The mysterious substance known as dark energy thought to be pushing the universe apart at ever greater speeds may be nothing more than an artefact of our acceleration through a local patch of the universe. That is the controversial claim of a group of physicists who reckon they have found flaws in the evidence underpinning the Nobel-prize winning discovery of cosmic acceleration. The dispute centres on exploded stars known as type Ia supernovae, which allow researchers to calculate cosmic distances and rates of expansion.

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