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Space Science

Huge Lenses To Observe Dark Energy 121

Iddo Genuth writes "UK astronomers, as a part of the Dark Energy Survey collaboration, have reached a milestone in the construction of one of the largest ever cameras to detect dark energy by completing the shipment of the glass required for the five special lenses. Each step in the process of completing this sophisticated camera brings scientists closer to detecting the invisible matter that cosmologists estimate makes up around 75% of our universe."
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Huge Lenses To Observe Dark Energy

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  • by little1973 ( 467075 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @01:44AM (#24055471)

    Dark energy may be an indicator that we live in a false vacuum []. If this is the case and the true vacuum is speeding towards us with the speed of light then we are doomed. So, add another doomsday scenario to your list.

  • Re:Oymoron anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pudro ( 983817 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @02:46AM (#24055741)
    Basically, they will take more accurate measurements than before. Then they will look at how badly gravity-only models fail. They will adjust this as much as possible using the imaginary qualities of "dark matter". When they still come up well short of getting it right, then the rest will be explained away by assuming "dark energy" wherever needed to adjust for the failure.

    When "96% of the universe" is only detectable by how your model fails with the visible stuff alone, measurements of the visible stuff become useless. It isn't even science at that point.
  • by NeoSkink ( 737843 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:13AM (#24055927)
    Occam's Razor actually works against MOND. MOND has to be changed to account for what we observe at pretty much every scale. The MOND that works for Galaxy rotation doesn't work for clusters, which doesn't work for lensing, which doesn't work for early structure formation, and so on.

    LCDM accounts for this. Heck, you don't think that we scientists got together one day and said "I know, lets make up some goofy theory and then fudge the data to fit it!" do you? You do realize multiple theories were purposed, predictions were created, new data was taken, and conclusions drawn about which theories were supported by the new evidence, right? And that LCDM is the one that survived all the vetting?

    Just checking... See, that's sort of how science is supposed (and did in this case) work.
  • Hrm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Auckerman ( 223266 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:13AM (#24056261)

    You can't observe dark energy or dark matter. They are fill in terms for unobserved matter and energy that must exist based off our limited observations, but we can't see.

    I'm of the mind that neither exist and are kludges to stop the leaky pipes of modern science from falling apart, because key parts of our understanding of Cosmology and Astronomy are just plain WRONG.

  • Re:dark energy? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @07:30AM (#24057237)

    "If it's "dark" that means it's undetectable by normal means like giant lenses for instance. How could you just see dark energy? "

    I would imagine it's like 'seeing' wind because trees sway.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault