(Community Matters) Dark energy is thought to comprise 74% of the universe but what is it? Yesterday was the first time I got that it’s a placeholder – they don’t know. They estimate that atoms account for 4%, that dark matter accounts for 22% and they call the remaining 74% dark energy. “It’s a fudge factor to help explain why the universe is expanding” and its expansion has accelerated. Expansion rate = radiation (light) + matter + universe’s shape + dark energy
Attended the Friday night BOV dinner with John Del Vecchio, Tana & Joe Christie, then to David & Ann Chappel’s new abode in the Davis mountains (with an extraordinary view of McDonald’s three largest telescopes), then a drop in by Julie Speed’s, late night libations & introducing John.
Saturday’s BOV meeting and scientific presentations, then an Marfa Public Radio/KXWT board meeting, then back to the observatory with John for dinner (enjoyed sharing a table with director David Lambert, his wife Melody and UT College of Natural Sciences Assoc Dean Appling & his wife) – afterwards, private tours of the 107″ Harlan J. Smith and the 32″ telescopes with brilliantly clear views of Saturn. John & I walked up from the visitors center wanting to be the first to see Saturn at dusk – lots of effort from about 6.5k feet to 7.8k for about a 5 minute head start once we arrived