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Science Technology

Half the Universe's Missing Matter Has Just Been Finally Found (newscientist.com) 247

An anonymous reader shares a report: The missing links between galaxies have finally been found. This is the first detection of the roughly half of the normal matter in our universe -- protons, neutrons and electrons -- unaccounted for by previous observations of stars, galaxies and other bright objects in space. You have probably heard about the hunt for dark matter, a mysterious substance thought to permeate the universe, the effects of which we can see through its gravitational pull. But our models of the universe also say there should be about twice as much ordinary matter out there, compared with what we have observed so far. Two separate teams found the missing matter -- made of particles called baryons rather than dark matter -- linking galaxies together through filaments of hot, diffuse gas. "The missing baryon problem is solved," says Hideki Tanimura at the Institute of Space Astrophysics in Orsay, France, leader of one of the groups. The other team was led by Anna de Graaff at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Because the gas is so tenuous and not quite hot enough for X-ray telescopes to pick up, nobody had been able to see it before.
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Half the Universe's Missing Matter Has Just Been Finally Found

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  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @03:12PM (#55338259)

    "Just been finally found"?

    How about "Just been found" or "Finally been found"?

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      Sadly that headline was copied verbatim from the New Scientist story.

    • by ytene ( 4376651 )
      Had we "just lost" this Dark Matter in the same way that Mr Bean "just lost" his binoculars?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • by thelexx ( 237096 )

      To make matters worse, as opposed to the summary the headline makes it sound like they only found half of the missing matter.

    • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:26PM (#55340053) Journal
      It's also not half the missing matter. Dark Matter is matter just not made of atomic constituents (protons, neturons and electrons) generally called baryonic matter. Only 4% of the universe is made of baryonic matter which, if the summary is correct and the half of this which was missing has been found this means that only 2% of the missing mass-energy of the universe has been discovered. There is a remaining 25% of the mass-energy of the universe in Dark Matter (which is still matter, just not baryonic) and ~71% which is Dark Energy which is the vacuum energy.

      So, I suppose if you just refer to matter alone then ~ 7% of the missing matter of the universe has been found but that is still nowhere near 50%, to claim that much you have to specify "50% of baryonic matter" or find Dark Matter (but in that case it would probably be a lot more than 50% found).
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I knew this already because logically, if the Enterprise D only needed one baryon cleaning sweep in a seven year run there can't be that much of it. 4% sounds about right.

    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      "Just been finally found"?

      How about "Just been found" or "Finally been found"?

      Discussing the semantics of the title is absurd, because the notion the matter was "missing" is absurd. It was always there, we were just too blind to see it.

  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @03:26PM (#55338369)
    They found some of the missing baryon matter. This is the normal matter that is around us every day. Dark matter is stuff that has momentum and exerts a gravitational field but doesn't interact electromagnetically, so we can't see it. We believe most of the matter in the universe is dark matter but we also believe there is a lot more of the normal baryon matter out there but we just don't know where or what it is. These studies have shown that there are filaments of hot gas stretching between galaxies. The density of this gas is extremely low but the volume it occupies is huge so it contributes to a large amount of the baryon matter in the universe.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @03:40PM (#55338473)
      Summary never said it was about dark matter. It's clearly talking about the missing baryon matter.
    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      They could have said that they found neutrons or protons which would have been much easier to understand for most people here.

  • Does that matter exist between stars and not only between galaxies? Can it be used as fuel for spaceships? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )

      Can it be used as fuel for spaceships?

      In a science fiction story, sure.

      In reality, no - it's far too sparse.

      • It's kind of like that 'asteroid belt' between Mars and Jupiter. When you see it in movies, they show it like the asteroid field in Star Wars (Empire Strikes Back, I think) where there are thousands of asteroids very close to one another and constantly smashing into one another. In reality, the average distance between objects is something like 2 million miles and most of them aren't any bigger than a basketball. All the asteroids put together wouldn't create a planet even half the size of Pluto.
  • It only makes sense for something as large as a galaxy in motion to shed a bit during travel. They produce enough of their own light.

  • Which one of us is going to tell Blue Penguin production company (makers of the "Dark Matter" teevee series) that their show's been found?
  • I was just about to report it lost and file insurance claims...
  • So by half the matter in the universe, we are taking 2.0-2.3% tops. [arxiv.org]
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      So by half the matter in the universe, we are taking 2.0-2.3% tops. [arxiv.org]

      This is the first detection of the roughly half of the normal matter in our universe -- protons, neutrons and electrons -- unaccounted for by previous observations of stars, galaxies and other bright objects in space.

      • Neither the slashdot nor the linked article said "half the normal matter". That's why I linked the actual arrive paper.
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @04:13PM (#55338719)

    It was behind the couch along with all the missing cat toys, single socks and car keys. ;)

  • I think that this is the first time the phrase "Has Just Been Finally Found" has been used, ever: https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]
  • as "University" vs "Universe." Good for them. Lol.
  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @05:12AM (#55341745)

    And the other half... is AOL discs... am I right?

  • Sorry for the low-effort shitpost... I couldn't resist.

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