In a result that seems destined to go down in the annuls of cosmology, the WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotrophy Probe) satellite has delivered a map of incredible detail that shows the universe over 13 billion years ago. Among other things, this remarkable measurement has allows scientists to set the age of the universe (13.7 billion years) within one percent of error. The study also revealed that the universe appears to be headed for a cool, low-density fate. Also, and I think this is the most fascinating, the data has fixed the ratio of normal matter, dark matter, and dark energy as follows:
- 4%: normal matter (everything we have ever seen, atoms, light, etc.)
- 23%: "dark" matter (we don't know what this is)
- 73%: "dark" energy (something like antigravity)
Heh, it turns out that ol' Einstein may have been right all along. It just goes to show you: never bet against the man. We'll, it's always good to learn that you've not even scratched the surface of understanding your own universe. We have a long way to go...