Dark energy may come from giant cosmic voids

Gigantic deserts of almost complete nothingness that make up most of the universe may be accelerating the universe’s expansion, new research suggests. That means these huge swaths of nothing can explain dark energythe mysterious force that seems to be tearing the universe apart.

Welcome to the desert

Zoom all the way out the solar system and the Milky Way galaxy, and an interesting pattern emerges: the cosmic web, the largest pattern found in nature. At these scales, where entire galaxies appear as tiny points of light, astronomers observe long, thin ropes of galaxies called filaments, dense clumps called clusters, and between them all vast regions of near-total emptiness. These barren regions are the great cosmic voids, the smallest of which are 20 million light years across, while the largest can be more than 160 million light years across.

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