Dark Energy by Robison Wells
Want to hear something freaky?
Go outside and look at the night sky. Assuming you’re not in a big city, you should see quite a few stars—in the neighborhood of a few thousand. If you have a good set of binoculars, you can increase that to 200,000. If you’re using a telescope in an observatory, you can see more than a billion.
A billion. That’s a freakload of stars.
But wait, it gets better.
The Milky Way alone has 400 billion stars. And that’s just one galaxy. There are more than 170 billion galaxies. If 170 billion galaxies each have 400 billion stars . . .
A septillion. That’s one followed by twenty-four zeros. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
So, a freakload of stars.
But you know what else is out there?
Dark energy. Dark matter. We call it dark because we can’t see it, like, at all. We can’t see it, we don’t know what it is, we don’t know where it came from, and yet it makes up 96 percent of the matter in the universe.
That’s right: 96 percent of the stuff of the universe is dark, inexplicable something.
The astronomer Carl Sagan said once, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
This story isn’t about dark energy, except to say there is a ton of stuff in the universe that we don’t understand.
Sometimes it lands here.
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