Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Dark Matter -- I Think They're Making It Up

I love stories about the scientific idea of "dark matter," maybe in part because it served as the title for one of my favorite fantasy works of all time: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. But how wacky can scientists get? This BBC news story on dark matter refers to the Very Large Telescope facility in Chile, insists that dark matter comes in a "magic volume" which happens to correspond to an amount that is 30 million times the mass of the sun and now we're told that while scientists used to think the Milky Way was the smallest galaxy in the local universe but now they think it's the biggest. And what exactly is a "local universe." I think they're making it all up and it's wonderful.

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