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Universe Has Billions More Stars Than Thought - Comments

Mbee's Avatar Comment 1 by Mbee

There is just so much out there to learn about ... and still no sign of any gods.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 14:48:00 UTC | #452995

bluebird's Avatar Comment 2 by bluebird

no sign of any gods

Au contraire ;)

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 14:55:00 UTC | #453002

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 3 by prettygoodformonkeys

Does this mean that the search for dark matter is less critical than we thought, since there must now be more visible mass accounted for than we thought? Or, does it make things even more confusing?

With many new discoveries, the latter seems to be the case.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 14:56:00 UTC | #453005

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 4 by Roland_F

The headline seems to be wrong: there are billion of more galaxies (each itself containing billion of stars) than originally counted.

Comment #473299 by prettygoodformonkeys : Does this mean that the search for dark matter is less critical than we thought, since there must now be more visible mass accounted for than we thought£

Dark matter is also “locally needed” to explain the missing gravitational pull to keep galaxies (including our own) together.
With the new galaxies >10 billion LY away which were overlooked so far at the edge of the visible universe, the question is if this has any influence on the assumed ratio of visible matter (4%) to dark energy (70%) and if yes how much is the effect on the overall ratio when ”up to 90% of cold galaxies at the edge of visibility were missed”.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 15:14:00 UTC | #453013

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 5 by prettygoodformonkeys


Thank you. If it's still 'locally needed', then wouldn't the local calculations for the missing dark matter remain the same, and therefore also the ratio?

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 15:20:00 UTC | #453018

Dwain's Avatar Comment 6 by Dwain


..thanks for the picture. There must be more semi-intelligent life out there somewhere. What are their gods like?

Did your bird want to be as pretty as a peacock, and to retain flight?

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 15:53:00 UTC | #453030

lisangelo's Avatar Comment 7 by lisangelo

Billions and billions...
How curious is the fact that skeptical and scientific minds are more fascinated with the wonders around us than religious ones.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 15:54:00 UTC | #453031

ridelo's Avatar Comment 8 by ridelo

Could this account for the so-called dark matter?

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 16:57:00 UTC | #453055

Saerain's Avatar Comment 9 by Saerain

More galaxies don't help the dark matter problem. More luminous mass within each galaxy would.

Unless this discovery also implies that 90% of the light from galaxies even as close as Andromeda and Triangulum is failing to reach us. That would be immensely helpful.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 17:32:00 UTC | #453069

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 10 by robotaholic

This article is not written very well.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 20:34:00 UTC | #453127

ridelo's Avatar Comment 11 by ridelo

Thanks, Saerain. If I understand well than dark matter has to be postulated for understanding the build up of even one galaxy. Without the dark matter it would fly apart.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 20:54:00 UTC | #453136

The Schuermannator's Avatar Comment 12 by The Schuermannator

Wait, if scientists messed up by as much as 90%, that means they could be just as wrong about the actual age of the universe.

Maybe the Earth really IS less than 10k years old. YECS, FTW!

Not. I can't wait to hear what real creotards have to say about this...

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:02:00 UTC | #453137

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 13 by Philoctetes

You beat me to it Schermannator.
I can see the headlines: "Scientists 90% wrong about the cosmos."
Logical conclusion: The bible is right after all.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:26:00 UTC | #453145

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 14 by Philoctetes

The discovery of the microwave background and now these additional ancient, faint and distant galaxies has done much to help us calculate WHEN our Universe began. I see less (in fact in my case none) information on WHERE it began. We all accept that the Universe is expanding. Knowing from WHERE would enable us to point our telescopes into our slipstream and if they become powerful enough; to see the universe as it was when the galaxies formed or better still to the maelstrom of plasma before they coalesced. Except, I think there must be some paradox about light speed making this impossible? should I think about this more and hopefully receive a well deserved Nobel Prize or am I barking up the wrong tree. Better still, can anyone give me answers?

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:41:00 UTC | #453150

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Comment 15 by the4thNeutralNuclide


There is no where to point a telescope at. The Universe appears to expand away from wherever it is observed from. The closest my mind can get to it is based on a text from my Astronomy courses with the OU. It says you can start to imagine the idea by putting several marks on a balloon and inflating it. From each mark's POV the 'Universe' is expanding away. Tom

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:50:00 UTC | #453152

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 16 by Philoctetes

I accept that the4thNeutralNuclide, because that was more or less the same reply I got from them. I'm happy to agree with it, but I think that as space and time were united by Einstein into "Spacetime", It seems to me that if we can locate an origin in TIME, we should be able to locate it in SPACE. Or am I just exposing a metaphor by over extending it?

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 22:14:00 UTC | #453159

Szymanowski's Avatar Comment 17 by Szymanowski

It seems to me that if we can locate an origin in TIME, we should be able to locate it in SPACE.

In that sense, the location of origin is "everywhere", in the 3D geometry we're familiar with, which isn't a very helpful thing to know.

You seem to have the idea that matter expanded from a point in space, rather than the space itself expanding.

Wikipedia: "What is the universe expanding into?"

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 22:41:00 UTC | #453171

old-toy-boy's Avatar Comment 18 by old-toy-boy

If we cannot see light form some stars, How do we know they are there? And then go on to claim it a figure of 90% more stars? Sounds like a silly story made up by for a slow news day. As for the warm hydrogen, that could be just reflected star light from the stars we can see. (A little more critical thinking please.)

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 22:53:00 UTC | #453175

flistr8's Avatar Comment 19 by flistr8

Philoctetes, I would strongly recommend this explanation by Sean Carroll.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 23:36:00 UTC | #453184

Eyerish's Avatar Comment 20 by Eyerish

Dwain: Peacocks can actually fly.

The universe is just amazing and beautiful all at the same time. Miscounting a few billion galaxies in the context of the universe are still small numbers and don't give the religious any reason to rejoice in their delusions - although they will. They are the masters of spin and self delusion and will just exploit this as more gaps in knowledge to be filled in by their books.

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 02:13:00 UTC | #453215

deziner's Avatar Comment 21 by deziner

It seems to me that if we can locate an origin in TIME, we should be able to locate it in SPACE. Or am I just exposing a metaphor by over extending it?

What you have to do is stop of thinking of the universe as the whole balloon. Instead, think of the universe as the surface of the (magically self-inflating and valveless) balloon -- the air inside and out is irrelevant. When you do this, it becomes clear that the theory proposed is that the universe, like the surface of a balloon, curves back onto itself in every direction.

This means there is no centre to point at and say "there, that's the centre", and there are no edges to bump into if you could travel far and fast enough.

The limitation of the metaphor is that balloons have insides, and they expand into space on the outside, whereas the universe is not expanding into anything nor does it have an inside that's pushing out.

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 04:08:00 UTC | #453233

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 22 by Agrajag

2. Comment #473296 by bluebird on March 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Au contraire ;)

I think that's meant to be personal. ^_^

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 04:17:00 UTC | #453234

mmurray's Avatar Comment 23 by mmurray

So is this going to spoil the symmetry:

(1) 100 billion galaxies in the universe

(2) 100 billions stars in each galaxy

(3) 100 billion neurons in the brain

I thought there was deep message somewhere in this.


Sun, 28 Mar 2010 11:17:00 UTC | #453283

Mbee's Avatar Comment 24 by Mbee

22. Comment #473548 by steveroot on March 28, 2010 at 5:17 am
I think that's meant to be personal. ^_^

Nah I don't think so. It just shows the power of human imagination!

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 12:50:00 UTC | #453310

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 25 by Roland_F

Comment #473312 by prettygoodformonkeys : If it's still 'locally needed', then wouldn't the local calculations for the missing dark matter remain the same, and therefore also the ratio£

There are 3 components:
Visible matter 4%
Dark matter 26%
Dark Energy 70%

As ratio for the mass of the universe according to current estimates.

The biggest component is dark energy (“repulsive force” responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe), the dark matter might be consisting of WIMPs or possible other not much interacting massive particles.
The missing gravitation to keep together the galaxy assumed to be provided from dark matter is however not so high as the 4:26 ratio on this limited galactic scale.

So the question is if at all and if yes how much the 3 ratios mentioned needs to be adjusted based on the new findings.
Or maybe one day the whole or parts of the acceleration of the expansion will be explained not by dark energy repulsion but also by some extra-universe attraction pulling in some galaxies from our universe like we had an article here on RD.NET last week.

So the Cosmology is far from boring and many new finding will come during the next decade which will lead to a revision of current theories and numbers.

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 13:54:00 UTC | #453327

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 26 by Philoctetes

Thanks flistr8 and deziner. I'm comforted that even those people who know about these things (Sean Carroll & Brian Greene) admit they have trouble imagining them and still need some experimental proofs. I've read, enjoyed and to a limited extent understood several of Green's books. For now I've added Carroll's "From Eternity to Here" (Great title) to my Amazon Wish list.

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 13:57:00 UTC | #453329

Geraint's Avatar Comment 27 by Geraint

I think the article is confusingly written. The paper is more to do with our estimation of the rate of star formation than it is to do with how much 'stuff' there is out there in total.

Observations of distant star formation are difficult, so you have to work hard to try and reconcile different ways of measuring star formation. One of the big problems is to do with how much of the UV light emitted by young stars is absorbed by gas and dust, which is affected by the distribution and properties of dust within a galaxy.

Spectral lines (such as Lyman alpha or Balmer alpha mentioned here) and different wavelength regions, such as the infrared, are affected differently and give different estimates of the star formation rate unless you know how to correct for all the other confusing factors. We can also try and estimate the star formation rate in the early Universe by looking at the number of old stars in nearby galaxies.

The paper's really nothing to do with e.g. dark matter. It's more to do with our understanding of awkward observational effects.

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 20:17:00 UTC | #453477