Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

What I Learned From Last Night's Horizon

The Standard model of the universe is brilliant. It explains everything. Only it isn't and doesn't- because it only works if we factor in a couple of unknown unknowns (thank you, Rummy). The first unknown unknown is dark matter- which supposedly makes up most of the mass of the universe and is invisible and undetectable- and the second is dark energy- which allegedly fills the vaccuum of space- and is similarly invisible and undetectable. Naming these unknown unknowns creates the illusion that we know what we're talking about- when we don't.

And now we've detected something we've decided to call dark flow. A whole bunch of galaxies is moving, in a determined manner and faster than the standard model allows, towards a mysterious vanishing point in the sky. This could be evidence of the gravitational pull of universes beyond our own or....well.... cosmologists are still at a loss. The standard model is a lovely thing- Big Bang, inflation, formation of stars and galaxies, slowing down of the outward expansion of the universe- except that the more data we assemble the more likely it seems that it could be completely and absolutely wrong.

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