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ScienceDaily (Oct. 29, 2008) — Today cosmologists are challenging the world to solve a compelling statistical problem, to bring us closer to understanding the nature of dark matter and energy which makes up 95 per cent of the ‘missing’ universe.
The GRavitational lEnsing Accuracy Testing 2008 (GREAT08) PASCAL Challenge is being set by 38 scientists across 19 international institutions, with the aim of enticing other researchers to crack it by 30 April 2009. "We realised that solving our image processing problem doesn’t require knowledge of astronomy, so we’re reaching out to attract novel approaches from other disciplines”.Source
Twenty per cent of our universe seems to be made of dark matter, an unknown substance that is fundamentally different to the material making up our known world. Seventy-five per cent of the universe appears to be made of a completely mysterious substance dubbed dark energy. One possible explanation for these surprising observations is that Einstein’s law of gravity is wrong.Source
In order to analyze the influx of computer data from telescopes around the world and out in space, the GRavitational lEnsing Accuracy Testing 2008 (GREAT08) PASCAL Challenge, a group of 38 scientists from 19 international institutions, hopes to solve the riddle of dark acceleration in the Hubble Constant by 30 April 2009. Because the data is primarily images of supernovae and their spectrographs, the computational requirements could be distributed across a wide assortment of disciplines—some not necessarily in the astronomical realm. By making use of distributed processing, astronomers can unburden their own computer resources and use any number of voluntary subscribers for assistance. Who knows, in the near future your computer may be helping to remove image artifacts from Hubble Space Telescope data.
But is all this effort necessary? Even some NASA scientists are questioning the existence of dark energy. What is the more likely explanation for the supernovae anomalies that led to the dark energy theory? Cosmologists made their first mistake when they ignored electricity as a significant force in the cosmos. For example, Supernova 1987a, the closest supernova to Earth ever studied, exhibits unmistakable signs of electrical discharge.