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posted by mrpg on Wednesday October 11, @07:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the tebow-satellite-had-nothing dept.

Baryonic (normal) matter has been found to be denser in the space between galaxies (the intergalactic medium) than previously thought. The observations are said to account for the missing baryonic matter expected to exist in the universe:

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.

A Search for Warm/Hot Gas Filaments Between Pairs of SDSS Luminous Red Galaxies

Missing baryons in the cosmic web revealed by the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect


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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @07:39AM (12 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @07:39AM (#580336)

    Can I hope that's the last thing to hear about the "dark matter"?
    Something tells me that's a fool's hope.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 11, @08:30AM (7 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @08:30AM (#580344) Journal

      Quite the opposite: This is a confirmation of dark matter: The very same models that predict dark matter also predicted the extra baryonic matter. And therefore finding the extra baryonic matter confirms those models, and thus dark matter.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:06AM (#580356)

        Maybe GP meant "the end of dark matter as a fudge factor to make equations fit", to which your answer is correct.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bootsy on Wednesday October 11, @10:28AM (5 children)

        by bootsy (3440) on Wednesday October 11, @10:28AM (#580375)

        I wouldn't say it confirms dark matter but it certainly doesn't disprove it. It's very much still a strong possibility and stronger than before.

        It adds evidence that those models could well be right so we can be more confident that they are correct.
        The model proposes several things and one of those is now testable and we have confirmed the extra baryonic mass part is true.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:07PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:07PM (#580538)

          It adds evidence that those models could well be right

          That's what "confirm" means in science.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by HiThere on Wednesday October 11, @05:54PM (2 children)

            by HiThere (866) on Wednesday October 11, @05:54PM (#580631)

            Yes. And it's worth noting that in science proof, in the sense used in "mathematical proof" is impossible. Scientific proof is more equivalent to strong confirmation.

            Those who demand certainty are incapable of understanding science, because in science nothing is ever certain, merely "highly probable". They should stick to math, where given the axioms and given that there are no logical errors, proofs mean certainty.

            --
            Put not your faith in princes.
            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @07:18PM

              by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday October 11, @07:18PM (#580717) Journal

              I thought Thomas Kuhn's formulation [wikipedia.org] of "disprove" and "failure to disprove" was a good one to highlight the distinction.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday October 12, @02:48AM

              by legont (4179) on Thursday October 12, @02:48AM (#580931)

              In fact scientific truth is simply something most scientists agree upon; nothing more. Why? Because only scientists are qualified to judge or even understand their field. Platonic truth is currently dead.

              --
              "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday October 12, @02:53AM

          by legont (4179) on Thursday October 12, @02:53AM (#580934)

          Forgive me, but for as long as I read slashdot every dark matter article discussion had one fool asking "what if it is interstellar dust?". All the time it was expertly explained that it is impossible because scientists already thought and dismissed this obvious theory for blah blah number of reasons. What the f changed?

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @12:35PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @12:35PM (#580425)

      from other comments you've made I get the impression you're an educated person.
      if you don't trust the specialists who spend 10 years studying in order to say "dark matter is required", your only alternative is to spend those 10 years yourself.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:05PM (#580577)

        He's a smart guy! He will get it figured out in 7!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:36PM (#580454)

      yes, you can (bary on)! still to be seen how this observation will help to wind up integrating the black-hole/qbits/dark-energy thing into something that works without special casing and DE fudge factoring, but for now, there's limitless interstellar fuel to be had. so that work is a win either way.

      meanwhile here's a silly poem to let the boyz continue holding on while DM could well be dead indeed.
        its not like anyone liked it to begin with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuwkbGAnkE0 [youtube.com] (4mins)

    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Wednesday October 11, @04:39PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Wednesday October 11, @04:39PM (#580560) Homepage

      Is that "something" decades of experience as an astrophysicist?

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
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