More About Dark Energy than You Probably Know

Computer Model of what scientsits think our universe looks like today.

Although this site is pretty old, I just came across it this evening and felt the urge to discuss it.

If you have ever seen the beginning of a Desperate Housewives episode, the short introduction to this site should take you back. With a woman’s voice speaking about the mysterious unknown that is dark energy and the sound of eery music in the background, you can’t help but be coaxed into checking out the next slide.

Unlike other sites about dark energy you might encounter that contain complex equations and confusing terminology, this site is extremely novice friendly. Therefore, if you have no idea what a Type Ia Supernova is, or you have never really understood why gravity becomes weaker as objects are separated further and further, there are no worries! This introduction to what dark energy is, why it is still widely misunderstand, and how astronomers came to discover it in the first place are all explained in a concise and coherent way that will not bore or confuse you.

The tutorial consists of 11 slides that take you through the process of discovering dark energy and why it is thought to exist. It took me about ten minutes to get through and I was far more entertained by the end than if I had simply read about dark energy in a dictionary or a text book. The interactive aspect of the tutorial really helped to maintain my interest and keep me involved.

The site I found this tutorial on is known as HubbleSite, and it is a wonderful place to explore astronomy research if you’re not a professional astronomer and are just looking for some basics to expand your knowledge bank of black holes, dark matter, dark energy, pulsars, quasars, spiral galaxies, elliptical galaxies, and just about any other cool astronomy object(s) you can think of.

In addition to informative, interactive tutorials this site allows you to sign up for e-mails about Hubble’s most recent discoveries. Seeing as it is arguably one of the greatest technological achievements man has ever created, I would highly recommend visiting this site and learning a little more about how we got here and possibly gain some philosophical insight as to our purpose in life. (Personally, I believe our purpose is to continue expanding our knowledge because in science, there are no limits to what we can do.)