In 1998, an international team of astronomers, known as the High-Z Supernova Search Team, used their survey of type 1a supernovae to determine the distances to several highly-redshifted galaxies. This, combined with the speeds at which these galaxies are receding away from us (determined from the galaxies’ red shifts), provided the best ever picture of how the Universe has evolved since the Big Bang. To their surprise, this new data seemed to show that the rate at which the Universe is expanding is actually increasing over time. Prior to this, it had been assumed that, due to gravity, the expansion of the Universe would be slowing down. It is still not known what is causing this acceleration in the expansion of the Universe, but in order to account for this, cosmologists have introduced the concept of ‘dark energy’, a mysterious energy, permeating all of space, which is driving the expansion of the Universe at an ever fast rate.
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To read the High-Z Supernova Search Teams original paper, Observational Evidence from Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological Constant, visit: