If the notion of dark energy sounds improbable, get ready for an even more outlandish suggestion.
Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation.
Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario
One problem with the void idea, though, is that it negates a principle that has reined in astronomy for more than 450 years: namely, that our place in the universe isn't special.
(Did you read that right? The void idea negates the 450 year old principle that that OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE ISN'T SPECIAL!)
When Nicholas Copernicus argued that it made much more sense for the Earth to be revolving around the sun than vice versa, it revolutionized science. Since then, most theories have to pass the Copernican test.
If they require our planet to be unique, or our position to be exalted, the ideas often seem unlikely.
This idea that we live in a void would really be a statement that we live in a special place," Clifton told SPACE.com. "
(COULD IT BE? WE DO LIVE IN A SPECIAL PLACE???)
The regular cosmological model is based on the idea that where we live is a typical place in the universe. This would be a contradiction to the Copernican principle."