Reviews & Previews

Illuminating a dark universe

Space show brings the unseen to light

4:30pm, May 3, 2014
Dark matter simulated as black filaments in new planetarium show, Dark Universe.

WEBS OF MATTER  A vast web of dark matter, simulated as black filaments in the planetarium show Dark Universe, provides the universe’s large-scale structure. Gas collects at filament intersections to form the luminous galaxies seen in the night sky.

A hundred years ago, astronomers knew of just one galaxy: our own. Today they know the universe hosts billions. What’s more, the visible stuff of galaxies is dwarfed by dark matter, and each galaxy is racing away from the others due to an even more mysterious entity: dark energy. Dark Universe, developed by the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City, compresses a century of discovery into a crisp, comprehensible half hour.

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