Light or no light; this is the question.
We’re all fascinated by those splendid starry nights, where we see ourselves as small insignificant beings looking at a vast realm of wonders. We’re aware that those shinning white dots are painted on a black background, and that is what this is all about. I’ve been wondering about the darkness of space since I can remember. I always thought that space was dark because that was its colour, space was THE black colour. Filled with different types of electromagnetic radiation which gives us about 97% to 3% of matter. But I’ve learned lately thanks to Joseph through the RTU blog that our eyes may deceive us sometimes. As I’ve written in a previous post called “Can we catch rainbows ”, “Pure white light” or that which comes from our Sun can be split into a continuous spectrum of frequencies that range from the shortwave ultraviolet to the near infra red longer wavelengths. Our human eye can distinguish around 10 million different such frequencies, not just 7. Seven has become a common misconception adopted as reality simply for most humans convenience. We can make black colour by mixing yellow, bleu and red, even though it’s never totally black. To make things worse, black is the colour of an object which absorbs all of the colours of visible light, for which we can assume to be the same as no light.
Our brain shows us what our eyes detect; they are light receptors. So when there is no light, there is nothing to be received, therefore we don’t see anything. Such as when we turn off the lights and we stand in a pitch “black” room. The room hasn’t turned black when the lights went off, it’s our brain that perceived the darkness as if it was blackness. We may still touch the chair or the table but we’re not able to see them. The universe uses the same mechanism with a slightly difference. The universe is only dark in the sense that it is devoid of radiation that can be detected by the human eye; if it is dark to the human, it does not make it devoid of electromagnetic radiation.
Now, to answer the main question, is space dark or black ?
It is dark. Because we perceive what has no light, black. If we take a region of space full of stars, we would notice that space is filled with light and colours. Space is a place of wonders, with which we would never be fully acquainted.
But in the reality, is space really dark? If we could travel to the end of the universe, would we see a different horizon? Or is darkness/nothingness an illusion perceived only by the human eye?