...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Day 2199: 95% of the Universe is made of Chocolate!

What other sort of Dark Matter is there?!?!?


One thing I did NOT know was that enormous chunks of the universe are, like Mr Balloon's policies, MISSING!

There is an EXTRA sort of matter in there that was not interacting with the stuff that we are used to – that is to say that it isn't GLOWING and it isn't REFLECTING, which means we cannot SEE it.

But we CAN guess that it is there from the way that other objects move around it.

Think of the way that MONEY pours into Lord Blairimort's back pocket – there is NO EVIDENCE to be seen, and yet SOME STRANGE FORCE is affecting all those soon to be ennobled Labour donors. What CAN it be?

In politics we call this "the House of Lords Club" but in science we call it GRAVITY!

Scientists first suspected something from the orbits of GALAXIES (more chocolate!), in particular the way that little galaxies were whipping round the edges of big ones a BIT TOO FAST.

Then they noticed that in big SPIRAL GALAXIES (like ours!) the stars all the way out to the edges were orbiting the middle at the same speed – whereas they OUGHT to be slower on the outsides because there is less gravity there to pull them along.

Next, they started looking at things EVEN BIGGER than galaxies, called CLUSTERS (chocolate crunchy clusters, I BET!) like this one.

Finally they realised that the WHOLE SHAPE OF THE UNIVERSE depended on there being something there that we cannot see from the light. Hence DARK!

Clever scientists have now used the HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE to work out a 3D DARK MATTER MAP of the universe. Well, a bit of it.

As you can see, the Universe is really a sort of CHOCOLATY SPONGE all swirled up with shiny galaxies stuck in like CURRANTS. Yes, it is a CHOCOLATE STICKY BUN!

I feel hungry now!

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