Dark Energy

Category archives for Dark Energy

“Orbiting Earth in spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase beauty, not destroy it!” -Yuri Gagarin Fifty-two years ago today, the first human being left Earth, and we began our journey into outer space. But back in 1961, we didn’t really know how far outer space stretched, or…

What Matters about Dark Matter?

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux… is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” -William J. Broad Three classic observations — the Hubble expansion of the Universe, the…

“The radiation left over from the Big Bang is the same as that in your microwave oven but very much less powerful. It would heat your pizza only to -271.3°C, not much good for defrosting the pizza, let alone cooking it.” -Stephen Hawking One of the most powerful predictions of the Big Bang — the…

“Much later, when I discussed the problem with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life. But this “blunder,” rejected by Einstein, is still sometimes used by cosmologists even today, and the cosmological constant denoted by the Greek letter Λ rears its ugly…

“Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.” -Max Planck Tomorrow morning, at 8 AM my time, the press conference that cosmologists have spent the past decade waiting for will finally happen, and the Planck satellite — the…

How Big is Our Observable Universe?

“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes When General Relativity supplanted Newton’s work as our theory of how gravity works in the Universe, it didn’t just change how we view how masses attract, it gave us a new understanding of what the questions where…

“Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.” – Samuel Johnson I have a six-sided die. I’m going to roll it ten times, and record each roll. And when I’m done, I’m going to have an incredibly rare, bet-you-can’t-reproduce-it result!…

What we learn just by being here

“Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.” -Timothy Leary Here we are, on planet Earth, the product of generations of civilization-building, maybe four-billion years of evolution on our world, around 13.7 billion years into the existence of our…

The Universe Beyond Our Reach

“People hear the happy story, but the truth is they could all disappear in the blink of an eye. The threats just keep coming.” -Todd Steiner It’s taken generations of scientists, examining the night sky for millennia, to comprehend the full size and scope of what’s out there in the Universe. Out beyond the planets and…

Messier Monday: Bode’s Galaxy, M81

“When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel that you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system.” -Kalpana Chawla Welcome to this week’s Messier Monday, where I pick a new object out of the original catalogue of 110 “faint fuzzies” designed to help comet-hunters avoid…