De Profundis

Letter from D to G (2013-5-1)

1 May 2013

Dear G.,

It’s good to hear from you! It’s been years. Of course I’m willing to help, just let me know what you need.

Not that you haven’t caught me at an awkward time. Our new camera went on the telescope nine months ago, and we’re all caught up in the excitement of making it work. An yet … I’m all about studying beauty and order in the sky, the structure of the matter we’re made of. These days, this century, though, instead of studying the light we’re studying the dark. A dark kind of matter that shines from the sun, shifting form as it goes—the bright guys, downstairs, gibber about “eigen states”. A dark kind of matter that dominates the galaxy, attracting all, a dark energy that fills space, repelling all. The brights gibber about “a whole new dark sector”.

It’s not the gibberish that disturbs me—often the best work sounds like madness at first. It’s not the night, I’m an astronomer, I love night. It is studying the dark that has me on edge.




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