With the whir of a giant digital camera, the biggest mystery in the universe is about to become a bit less mysterious. Fifteen years ago, the world of science was rocked by the discovery that, contrary to our notions of gravity, distant galaxies appeared to be flying apart at an ever-accelerating rate. The observation implied that space itself was stretching apart faster and faster. It was akin to watching a dropped ball reverse course, speed upward and disappear into the sky. The discovery made many cosmologists — the scientists who probe the very nature of nature itself — acutely uncomfortable. For either our understanding of gravity is cockeyed, or some mysterious repulsive force — quickly and glibly dubbed “dark energy” — permeates the universe. via The Washington Post.
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