Scientists Have Figured Out What Colour The Universe Is

What's old is new again?

Over at Business Insider Australia we are told (with some lovely language) that Scientists have figured out what colour the Universe is. You've got to love a new and interesting astronomy story, but alas, the result is rather, well, beige (I refuse to say latte).
But that's not the point of this post. Now, I am not a young man any more, and my memory is not what it was, but I know I had heard this story before, somewhere in the past.

The story doesn't name any scientists or cite an original article, and so I turned to google. Hmmm - virtually the same story appeared in the UK Telegraph in 2009! Unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail carry very similar stories.

So this "news" is at least 5 years old! But now we have some names! Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry!

A little more detective work leads to New Scientist article entitled The Universe is not turquoise – it's beige. This story from 2002!!!!!!!! corrects and earlier story in which the colour of the Universe was found to be turquoise! So, we're now looking at a story from 12 years ago!

Deep in the depths of my brain I remembered the entire saga (cards on table, I used to work at the AAO with Karl and Ivan) about how they averaged the colours of galaxies, initially finding the average colour to be bluish and then finding with the correct colour interpretation its actually whitish. In fact, Karl has a nice write up on the who thing here.

BUT why has this story resurfaced? There is no new data, no new analysis, nothing. In fact, seven seconds of thought and clicks takes you to a wikipedia page that points out the original press release with the incorrect colour was in 2001, 13 years ago.

So, is there really no new science news interesting enough to be published this week? Do we have to dig up stories from the past? What do we expect to see next? "Scientists discover the universe is expanding"? "Scientist link the orbit of the moon to the falling of an apple"? or even "Proto-scientists discover this water stuff does not burn"? Come one media, you can do better than this!

Comments

  1. Maybe we should just be happy they actually published some science, even it was recycled.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe - but there is so much more science out there that could do with the attention :)

      Delete

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