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Astronomers are still looking for the elusive dark matter - even though it makes up more than 90% of the universe. So you'd think they'd have a good grasp of baryonic matter, otherwise known as normal matter - including human beings. I guess that's not a surprise, that we don't fully understand human beings, including ourselves. Just ask anyone. But I digress.

So it's a big deal when scientists discovered a gauzy haze of nearly invisible baryonic matter enveloping two clusters of galaxies.


Click the image to see the story.

Aurora Simionescu of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics said, "So far, we could only see the clusters, the dense knots of the web. Now, we are starting to see the connecting wires of the immense cosmic spider web."

Cool beans.

Best,
Chris

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
piezocuttlefish
May. 9th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
The HREF for the image link is blank. I want that story! *pulls on your pantleg*
mckitterick
May. 9th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
Fixed! Sorry 'bout that, and thanks.
bodandra
May. 9th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
The first step
is always admitting that one has 'No Clue'.
Now that's out of the way, we can search more aggressively, right?
mckitterick
May. 9th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: The first step
Absolutely! And now that scientists know how to find this matter, they should have better success.
scottakennedy
May. 9th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
You're sure that's not just a picture of Tholian space? ;)
mckitterick
May. 9th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
That would explain a lot....
steve98052
May. 11th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
It would be interesting to find that the dark matter was all baryons that we just hadn't figured out how to see.
mckitterick
May. 11th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
...and Occam's Razor would suggest that's more likely.
steve98052
May. 12th, 2008 11:14 am (UTC)
The article says most of the dark matter is not baryons, rather than saying it's baryons we don't know how to see. I wonder whether that's a case of going with the customary assumption, or if there's some theoretical reason that says the dark matter can't be baryons. (Obviously it's not all baryons; we know that some of it is leptons, but that's usually ignored as an understood part of ordinary matter.)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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