Researchers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered that the universe may weigh 10 to 20% less than previously estimated. It all stems from X-rays astronomers thought were emanating from heavy dust and gases between galaxies, but are actually more likely coming from relatively fit and trim photons and electrons. Less matter also means that thereâ€™s less dark matter, all of which adds up to a significant difference in the total weight of the universe.
When reached for comment, the universe expressed relief about finally having evidence that it is, in fact, a size 6.
All this made me wonder what the weight of the universe actually is, a question that does not appear to have occurred to Ken Than, the writer of the article floating around the Intertubes. Or, it occurred to him but he figured that everybody already knew. Or, maybe everybody does already know and Iâ€™m just pathetically ignorant of cosmological BMI.
I found this handy article at spaceref.com that tells me the universe did weigh approximately 100 trillion trillion trillion trillion metric tons. That was written well before this new discovery, so I suppose that means the new estimation is somewhere around 80 to 90 trillion trillion trillion trillion metric tons â€“ which seems like a lot, I know, but really itâ€™s all muscle.
Special thanks to my buddy John for tipping me off to the news and for giving me the size 6 joke. Please post your own universal weight-loss pun below.
Cross-posted at the SGU Blog.