This story is not just about speculation or a cool idea. This story is about scientists working at an underground laboratory in Japan, trying to catch neutrinos, sent from 180 miles away. This experiment helps them understand why matter won over anti-matter at the beginning of time, and thus why the universe is full of, well, stuff (this was apparently not a foregone conclusion 🤷🏻♂️).
As a result, a universe that started out with a clean balance sheet — equal amounts of matter and antimatter — wound up with an excess of matter: stars, black holes, oceans and us.
This article is full of mind-blowing quotes.
These ghostly subatomic particles stream from the Big Bang, the sun, exploding stars and other cosmic catastrophes, flooding the universe and slipping through walls and our bodies by the billions every second, like moonlight through a screen door.
I love the balanced excitement / skepticism of the scientists, calling this news “undeniably exciting.”
There are further plans to send neutrinos from a lab in Illinois 800 miles underground to a giant underground detector at an old gold mine in South Dakota. 🇺🇸
Okay, I’m not huge on wild conspiracy theories. But I like that some scientists think it is at least plausible that highly advanced aliens are building megastructures around stars to capture their energy like a battery. 🤯 The cool thing is there would actually be a good reason for aliens to do this if they were capable enough. 🌟🔋
I’m not saying I believe it, but I love that this is a theoretical possibility. And it’s influencing SETI.
The idea here is that a very advanced alien civilization may be able to construct a hypothetical megastructure called a Dyson sphere that completely encompasses a star in order to capture a large portion of its energy. Think of it as converting a star into a gargantuan battery.
These scientists used a virtual telescope the size of the entire Earth to nail down this black hole. And it appears that Einstein’s “least favorite idea” is holding up. Also, black holes are terrifying. 🤯
When things seem a little “off”, you might be right. Not only is the universe expanding, but it is expanding faster than we (i.e. astrophysicists) thought. But don’t worry, we’re only off by about 9%.
Look for the word “megaparsec” in this article. It means 3.26 million light years. 🚗💫🤯
An existential nightmare
If dark energy remains constant, everything outside our galaxy eventually will be moving away from us faster than the speed of light, and will no longer be visible. The universe will become lifeless and utterly dark.
As the universe expands, the push from phantom energy would grow without bounds, eventually overcoming gravity and tearing apart first Earth, then atoms.
But just a theory so far
Let’s science the sh*t out of this…
Two space missions — the European Space Agency’s Euclid and NASA’s Wfirst — have been designed to study dark energy and hopefully deliver definitive answers in the coming decade. The fate of the universe is at stake.
Did a giant asteroid cause the mass extinction? Or was it a series of colossal volcanic eruptions? Competing camps of scientists still can’t agree — and decades of slander, sabotage, and threats have made it the nastiest feud in science.