Dark Energy by Mark Kingston Levin, PhD Award-winning Author and Scientist
What is dark energy? About 70 % of our universe.
Figure 1. Dark Energy Camera
Dark energy is the energy that is causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate. If the energy were converted to mass, (using Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2) that mass would make up about 70 percent of the universe. Dark matter takes 25 percent, and everything we can see plus the stars and planets we cannot because they are too far away equals about 4 percent.
How can we learn about the universe? Astronomers and other scientists like Edward Hubble first pointed out that other galaxies exist in the billions. He also used the red shift to predict most of these galaxies were moving away from us, leading to the big bang theory. The further they were from Earth the faster they moved away from Earth. Although that is true most times, there are exceptions. For example, Andromeda is expected to collide with our Milky Way galaxy in about 4 billion years.
The answer for human survival is to move to one or more nearby solar systems that are predicted to have longer life and habitable planets. Long before that happens, the oceans will boil off and Earth will no longer be habitable.
In astronomy, the standard candle refers to a type 1a supernova, which can be about as bright as an entire galaxy but only lasts for a about week. Astronomers and other scientists now have a tool to measure distance with some accuracy because these type 1a supernovae are always the same brightness. Is the data from the Humble telescope accurate enough to solve dark energy? No scientific explanation has yet come forward from the data. It maybe the biggest mystery in physics.
Dr. Levin puts forth an interesting and original idea in his novel 30th Century: Escape through his leading lady, Jennifer. That black holes create space. If true, that idea could explain how dark energy expands the universe. The theory is not quite that simple; we need to know more about black holes. The next two space telescopes planned, James Webb and HDST, may give us more answers.
Credit (ESA/STScl) Hubble News Release
Figure 3. “Two star clusters are becoming one in30 Doradus, 170,000 lightyears away in the Large Magellanic Cloud.”
It will not be a long wait before we get to look at planets for the signs of life and extraterrestrial biology. The James Webb will focus on the infrared and will not be a replacement in the visible and near-infrared for Hubble; we must wait until 2030s. Stay tuned for next blog about what could have caused the big bang. NASA photo from Hubble of distant stars and nebula
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Dr. Levin was born and grew up in Vermont with many winters spent in Florida as a child. As a teenager he wrote poetry, served as a lifeguard and played football. He currently enjoys sailing, exploring underwater caves, snorkeling, writing science fiction and other pursuits. After working on the Apollo and Mars projects, he returned to school to study under Nobel Laureate Paul Dirac, obtaining his PhD in 2.5 years. Dr. Levin founded two companies and served the science policy apparatus in President Ford’s administration. He has been published over 44 times in scientific literature and was awarded over 32 US patents. The science fiction writer is now emerging with his first work, a trilogy entitled 30th Century. The first award-winning book, 30th Century: Escape, is currently available on Amazon. Book two in the series, 30th Century: Revived, was released April 29, 2018. It is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.