‘The biggest mystery!’ What Neil deGrasse Tyson loses sleep over revealed

The popular astrophysicist, author and science communicator made an appearance on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where the host asked what mysteries he hoped to solve in the coming year. Dr Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Centre for Earth and Space in New York, claimed he was hoping to learn more about dark energy and dark matter.These cosmic phenomena have long been the centre of studies by scientists, as they make up such a large proportion of our universe.

But Dr Tyson explained why they bother him more than the average researcher.

He said in 2019: “We’re trying to understand dark matter and dark energy more than we currently do.

“We know it’s there, but it’s a complete mystery, we don’t understand the origin of 85 percent of all the gravity in the universe, it’s not black holes, comets, stars or planets.

“It’s actually gravity with no known source, it’s really dark gravity.

“Then, there’s some mysterious pressure in the vacuum of space that we call dark energy, but we should just call it Fred and Wilma, because we don’t know what they are.

“Don’t give it a name that makes people think we know what it is, it’s a mysterious pressure in the vacuum of space forcing the universe to accelerate in its expansion.

Dr Tyson went on to reveal one thing that makes him question the universe.

He added: “I’ve written about this, because I lose sleep over it.

“This dark energy in the future will render the universe so large, having accelerated so significantly, that all the galaxies of the night sky will have accelerated beyond our horizon.

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“All the galaxies are the source of our knowledge of cosmology, everything we know about the universe comes to us from these galaxies.

“If they accelerate beyond our horizon, the next generation of cosmic explorers will only have the stars of the Milky Way to think about.”

But, even more shockingly, Dr Tyson came up with another scenario which impacts modern astrophysicists.

He continued: “There would have been an entire chapter of the universe ripped from their view.

“They will be trying to contemplate an understanding of the universe without a significant past of what it was.

“So I lose sleep wondering today, was there some previous chapter ripped from the universe?

“Here we are, touching the elephant, not knowing that, in fact, there is an elephant standing there.”

Dr Tyson served on a 2001 government commission on the future of the US aerospace industry and on the 2004 Moon, Mars and Beyond commission.

He was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in the same year. 

From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the television show NOVA ScienceNow and since 2009, has hosted his weekly podcast StarTalk. 

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