Look Close! Something’s Strange in the Photo of the Universe

Science & Space

Astronomers love it when the cosmos throws them a curve ball. It’s all very well to peer deep into the universe and turn up just what you expect to find, but discovering something inexplicable is a whole lot more fun. That’s what happened in the 1970’s when observers found overwhelming evidence for the existence of mysterious (and still unexplained) dark matter, which invisibly holds the universe together; and again in late 1990’s when they learned that the expanding universe is speeding up, not slowing down, thanks in part to dark energy.

This being the case, you might think that the brand-new image of the early universe released by the European Planck satellite mission is something of a disappointment. It pretty much confirmed, with minor adjustments, what astronomers already know — that the cosmos is made mostly of dark matter and dark energy; that nearly 14 billion years have elapsed (13.8…

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By BeEtLjOoZ

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