13.73 billion years, plus or minus 120 million years

According to this fascinating piece over at the Bad Astronomy Blog, that’s the age of the Universe. And furthermore…

The energy budget of the Universe is the total amount of energy and matter in the whole cosmos added up. Together with some other observations, WMAP ((The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.)) has been able to determine just how much of that budget is occupied by dark energy, dark matter, and normal matter. What they got was: the Universe is 72.1% dark energy, 23.3% dark matter, and 4.62% normal matter. You read that right: everything you can see, taste, hear, touch, just sense in any way… is less than 5% of the whole Universe.

Fascinating, and thought-provoking.
And now I’m off to Town Hall Seattle to listen to Uwe Bratzler, PhD talking about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Particle physics rules… from the Big Bang onwards!

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