”Cosmology has advanced to such an extent that we now can say with confidence that the universe appeared 13.7 billion years ago and that it has been expanding ever since, fueled by its energy and matter content. More remarkably, there are three main ingredients to the cosmic recipe: ordinary matter, the atoms you and stars are made off, makes up only 4 percent of the total; 23 percent comes in the form of dark matter, probably made of small particles that only interact with ordinary matter via gravity — we can “see” dark matter by the way it makes galaxies spin and how it bends light as it travels through space, but we still don’t know what it is; and finally, the rest, 73 percent of the stuff in the universe, is attributed to dark energy, the cause of the baffling cosmic acceleration. So, what the trio discovered in 1998 is the dominant source of energy in the cosmos, powerful enough to make it stretch faster than the speed of light.
NPR on this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics which was given to a trio of astronomers who made an extraordinary discovery in 1998: that the universe not only is expanding, but it’s doing so at an accelerated rate. (via crookedindifference)