Dark Energy Blowing Galaxies Farther Apart
By Robert S. Boyd
WASHINGTON__Scientists are on a quest to solve ONE OF THE BIGGEST MYSTERIES IN THE UNIVERSE: SO-CALLED DARK ENERGY, an eerie repulsive force that's driving stars and galaxies apart at ever increasing speeds...
Discovered only five years ago, this bizarre form of energy makes up 73 percent of the mass of the universe, astronomers say. Ordinary matter, the stuff of planets, trees, people and mosquitos, accounts for only 4 percent. The remaining 23 percent is Dark Matter, GHOSTLY PARTICLES THAT ARE PRESUMED TO EXIST, BUT HAVE NEVER BEEN SEEN...
For the wrath of God (the judgment wars of the 20th and now 21st centuries) is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; FOR GOD HATH SHOWN IT UNTO THEM.
FOR THE INVISIBLE THINGS OF GOD FROM THE CREATION OF THE WORLD ARE CLEARLY SEEN, BEING UNDERSTOOD BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE, EVEN HIS ETERNAL POWER AND GODHEAD; SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE...(Romans 1:18-20; Ephesians 1:17-23...KJV).
THE DETECTION OF DARK ENERGY IS SHAKING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE STANDARD DESCRIPTION OF THE UNIVERSE. Solving the puzzle has become a top priority of astronomers and physicists.
"WE DON'T KNOW WHAT DARK ENERGY IS," said Sean Carroll, a physicist at the University of Chicago. "It's a weird, crazy-sounding idea. But you have to deal with it. This is the Universe where we live.
For centuries, the universe was thought to be dominated by gravity, the fundamental force of nature that pulls objects toward one another. The recent findings, however, reveal A CONTRARY FORCE, sometimes called "negative gravity" that repels objects rather than attracts them. The revelation came last year when two telescopes--one floating a million miles out in space, the other at Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico--independently confirmed that THIS STRANGE FORCE IS CAUSING THE UNIVERSE TO EXPAND AT AN ACCELERATING RATE.
Several more high-level science projects are underway or in the planning process TO IDENTIFY THE SOURCE AND NATURE OF DARK ENERGY. A joint Canadian-French-American telescope on Hawaii's Maune Kea has begun "AN ULTRA-DEEP SURVEY" of the brilliant exploding stars known as supernovae, which are a key to unlocking Dark Energy's secrets.
NASA and the Department of Energy are seeking proposals for a JOINT DARK ENERGY MISSION TO BE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE sometime after 2010. A special telescope would discover and measure the distance to thousands of supernovae, far more than can be studied now. NASA is considering a separate DARK UNIVERSE OBSERVATORY consisting of A FLEET OF SEVEN X-RAY TELESCOPES to be launched in 2008 TO INVESTIGATE DARK ENERGY AND DARK MATTER...
Starting in 2011, a proposed ground-based project, THE LARGE SYNOPTIC SURVEY TELESCOPE, would use a 27-foot mirror to make three-dimensional maps of clusters of galaxies up to 8-billion years old...
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, BEING ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE;
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the Breadth, and Length, and Depth, AND HEIGHT;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God...(Ephesians 3:17-19).
...Charting the movements of these clusters over time should tell researchers HOW DARK ENERGY IS TEARING THEM APART.
It was supernovae that provided the first evidence of Dark Energy in 1998. Accurate measurements of the distances to these emote beacons upset the prevailing view that the force of gravity must be slowing the rate at which the universe has been expanding since its birth about 14 billion years ago. Instead of decelerating, the expansion rate began to speed up about 6 billion years ago and continues to do so, the supernovae observations showed. Scientists concluded that AN UNKNOWN FORCE MUST BE ACTING LIKE A COSMIC ACCELERATOR, overwhelming the braking action of normal gravity.
"Dark Energy is driving the acceleration," said Alan Guth, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge. "But we really have no understanding of this." Michael Turner, the chairman of the Department of Astro-physics at the University of Chicago called cosmic-acceleration "one of the most important discoveries in all science." Its discovery sent astronomers rushing to observe more such phenomena and cosmologists to conjuring up explanations for it.
The leading guess about the nature of Dark Energy comes from modern quantum physics. This is a branch of science, almost incomprehensible to laymen, that says there is no such thing as a perfect vacuum. WHAT APPEARS TO BE EMPTY SPACE IS FILLED WITH GHOSTLY PARTICLES THAT POP IN AND OUT OF EXISTENCE.
In Turner's words, "space is a simmering Sea of Particles living on borrowed time and borrowed energy." Said Carroll, "You can't turn off the jiggling."...
THIS INVISIBLE SEA OF PARTICLES exerts a negative pressure that makes objects repel rather than attract, one another, quantum physicists say. Albert Einstein first proposed such a force to explain why the universe isn't collapsing on itself. Einstein called it a "cosmological constant." He later repudiated the concept, but it's back in fashion, RELABLED AS DARK ENERGY AND CHALLENGING SCIENTISTS TO MAKE SENSE OF IT.