How Supernova Explosions Trace the History of the Universe

The universe is stranger than we imagined: it is 1/4 dark matter that we do not understand and 2/3 dark energy about which we know even less. Robert Kirshner, a world-leading astronomer mentored a generation of successful cosmologists of the Nobel-winning “High-Z Supernova Search Team” that helped revolutionize our knowledge about the expansion of the universe. By observing exploding supernovae halfway across the universe and up to 9 billion years back in time, Kirshner and his team showed that the universe is accelerating as it expands. Cosmologists attribute this to a pervasive “dark energy” – possibly the same thing as Einstein’s Cosmological Constant from 1917, which he later regarded as a great blunder. Robert Kirshner, the author of “The Extravagant Universe—Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmos,” will show the evidence for cosmic acceleration, outline what we know and don’t know about dark energy, and suggest some ways to find out more about this deep cosmic mystery. Kirshner is positive about this goal: “We’re not smarter than Einstein or Hubble, but we have much better data!”

Robert P. Kirshner

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

More Breakthroughs

All Breakthroughs

Further Activities to have a look at

We use cookies and other technologies to collect data about your use of our site and about your browser, device and location. We process this data to help us understand how the site is used and to personalize our content and the advertising you see on this and other sites we also share this data with advertising, social media and analytics partners for the same purposes. By choosing “Accept All” you agree that we store cookies on your device and process the data for the aforementioned purposes . You may revoke your consent at any time by choosing the respective settings. For more information on the processing of personal data and what specific services we use see our Privacy Policy

Privacy Preference Center

We use cookies and other technologies to collect data about your use of our site and about your browser, device and location. We process this data to help us understand how the site is used and to personalize our content and the advertising you see on this and other sites we also share this data with advertising, social media and analytics partners for the same purposes. By choosing “Accept All” you agree that we store cookies on your device and process the data for the aforementioned purposes . You may revoke your consent at any time by choosing the respective settings. For more information on the processing of personal data and what specific services we use see our Privacy Policy

Necessary Cookies

These cookies are required to provide you with our site and its functions. Since storing these cookies is necessary for the provision of our site and its functions, you cannot disable them. If you block these cookies via you browser settings our site may not function properly.

Analyse Cookies

These cookies enable us to use website analytics in order to improve our site or provide you with personalized content. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages.

Marketing Cookies

These cookies enable us to use online marketing and advertising in order to provide you on this or on other sites with personalized advertisement. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages.