Skip to comments.Missing matter found in deep space
Posted on 05/20/2008 3:17:25 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Astronomers have found some matter that had been missing in deep space and say it is strung along web-like filaments that form the backbone of the universe.
The ethereal strands of hydrogen and oxygen atoms could account for up to half the matter that scientists knew must be there but simply could not see, the researchers reported on Tuesday.
Scientists have long known there is far more matter in the universe than can be accounted for by visible galaxies and stars. Not only is there invisible baryonic matter -- the protons and neutrons that make up atoms -- but there also is an even larger amount of invisible "dark" matter.
Now about half of the missing baryonic matter has turned up, seen by the orbiting Hubble space telescope and NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, or FUSE.
"We think we are seeing the strands of a web-like structure that forms the backbone of the universe," said Mike Shull of the University of Colorado, who helped lead the study published in The Astrophysical Journal.
The matter is spread as superheated oxygen and hydrogen in what looked like vast empty spaces between galaxies.
However, observations of a quasar -- a bright object far off in space -- show its light is diffused much as a lighthouse can reflect on a thin fog that was invisible in the dark.
"It is kind of like a spider web. The gravity of the spider web is what produced what we see," Shull said in a telephone interview. "It's very thin. Some of it is very hot gas, almost a million degrees."
This is where the dark matter comes in. The dark matter is heating up the gas, Shull said.
"Dark matter has gravity. It pulls the gas in," Shull said. "This causes what I call sonic booms -- shock waves. This shock heats it to a million degrees. That makes it even harder to see."
The atoms of oxygen are in a stripped-down, ionized form. Five of the eight electrons are gone. It emits an ultraviolet spectrum of light that instruments aboard FUSE and Hubble can spot, Shull said.
These web-like filaments of matter are the structure upon which the galaxies form, he said.
"So when we look at the distribution of galaxies on a very large scale, we see they are not uniform," Shull said. "They spread out in sheets and filaments."
Some faint dwarf galaxies or wisps of matter in these structures could be forming galaxies right now, the researchers said.
Shull and colleagues said these webs of hydrogen and oxygen are too hot to be seen in visible light and too cool to be seen in X-rays.
It’s probably the grey matter that went missing from my brain after I had my kids. I wonder if it will go in the lost and found for reclaiming.
Piece of Missing Cosmic Matter Found
Space.com on Yahoo | 5/12/08 | Andrea Thompson
Posted on 05/12/2008 7:05:51 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Big Chunk Of The Universe Is Missing — Again
www.sciencedaily.com | 11/05/2007 | University Of Alabama In Huntsville
Posted on 11/05/2007 11:18:05 AM PST by Red Badger
Flipping particle could explain missing antimatter
New Scientist | 18 March 2008 | Valerie Jamieson
Posted on 03/18/2008 10:21:29 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The matter is spread as superheated oxygen and hydrogen in what looked like vast empty spaces between galaxies.I can understand all the hydrogen... hydrogen is what was produced in the big bang.
But why such an abundance of oxygen over helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon and nitrogen?
What happened to all the helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon and nitrogen?
Why are they missing?
Working on one that exceeds the speed of light many times over. It accelerates the molecular vibration of all particals such that it enters the 11th dimension so that space would curve in on itself and allow you to effectively travel 100’s of times faster than the speed of light with a normal nuke ion engine.
The Mayan calandar only said that planets would align in 2012 or every 572 x 11 years. The Egyptains say that the allignment would point to the “Eye of Horis” which is a relatively blank spot in space. Maybe that is the spot where the center of the universe is located and that can only be observed in the southern hemisphere.
It is odd, though, that the edge of the universe seems to be the same distance in every direction from here. That might imply the center is not there at that spot, but where we are.
An explosion in a vacuum would radiate out in a circle from the equatorial center of the mass. Particles would be scattered outward and gasses would tend to remain in the center.
This object is so far away that no telescope can pinpoint what is beyond the other side of the center. This will be one of the things that only theory can explain as we will never really be able to provide real evidence.
i.e. It is effectively just a lot of hot air and little tangible substance.
The universe is spherical, finite, and unbounded. Topological fact proven. No center.
Has it really been proven that the universe has spherical topology?
Yes indeed. Poincare’s theorem. There were some threads a year or so ago. There was a book, too, and as interesting for the layman as a book about math can be. Of course one has to assume math has anything to do with a description of the universe aside from obviously being part of the universe.
I don’t think my question regarding the “missing elements” is so much about quantum physics as it is about stellar/nuclear chemistry.
Stars burn hydrogen and get helium. They burn helium to get heavier substances, which in turn fuel the fires to get even heavier elements, all the way up to iron. (Heavier than iron requires a supernova.)
So what kind of stellar burn sequence produced all that oxygen without producing the intermediate elements between hydrogen and oxygen?
The universe is spherical, finite, and unbounded.Finite... but growing without limit. With its rate of growth accelerating.
Poincare's Theorem says that any simply-connected 3-dimensional manifold is a 3-sphere. But I'm not sure that it has been proven that the universe is simply-connected (any loop can be smoothly shrunk to a point). Perhaps the universe has the structure of a more complex 3-dimensional manifold.