Space Jelly Beans

Dark matter/energy compared to normal baryonic matter.
Fermilab via Pinterest

As I was trying to think of an idea for a blog post, I asked my mom if she had any ideas. She responded immediately with “space jelly beans”, and I thought that was funny, so I googled it. Surprisingly enough, I found an image of jelly beans that were used to represent a comparison of dark matter/dark energy to baryonic (normal) matter.

Just one coloured jelly bean in a 200 ounce jar represents 100 billion stars and at least 500 million galaxies in the universe. We can only see and understand about 5% of matter because it is the only type that is affected by light. The other 95% is made up of dark energy (68%) and dark matter (27%). Dark matter and energy don’t interact with light or any of our current technologies, but we can analyse its effects to understand more about it. Dark energy is supposedly responsible for the universe expanding. If it weren’t for dark matter, galaxies would fly apart instead of rotating.

Dark matter and dark energy cannot be seen by the naked eye, but they affect the universe greatly. There is not much else we know about dark matter/energy at this point, except that most of the universe tastes like licorice.

Daniel Austin

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