Learn more physics!
Does dark energy play a part in binding planets in their orbits?
- Brad (age 32)
We don't think that dark energy plays any noticable role in planetary
motion. It does seem to be driving an acceleration of the rate of
expansion of the universe, but on the scale of galaxies or smaller,
that effect doesn't significantly change the shorter-range effects
holding things together.
In the long run, understanding dark energy may be connected to
unraveling other deep puzzles needed to figure out why physics looks
anything like the way it does, but meanwhile you can calculate
planetary motion fairly well using Newtonian physics, and very very
well using General Relativity.
(republished on 07/21/06)
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