured Expansion was accelerating.
This quickly incited the conjecture that there is some sort of unobserved (and as of yet unexplained) “Dark Energy” pushing the Universe apart. Many Cosmologists now assert that “Dark Energy” composes some 74% of the Universe’s energy.
Nobel prizes were awarded, even though their sample size was “a very small number of”(only 58) supernovae with “large statistical error bars.”
Supernovae 1A are used as rulers, called “Standard Candles,” because of their relative uniformity. (However, calling unimaginably gigantic explosions from different sized stars “identical” seems a bit of a stretch.)
Well, recently Arizona University Astronomers looked at a data set of 23 Supernovae in ultraviolet light from Hubble and the Swift satellite. It quickly became clear to them that there are two different types of 1A Supernovae, now called Red and Blue, that have different brightnesses or Luminosity. The subtle difference was also there in visible light data, but it was much more obvious in the Ultraviolet data.
As they looked closer they found more dimmer, red, supernovae 1As close to us and brighter, blue ones dominating farther away(2).
Even if this could be a result of Malmquist Bias, it means the brightness for all Supernovae 1As needs to be recalibrated and separated into two categories (Perhaps SN-1Ab and SN-1Ar).
References and further reading:
* I stole the wonderful title for this article from “Accelerating universe? Not so fast” by Daniel Stolte. I’ve never done that before, but his headline was just so excellent, so perfect I had to do it – and give him full credit for the wonderful word play.
1. Until this research was reported, seven different types of type of Supernovae were recognized.
2. Notably, the opposite of how redshift and blueshift changes with distance / velocity away from us – where blue shifted phenomena are closer to us than most redshifted phenomena.