Something is pulling the universe apart, causing galaxies to flee from each other at an ever-faster rate. Since 1998, when astronomers discovered this bewildering state of affairs, theorists have been struggling to comprehend the mysterious source driving the runaway expansion. Now, researchers have taken one of the first steps toward identifying this bizarre influence, often known as dark energy.
In an analysis of a group of bright but distant exploding stars called type 1a supernovas, researchers have found hints that dark energy is distributed uniformly throughout space and that its strength will remain constant throughout time. That would make dark energy resemble the cosmological constant,