Dark Matter

14 May 2011

Also at www.space.com/11642-dark-matter-dark-energy-4-percent-universe-panek.html 'What is 96 per cent of the Universe made of? Astronomers don't know' ... Richard Panek says that all the stars, planets, and galaxies make up just 4 per cent of the universe. The other 96 per cent is made of stuff astronomers can't see, detect, or even comprehend. They are tagged dark energy and dark matter and their existence is inferred based on gravitational influences on the little bits of the universe that can be seen - but themselves elude detection. His book, 'The 4 Percent Universe' (2011) recounts how dark energy and dark matter were discovered and the conflicts of interest and competition between teams of scientists. Again, there are some interesting comments - but one commenter attacks Panek rather than the subject matter, feeling free to make personal observations on the man rather than suggesting an explanation for the phenomenon he draws attention to. This kind of attack is common in climate science where one side is pushing an unlikely agenda and faced by sceptics who are sticking their heels in and holding their arms up against the gush of propaganda. Now it seems it has spread to astronomy and physics - another area where theories and models take precedence over actual observations. Is this once again a sign of a weak theory - does dark energy and dark matter really exist?