After the Big Bang, what's left to discover?

Well, now that we have some proof of the universe's explosive inflation after the Big Bang, what are some of the other "big" questions that still remain to be answered? What's left to discover about the cosmos?

Plenty, says astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi of the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla.

He pointed out three "big" things that scientists who study the universe are still looking for: dark matter, dark energy and extraterrestrial life.

Direct detection of so-called dark matter — the invisible stuff that binds the galaxies together — remains elusive, Oluseyi says.

Dark energy is a kind of force hidden away inside seemingly empty space that may be speeding up the universe's expansion.

But beyond these rather abstract searches, what would likely capture the attention of not only scientists but also the entire world is the third item on his list: "Observation of life on other planets," he said.

And while any life would be of interest, intelligent life would be a bonus, he added.


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