Monday, May 17, 2010

Cold Dark Matter

Back in the '90s (back? so long ago?) astronomers knew that the Universe was full of something they called "dark matter," something which had enough mass and gravitational pull to change the orbits of galaxies and alter the expansion of the universe. But they had no idea what the "dark matter" might be. The problem is still unsolved today although there are some leads toward an answer and "dark matter" has been documented in observations.

In those premillennial days, they thought that perhaps dark matter was something as prosaic as a vast amount of space rocks and debris, too dark or small to reflect light that telescopes could see. That was what I depicted in this painting. I imagined a universe filled with crunchy floating rocks, every star surrounded by a rubble field. There must be plenty of this stuff really out there, countless asteroid fields with anything from planet-sized down to clouds of gravel. But the scientists decided that this was not enough to be dark matter, and they're still looking now.

"Cold Dark Matter" is acrylic on illustration board, 16" x 20", January 1991.

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

Mmmm, crunchy Universe! I like this one. The blue is great and you actualy got a bit of feel of motion from the way you have the rocks/dark and light areas arranged!