The universe may be vast, but researchers have multiple points of evidence that reveal its shape.

The universe may be vast, but researchers have multiple points of evidence that reveal its shape. (Image credit: Weiquan Lin via Getty Images)

Astronomers can observe the form of the universe because it is so large. What shape is it?

The universe is flat, according to physicists. The way the universe looks from different angles is one of the evidence points to a flat universe.

David Spergel has been studying the shape of the universe for decades. In a 2003 study published in The Astrophysical Journal, Spergel measuredIrregularities in the Cosmic Microwave Background, light left over from the Bigbang, that were observed by NASA's WMAP

Positive and negative energy is the same in a flat universe. One of the two universes would be higher than the other. Spergel said that a universe with zero energy corresponds to a flat universe.


The number of atoms in the observable universe is related.

The universe was both flat and infinite according to the WMAP measurement. The possible shapes of the universe were further constrained by the European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft.

Spergel said that they could measure the curve with some uncertainty and say that it was zero. We only at best constrain the geometry while we can lower the uncertainty.

The Hubble constant captures the universe's rapid expansion, which is one of the reasons Spergel thinks the universe is flat. All that stretching rendered the universe flat, or at least as close to flat as possible, because it went from being a small ball of matter to being a large one.

The critical density contains evidence for the flatness of the universe. The universe would eventually stop expanding but only after an infinite time according to the Swinburne University of Technology. If the universe were denser than this, it would be curved like a sphere and collapse in on itself due to its gravity.

The universe is flat and will expand indefinitely according to all the measurements.

The isotropic nature of the universe suggests it is flat. Chudaykin is a physicist at the Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia and he and his colleagues looked at the data on the "baryonic" matter and models of how atomic nuclei heavier than hydrogen were created.

Chudaykin told Live Science that the three-dimensional shape of the universe can be obtained from observation data.

The research found that the universe was flat and that it was consistent with zero. The implication is that our universe is infinite.