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Missing matter found in deep space - Comments

LeeC's Avatar Comment 1 by LeeC

The gravity of the spider web is what produced what we see," Shull said in a telephone interview.

So God is a giant spider now? Cool - so much for man being made in God's image.

Lee

Tue, 20 May 2008 19:19:00 UTC | #173391

b0ltzm0n's Avatar Comment 2 by b0ltzm0n

To quote Carl Sagan:

A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.


I really hope our species grows up sooner than later. Thank "goodness" for people like Richard and Carl.

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:29:00 UTC | #173412

Tetsujin's Avatar Comment 3 by Tetsujin

This article is far too short for my liking. I need more info on this. Has anyone heard of this before or seen it in a magazine or journal?

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:31:00 UTC | #173413

KiwiInOz's Avatar Comment 4 by KiwiInOz

Now if they can just find my missing socks!

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:34:00 UTC | #173414

rivetheretic's Avatar Comment 5 by rivetheretic

I have this idea that the dark matter is in the extra dimensions needed for string theory. Just seems like a tidy explanation to me. Maybe it'll turn out to be right. Who knows?

I'm surprised about the oxygen. Why oxygen? Hydrogen and helium I could understand, that's left over from the big bang. Iron or nickel I could understand; other elements tend toward iron and nickel in nuclear reactions because they are the most energetically favorable elements.

(http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/nucbin2.html#c1)

But why oxygen?

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:36:00 UTC | #173415

rivetheretic's Avatar Comment 6 by rivetheretic

"It is kind of like a spider web. The gravity of the spider web is what produced what we see,"

No, wait! Not a spider web! Spaghetti! Oh Noodly One, how could I have ever doubted?

Tue, 20 May 2008 20:58:00 UTC | #173420

Damien White's Avatar Comment 7 by Damien White

It's always in the last place you look, isn't it?

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:25:00 UTC | #173428

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 8 by Don_Quix

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.
I'm not an astrophysicist, but I play one on tv, and I also watch a lot of science/space-related shows on TV ;) That being said, isn't this what many astrophysicists have been saying they think could be the case for many years?

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:33:00 UTC | #173433

b0ltzm0n's Avatar Comment 9 by b0ltzm0n

I'm surprised about the oxygen. Why oxygen? Hydrogen and helium I could understand, that's left over from the big bang. Iron or nickel I could understand; other elements tend toward iron and nickel in nuclear reactions because they are the most energetically favorable elements.


I've read in a few different places over time that the first stars in the universe were very massive and short lived, and only fused carbon and oxygen before going bang. JWST will hopefully provide a definitive answer! Cheers!

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/First_Supernovae_Quickly_Seeded_Universe_With_Stuff_Of_Life.html

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:38:00 UTC | #173439

nother person's Avatar Comment 10 by nother person

rivetheretic - Oxygen, and iron as well, are relatively abundant because they are produced in the interior of stars, just as helium is, only at a later stage and in less quantity. Oxygen, if I'm not mistaken is the third most abundant element in the universe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_the_chemical_elements

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:50:00 UTC | #173448

riki's Avatar Comment 11 by riki

It's odd that they've found the "Missing matter" but then in another science news, they've lost a void that's almost one billion light years wide.

Wed, 21 May 2008 00:56:00 UTC | #173523

Count von Count's Avatar Comment 12 by Count von Count

Did they find any car keys or left socks in this matter? I could have sworn I left them behind the couch...

Edit: Oops! KiwiInOz beat me to the punchline. Darn it.

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:17:00 UTC | #173532

Count von Count's Avatar Comment 13 by Count von Count


So God is a giant spider now?


Careful there LeeC. You are starting to sound like the very confused LaRouchian petitioner who tried to explain string theory to me by saying (mustering his best brainwashing), "physics is broken and they are trying to tie it together with strings."

Let's not get carried away with our analogies.

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:26:00 UTC | #173535

Geraint's Avatar Comment 14 by Geraint

rivetheretic: I'm surprised about the oxygen. Why oxygen? Hydrogen and helium I could understand, that's left over from the big bang. Iron or nickel I could understand; other elements tend toward iron and nickel in nuclear reactions because they are the most energetically favorable elements.


As other people have said, plenty of oxygen gets produced. There will be lots of hydrogen and helium in the filaments too, but it's also a matter of what you can detect. For gas at a given temperature, and using a given instrument, only certain species radiate strongly enough in the right wavelength range for the instrument to detect.

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:54:00 UTC | #173548

MorituriMax's Avatar Comment 15 by MorituriMax

This smells funny.

How does this new matter explain how galaxies stay together instead of flying apart, especially the stars around the edges which orbit the centers way too fast for them to remain in their home galaxies?

Plus, saying they found the "backbone" seems to imply a specific shape to the Universe with us at a specific place in it. Haven't we always been told that the universe looks the same in all directions from any point since there isn't a "center" in the sense that we normally apply to most objects?

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:54:00 UTC | #173549

Loathi's Avatar Comment 16 by Loathi

MorituriMax,

This discovery is not to be confused with dark matter, which is what theoretically keeps the galaxies together.

And there is not a center to the universe. The term backbone does not imply it has a center. There is a specific shape to the matter in the universe though.

Wed, 21 May 2008 03:16:00 UTC | #173575

doctor_regtools's Avatar Comment 17 by doctor_regtools

I got this article through the rss feed, the title of which was:

"Missing matter found in deep space by Yahoo"

For a minute I thought Yahoo had been diversifying!

Wed, 21 May 2008 04:05:00 UTC | #173595

Azven's Avatar Comment 18 by Azven

The missing matter cannot be Baryonic so therefore these strands of Hydrogen and Oxygen [what?], if they exist, must have already been counted, just not previously observed.

Wed, 21 May 2008 04:07:00 UTC | #173596

jeffers's Avatar Comment 19 by jeffers

The missing socks theory is mine I tell you, all mine! It's known as the theory of dark schmutter

Wed, 21 May 2008 04:11:00 UTC | #173602

RickM's Avatar Comment 20 by RickM

Oxygen?

If oxygen is left over from very, very short lived early stars, I would think there's yet heavier stuff out there.

I've heard of the filament structure idea before as well. Is this stuff left over from old stars as the universe is "yanked" apart by expansion?

Well, interesting article; need more details.

Wed, 21 May 2008 04:44:00 UTC | #173620

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 21 by Quetzalcoatl

Everyone-

this article has a lot more detail:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520152013.htm

Wed, 21 May 2008 04:47:00 UTC | #173623

extian's Avatar Comment 22 by extian

rivetheretic:
The concentration of O in the Universe has to do with nuclear interactions in the process of fusion (I don't play a physicsist on TV, but I'm studying to be one IRL, does that count? ;)).

The process goes (simplified):
(proton-proton chain - low T, high % of H)
H H->D
D H->He (with 2 protons and 1 neutron, let's call it He3)
He3 He3->He4 2H
rinse, repeat

(triple alpha chain, higher T, higher % of He)
He4 He4->Be8
Be8 He4->C12
C12 He4->O16

(CNO chain, even higher T, with higher % of C, N, O)
C12 H->N13
N13->C13 (beta decay)
C13 H->N14
N14 H->O15
O15->N15 (beta decay)
N15 H->C12 He4

So, you see, there's always some O to go around, that's why it's the third most common element in the universe. Plus, as you can see, most repeated chemically active elements are H, C, N, O, also the most common in Earth biology.

Heh.... gotta love nuclear physics. :D

EDIT:
Damnit, for some reason, it removes all the plus signs I put. :( Oh, well. There should be plus signs on all but beta decay equations. I hope it's clear like this also.

Wed, 21 May 2008 04:55:00 UTC | #173631

zbob's Avatar Comment 23 by zbob

Why does matter matter to the matter under consideration? jk (^_^)

Wed, 21 May 2008 04:59:00 UTC | #173634

zbob's Avatar Comment 24 by zbob

As a matter of fact, for that matter, no matter where the conversation goes, it does not matter to the matter!

Wed, 21 May 2008 05:20:00 UTC | #173644

Geraint's Avatar Comment 25 by Geraint

RickM: I've heard of the filament structure idea before as well. Is this stuff left over from old stars as the universe is "yanked" apart by expansion?


No, these filaments are on larger scales than that. As the denser parts of the Universe collapse, filaments are formed quite naturally, leading to a 'cosmic web' sort of structure.

Here's a picture of it from a simulation of dark matter:
http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/millennium/seqB_063.jpg

Edit: I should add, that picture's about three billion light years on a side. We can actually see the filamentary structure in galaxy surveys, because the galaxies are strung out along the filaments. But it's very hard to see the other, diffuse gas in the filaments that hasn't collapsed into galaxies, and that's the point of this news article.

Incidentally, the reference to the 'backbone' is meant to conjure up an image of these filaments being the most important feature of the structure. It's not meant to imply there's one dominant structure somewhere in the Universe. You can see in the simulation that there is complex structure even though the picture is homogeneous on large scales.

Wed, 21 May 2008 05:23:00 UTC | #173648

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 26 by Don_Quix

To be quite honest, this discovery is terrible news for atheists. Just think of how many gaps there must be between all that matter!

Wed, 21 May 2008 09:51:00 UTC | #173769

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 27 by Steven Mading

18. Comment #182884 by doctor_regtools on May 21, 2008 at 5:05 am
I got this article through the rss feed, the title of which was:

"Missing matter found in deep space by Yahoo"

For a minute I thought Yahoo had been diversifying!

Nah, it's still a search engine, just a really, really comprehensive one. Next I'll ask it for "life on other planets" and see what it finds.

Wed, 21 May 2008 11:01:00 UTC | #173804

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 28 by Rawhard Dickins

OK, I have a confession now..



It's down the back of the sofa!

Wed, 21 May 2008 11:42:00 UTC | #173829

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 29 by Cook@Tahiti

This doesn't explain the flat rotation curve of galaxies. Some reporter has misrepresented this.

This is not the matter you are looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.

Wed, 21 May 2008 15:25:00 UTC | #173948

Count von Count's Avatar Comment 30 by Count von Count

The picture I have in my head about this is the following one which is a massively large simulation of the universe. Many thousands (or millions) of galaxies are represented in each pixel. This picture seems to show some of the "gaps" and "foam like structure" of the universe.

The related article is here.


Here
is another very beautiful "close" up. It's a little too large to post here though.

Wed, 21 May 2008 16:55:00 UTC | #173961