New test by deepest galaxy map finds Einstein's theory stands true

May 11, 2016, Subaru Telescope
A 3D map of the Universe spanning 12 to 14.5 billion light years. Credit: NAOJ; Partial data supplied by: CFHT, SDSS

By using Fiber Multi-Object Spectrograph on the Subaru Telescope, an international team led by Japanese researchers has made a 3D map of 3000 galaxies 13 billion light years from Earth (Figure 1). Based on this comprehensive survey, the first of such a study at this great distance, the team was able to confirm that Einstein's general theory of relativity is still valid.

Since it was discovered in the late 1990s that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, scientists have been trying to explain why. The mysterious dark energy could be driving acceleration, or Einstein's theory of , which says gravity warps space and time, could be breaking down.

To test Einstein's theory, a team of researchers led by Teppei Okumura (Kavli IPMU Project Researcher), Chiaki Hikage (Kavli IPMU Project Assistant Professor), and Tomonori Totani (University of Tokyo Department of Astronomy Professor), used FastSound Survey data on more than 3000 distant galaxies to analyze their velocities and clustering. This survey is one of the strategic observation programs at the Subaru Telescope, and used 40 nights of its telescope time from 2012 to 2014.

Their results indicate that even far into the universe, general relativity is valid, giving further support that the expansion of the universe could be explained by a cosmological constant, as proposed by Einstein in his theory of general relativity.

"We tested the theory of general relativity further than anyone else ever has. It's a privilege to be able to publish our results 100 years after Einstein proposed his theory," said Okumura. "Having started this project 12 years ago it gives me great pleasure to finally see this result come out," said Karl Glazebrook, Professor at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, who proposed the survey.

No one has been able to analyze galaxies more than 10 billion light years away, but the team managed to break this barrier thanks to the FMOS on the Subaru Telescope, which can analyze galaxies 12.4 to 14.7 billion away. The Prime Focus Spectrograph, currently under construction, is expected to be able to study galaxies even further away.

igure 2: The growth rate and its evolution of the large-scale structure. Horizontal axis shows the redshift as well as the comoving distance. Vertical axis is the parameter showing the growth of the large-scale structure. The larger the number is, the faster the growth speed becomes. Green band indicates the range of the growth speed expected from the general relativity theory and the cosmological constant. Red circle is the newly obtained constrained based on FastSound survey. Other values are from previous studies. The FastSound provided a very important constraint on the growth rate for the distant, hence the ancient universe. Credit: Okumura et al.

Explore further: Constructing a 3-D map of the large-scale structure of the universe

More information: The Subaru FMOS galaxy redshift survey (FastSound). IV. New constraint on gravity theory from redshift space distortions at z∼1.4. arxiv.org/abs/1511.08083

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11 comments

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ursiny33
1.7 / 5 (6) May 11, 2016
That only true in a single point expansion model, it falls all apart on multiple points galactic expansion model where the CCM is converted back into neutrons releasing the galaxy objects into expansion, galaxies are the seeds and engines of mechanical creation in hydrogen atom based constructions
RobertKarlStonjek
1.7 / 5 (6) May 11, 2016
No one has been able to analyze galaxies more than 10 billion light years away, but the team managed to break this barrier thanks to the FMOS on the Subaru Telescope, which can analyze galaxies 12.4 to 14.7 billion light years away. The Prime Focus Spectrograph, currently under construction, is expected to be able to study galaxies even further away.


It takes light 14.7 billion years to cover 14.7 billion light years, that is older than the age of the universe. How can this be?
Da Schneib
4.4 / 5 (7) May 11, 2016
It takes light 14.7 billion years to cover 14.7 billion light years, that is older than the age of the universe. How can this be?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comoving_distance
RobertKarlStonjek
2.3 / 5 (3) May 12, 2016
They should say that up front. Comoving distance is not a real distance at all.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) May 12, 2016
Based on this comprehensive survey, the first of such a study at this great distance, the team was able to confirm that Einstein's general theory of relativity is still valid.

...more importantly: that is was already valid at the time from which the photons originate that now give us these images.
damianoGE
5 / 5 (2) May 15, 2016
can I ask you a question?
in the image of galaxies detected by the Subaru telescope, where it would be the right position of the GN-z11 galaxy?
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) May 15, 2016
in the image of galaxies detected by the Subaru telescope, where it would be the right position of the GN-z11 galaxy?
Right position measured how? This is the whole point here. There are at least three different answers:
1. Where GN-z11 is now, at the time we're receiving this light emitted from it billions of years ago.
2. Where GN-z11 was at the time it emitted this light.
3. Where GN-z11 appears now to have been at the time it emitted this light.
And all of this is further complicated by the fact that space has expanded considerably since the time the light was emitted. And complicated yet again by the fact that it's impossible to say whether we are moving, GN-z11 is moving, or we both are moving.

What's important here is that we specify which of these three answers we are using.
damianoGE
5 / 5 (2) May 15, 2016
Thanks,
2-Where it was?
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) May 15, 2016
That's comoving distance and the answer is in the article.
damianoGE
not rated yet May 15, 2016
So It is at 13,4 BLy on the picture, even at z=11?
Fleetfoot
not rated yet May 27, 2016
The numbers depend on the overall curvature of the universe, I'll assume it is flat is accordance with the results from the Planck mission (within 0.5%).

DS: 1. Where GN-z11 is now, at the time we're receiving this light emitted from it billions of years ago.

That is its proper distance now, a.k.a. the comoving distance: 32.2 billion light years.

That is also where it would be plotted on the chart, well off to the right.

DS: 2. Where GN-z11 was at the time it emitted this light.

That was its proper distance at the time of emission: 2.663 billion light years

DS: 3. Where GN-z11 appears now to have been at the time it emitted this light.

That's the same as 2.

DS: And all of this is further complicated by the fact that space has expanded considerably since the time the light was emitted.

The redshift of GN-z11 is z=11.09 which is why the ratio of (1) to (2) is 32.2/2.663=12.09, the expansion ratio is (z+1).

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