The overall geometrical shape of the cosmos is a primary attribute indicating its overarching dynamics. The universe has long been presumed flat: existence ultimately planar owing to a sweet-spot matter density that altogether avoided curvature. Einstein’s general relativity equations predicated a slightly open universe, with external expansion gradually slowed by gravity. Recent measurements suggest instead a positive cosmic curvature which blows apart extant cosmological models.
The European Space Agency (ESA) ran a space observatory 2009–2013. This Planck satellite mapped the anisotropies (directional properties) of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. The CMB is a slice (the microwave spectrum) of the thermal radiation permeating the observable universe.
Nature is of interleaved sets of energetic patterns. Some energy patterns take the form of matter. Others instead impinge upon matter in a way which may be detected and measured. This latter instance is simply called “energy,” as contrasted with “matter,” which is quantized energy. (As matter is made of energy, and energy is merely a concept for matter interactions, it becomes tautologically obvious that energyism is the proper reality paradigm.)
Certain types of energies flow with directional tendencies (anisotropies) in spacetime. Such is the case with the CMB.
The CMB has been expanding and cooling along with the universe. CMB radiation is the only known indicator of cosmic directional continuity.
ESA’s Planck satellite made the best measurements of CMB radiation available. Planck data found the universe “nearly flat,” albeit 4% more curved than previously estimated.
The Planck data contradicts the current conventional cosmological model, which has been shown wrong in a myriad of ways, including the age of the universe and its early development. “The current cosmological scenario, based on inflation, dark matter, and a cosmological constant, seems unable to fit all observations,” said Italian astrophysicist Eleonora Di Valentino.
Observation always envelops theory. Perception is filtered through assumptions.
Removing the assumption of a flat universe renders the Planck data discordant with other datasets, including that of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, taken from an optical telescope in New Mexico. “The assumption of a flat universe could mask a cosmological crisis where disparate observed properties of the universe appear to be mutually inconsistent. At the moment, the idea of a concordance cosmology is undoubtedly under pressure,” observed Di Valentino.
Ishi Nobu, Spokes 1: The Science of Existence, BookBaby (2019).
Eleonora Di Valentino et al, “Planck evidence for a closed Universe and a possible crisis for cosmology,” Nature Astronomy (4 November 2019).
“Our universe is curved, suggests new study,” Sci News (11 November 2019).