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The Universe is twice as bright as we thought!

21st July 2008

Astronomers from UK Universities, including UCLan, working with colleagues from Germany and Australia have calculated that the Universe is actually twice as bright as previously thought. In the latest Astrophysical Journal Letters (10th May), the astronomers describe how dust is obscuring approximately half of the light that the Universe is currently generating.

Using a new model, the astronomers could calculate precisely the fraction of starlight blocked by the dust. The key test that the new model passed was whether the energy of the absorbed starlight equated to that detected from the glowing dust. "The equation balanced perfectly", said Dr Cristina Popescu of UCLan, "and for the first time we have a total understanding of the energy output of the Universe over a monumental wavelength range." Dr Popescu teaches UCLan's Introduction to Cosmology course by distance learning.

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