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It's not a direct picture, but an indirect one, and we've seen a lot of those (search gravitational lensing). Still pretty though :wub:
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Scientists aren't clear about what dark energy is, but they do know that it makes up a large chunk of our universe, about 72 percent. Another chunk, about 24 percent, is thought to be dark matter, also mysterious in nature but easier to study than dark energy because of its gravitational influence on matter that we can see. The rest of the universe, a mere 4 percent, is the stuff that makes up people, planets, stars, and everything made up of atoms.
I had no idea. That number, combined with that photo that shows hundreds of galaxies and billions of stars... it almost makes my mind implode from the sheer scale of the universe.

"Infinite" really is a hard concept for our tiny little brains to comprehend.
 

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MY GOD, there were a lot of idiotic comments on that page. Seriously. :noplease:

Good pictures, though. :yesway:

I had no idea. That number, combined with that photo that shows hundreds of galaxies and billions of stars... it almost makes my mind implode from the sheer scale of the universe.
I remember that this was one of the first things I learned in astronomy and it was kind of a "wait, what?!" kind of thing. "You mean this insanely huge vast universe and everything we're studying about it accounts for about 4% of the universe's mass?" "Yeah." "......"

"Infinite" really is a hard concept for our tiny little brains to comprehend.
Well, it isn't infinite. It's just really really really really big. Infinite would mean that there is no edge to the universe, but there is. It would also mean there is no limit to the universes's mass, but there is.

It's just that the extent of how small humans... the Earth... the sun... and our solar system is on the scale of the Milky Way... and how small the Milky Way is on the scale of our global cluster... and how small that is on... well, anyway, you get the idea.
 

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Imagine being an old-school particle physicist, spending your whole life trying to figure out what atoms are made from, then some asshole astrophysicist comes up to you and says, "You know, that's only 4% of the universe."
 

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For the first time, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope were able to take advantage of a giant magnifying lens in space - a massive cluster of galaxies - to narrow in on the nature of dark energy. Their calculations, when combined with data from other methods, significantly increase the accuracy of dark energy measurements. This may eventually lead to an explanation of what the elusive phenomenon really is.
Ugh, sensationalism isn't beyond NASA I guess :lol:. This isn't the first picture evidence of dark matter. It's not even the first calculation. It is, however, a better picture, and they may have more confidence in their calculation based on this image, along with other calculations from other astrophysicists from other projects that relate to this in some way.

Darren, is this how you feel when someone calls it an input jack? :lol:
 

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NSLALP
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Ugh, sensationalism isn't beyond NASA I guess :lol:. This isn't the first picture evidence of dark matter. It's not even the first calculation. It is, however, a better picture, and they may have more confidence in their calculation based on this image, along with other calculations from other astrophysicists from other projects that relate to this in some way.

Darren, is this how you feel when someone calls it an input jack? :lol:
They have to justify their budget somehow, dude. :lol:
 

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Well, it isn't infinite. It's just really really really really big. Infinite would mean that there is no edge to the universe, but there is. It would also mean there is no limit to the universes's mass, but there is.
Well, the simple fact of the matter is that we just don't know. To humans, the edge of the universe is the distance in light years in any given direction from our planet. That doesn't mean the universe stops there; it simply means that is as far as has been revealed to us, since we need light to see things. The Earth is also not the center of the universe, so we can see further in certain directions than others, relative to how far we are from where the Big Bang occurred, and we're still moving away.

So, the REAL question is what is beyond the known edge of the universe? More universe? Nothing? Other universes? For all we know, the universe could be infinite, or part of a finite or infinite multiverse.
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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So, the REAL question is what is beyond the known edge of the universe? More universe? Nothing? Other universes? For all we know, the universe could be infinite, or part of a finite or infinite multiverse.
Nothing in nature is infinite. Its a human concept. I believe it was Michio Kaku that said that on one of the shows i was watching.
 

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NSLALP
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There is no center. At all. :steve2:
Is the center not where the Big Bang originated - the point of the original singularity - in theory? I thought there was very clearly a center from which all things were accelerating/decelerating/whatever. My cosmology is rusty though.

According to Wiki, it is Boston, "which calls itself "The Hub of the Universe."" :lol:
 

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Is the center not where the Big Bang originated - the point of the original singularity - in theory? I thought there was very clearly a center from which all things were accelerating/decelerating/whatever. My cosmology is rusty though.

According to Wiki, it is Boston, "which calls itself "The Hub of the Universe."" :lol:
Yeah, that's what I was implying. The spot where it all began is what most people think of as the center.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Nothing in nature is infinite. Its a human concept. I believe it was Michio Kaku that said that on one of the shows i was watching.
I believe the exact opposite... that the Universe has always been here, and has no boundaries. I think the concept of a finite Universe is more of a man-made idea. We seem to be obsessed with the idea that everything has to have come "from somewhere" and be going somewhere else. 99.9% of religion exists to explain both of those two ideas, and science hasn't come much closer. ;)

Is the Universe actually expanding, or is it just our increasing ability to see further into space that's giving us insight into the further reaches of the Universe?
 

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The universe is expanding, but not from a central point. It's expanding from everywhere :lol:


OK....


Imagine you're an ant, on a balloon. The balloon is so ridiculously big, that what is actually a 3D world appears to be 2D. Now, if I were to add air to this balloon, the ant would think, "Holy shit, my world is expanding, and I seem to be the center of expansion!"

That's what we first thought when we noticed that everything in the universe was moving away from us. Then we discovered that everything was moving away from everything else. The universe is a jerk :lol:
 
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