Topical Astrophysics Post And Open Thread
One of my friends recently met Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Space Symposium and they chatted for about 4 minutes about such things as the meme he’s inspired and general love of science and even as I thought “how awesome!”, I felt a surge of envy well up in me and I thought about the various things that I would have wanted to ask if I had 4 minutes with him… the biggest one being “where are all of the stars?”
Shouldn’t we have, light pollution or no, a sea of stars above us to the point where we’d never have a dark night? Shouldn’t we have about as much light as a so-called “supermoon” would provide for us? Where is all of the stuff?
In the debates over the existence of dark matter, I always felt like it was a waving away of the problem. An appeal similar to “aether”, if you will. A fill-in-the-gaps theory that really had no basis in serious scientific fact. A “it’s there, we just can’t see it and can’t test for it but for us to keep our theory, it needs to be there THUS it is there, Q.E.D.” which left me deeply unsatisfied.
Ironically, we have tools at our disposal that were mere science-fiction a couple of decades ago and dark matter, unlike aether, is, in fact, testable not only in theory but in practice and we’ve recently discovered a body of mass larger than any we’ve yet found and may have as much (or more) mass than the rest of the universe combined.
It’s your mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!