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Thursday, July 24, 2003

Whooo whee... Just couldn't resist posting this link & excerpt:

Astronomers Report Evidence of 'Dark Energy' Splitting the Universe

By comparing maps of heat emanating from the fading remnants of the Big Bang to maps of the modern universe, astronomers say they have uncovered evidence that some "dark energy" is wrenching the universe apart.

The new work, they said, provides independent confirmation of one of the strangest astronomical findings in recent years, that based on studies of distant exploding stars the expansion of the universe is speeding up.

The simplest explanation, astrophysicists say, is that space is imbued with a repulsive, or antigravitational, force first hypothesized in 1917 by Einstein and known as the cosmological constant. But nobody understands this so-called dark energy, although speculations have blossomed in the physics literature in the last few years.

Using the maps, a multinational team of 33 astrophysicists, led by Dr. Ryan Scranton of the University of Pittsburgh, found what the members called "the shadow of dark energy" in the form of a slight boost in the energy of the radiation from the Big Bang as it passed through huge clouds of galaxies.

The astronomers said their results represented an important validation of dark energy and the emerging consensus of a universe dominated by mysterious dark matter and even more mysterious dark energy, which is geometrically "flat." That means that parallel lines drawn across the cosmos will not meet.

"This result is the piece of physical evidence that really closes the door," said Dr. Robert C. Nichol, an astrophysicist at Carnegie Mellon. Many physicists had taken a wait-and-see attitude about the dark energy acceleration, Dr. Nichol said.

WTF? Guess I won't have to commit suicide after all, huh? Looks like the UNIVERSE IS COMING APART AND WE'RE ALL GONNA BE TOAST SOON ANYWAY!!!!!

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