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Canada Space Science

Vast Web of Dark Matter Mapped 86

astroengine writes "Astronomers from the University of British Columbia and University of Edinburgh have created a vast cosmic map revealing an intricate web of dark matter and galaxies spanning a distance of one billion light-years. This is the largest map of its kind and demonstrates that this large-scale web stretches across the universe in all directions. The results of this groundbreaking discovery were presented at the American Astronomical Society conference in Austin, Texas on Monday."
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Vast Web of Dark Matter Mapped

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  • by na1led ( 1030470 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:11PM (#38643944)
    How do they even know it's matter? It could be a sea of graviton waves or something.
  • Re:No such thing. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:42PM (#38645108)

    This or something similar seems to come up every time there is discussion of dark matter: "Dark matter was a lazy fix, instead physicists should realise theories were lacking and come up with a new one instead."

    Physicists did see physics was incomplete, they did come up with a new theory: dark matter. Dark matter is a new theory and is a way of saying previously physics was incomplete. Physicists also came up with dozens of other theories, but in the end they haven't been doing as well at matching evidence as dark matter.

    Way too often people seem to yell that they needed a new theory. But what is really going on, is dark matter is that new theory, and those people just don't like it. That is ok, a lot of people studying or promoting dark matter don't like it either, but still see it as the best of current theories. At least they are trying to look at actual evidence unlike most random armchair scientists on the internet complaining how lazy physicists are, by what amounts to a very lazy and unfounded argument of their own.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:08AM (#38647522)

    ...dark matter eventually turns out to be like luminiferous aether from the 19th century? I don't believe anyone has directly observed dark matter.

    We don't "directly observe" much of anything. Is that any reason to doubt the existence of x-rays? That our sun is a huge ball of gas undergoing fusion inside? That dinosaurs were actually living creatures?

    Even if you run an experiment in your lab, all you "directly observe" is the photons striking your eyes and the sound pressure waves impinging on your ears.

    Science is in the business of making inferences from evidence. We have a curious constellation of astronomical/cosmological evidence, for which dark matter is currently the best inference going. Yeah, we may have to throw it out... but the same can be said about *any* conclusion scientists have ever reached.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner