Dark Energy and Dark Matter

Claiming that humanity actually has any idea of what the hell is going on in this universe, let alone beyond is like a bacterium floating in crap halfway up a mouse’s ass pontificating on the existence or non-existence of intelligent life beyond the rectum.

There is no better example of this fact than dark matter and energy.

Way back in the nineties, scientists were still debating a rather interesting question. “Would the mass of the universe eventually slow the expansion of the universe, then reverse it into a big squish, or was there too little mass to stop the expansion completely?” Anyone who understands basic physics can understand that following the big bang matter, energy and space expanded outward, and this initial burst of energy would send the all the stars, galaxies and everything else expanding outward. It doesn’t take any imagination to further conclude that this energy would gradually dissipate due to the force of gravity, gradually slowing, if not stopping this expansion.

Yeah, no. In 1998 observations from the Hubble telescope showed that not only was the universe not slowing down, it was accelerating. Science had a collective “wait, what?” moment. Turns out there is a thing called dark energy which somehow exerts a repulsive force on massive bodies at vast distances, but has little effect at lesser distances. Well, maybe. Thing is, we really don’t know what it is, how it works or where it comes from. What we do know is if our observations and math are correct, out of everything in the universe, all the energy and matter that there is, about 70% is dark energy. In other words, we have no real idea what 70% of the universe is even made of. We have ideas, conjectures-theories even but no experimental data to support any one idea over another.

So, yeah. That leaves 30%. Of this remaining 30%, most is something called dark matter. See, galaxies are extremely large and seemingly massive, often with super massive black holes at their centers. But when we look out into space, at all the stars, planets, black holes, dust clouds etc. that are visible directly or indirectly, we find that there just isn’t enough mass in galaxies and star clusters to explain their behaviors. Some spin too fast to be held together by the gravity of the matter we can observe.

Science theorizes that there is a form of matter that does not interact with normal matter in any way, except by its gravitational effects. It does not reflect, absorb or refract light. It has no electromagnetic charge. It does not come into contact with, bond to or chemically react with normal matter. It actually seems a bit foolish to refer to normal matter when the majority of matter in the universe is this invisible, insubstantial, unknown stuff called dark matter. In fact of all the matter and energy there in the universe, about 25% is dark matter. Again, we have ideas and theories about what dark matter is, but no solid data to make anything more than educated guesses.

If you’ve been doing your math, that means of everything there is in the universe, we have no firm idea what the hell 95% is. That is not to say that we understand everything about the tiny sliver of the universe that is visible to us, just that 95% is a total and complete mystery.

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