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Hubble Builds 3D Dark Matter Map

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the turn-left-go-fast dept.

Space 177

astroengine writes "Dark matter can't be spotted directly because it doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation (i.e. it doesn't emit any radiation and reflects no light). However, its gravitational influence on space-time can bend light from its otherwise straight path (a phenomenon known as 'lensing'). Using a sophisticated algorithm to scan a comprehensive Hubble Space Telescope survey of the cosmos, astronomers have plotted a map of 'weak lensing' events. Combining this with red shift measurements from ground-based observatories, they've produced a strikingly colorful 3D map of the structure of dark matter."

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177 comments

Now let's do the same with money (0, Offtopic)

h00manist (800926) | about 4 years ago | (#31651976)

Let's map the financial "dark matter". It's not hard at all, as it all goes through banks. Except, of course, it would show a lot of things nobody wants seen, such as all the elegant addresses of the dirty business money.

Re:Now let's do the same with money (-1, Offtopic)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#31652016)

But in the end it terminates with $500 toilet seats for the Department of Defense. You don't think anyone would actually pay $500 for a toilet seat do you? Sure funds other companies to do whatever it is they do however, presumably build more toilet seats.

Re:Now let's do the same with money (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | about 4 years ago | (#31654290)

Nice quote from independance day.

(do remember though that said movie is classified as "fiction")

Citation (1)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#31654696)

Sorry it was a $640 toilet seat and a $436 hammer. Where do you think Independence Day got the kernel of truth from? Source: Here [cagw.org]. Anybody with a grain of sense knows they were slush funds, I'm sure today that money still flows around its just not as well accounted for as a $436 hammer ;)

Shiny and beautiful... (5, Interesting)

Dilligent (1616247) | about 4 years ago | (#31651978)

...but I fail to see the 3D that was promised by TFA.
I agree it's a nice picture but there seems to be no explanation as to what these colours actually mean, let alone any kind of conclusion drawn from what I presume to be "pockets of dark matter".

Anyone care to enlighten me?

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (1)

drizek (1481461) | about 4 years ago | (#31652008)

Every map needs to have a scale bar at the very least. We need something to tell us where this thing is and what all the colors mean. Also, there is nothing 3D about it.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (4, Informative)

dakameleon (1126377) | about 4 years ago | (#31652030)

From TFA, the closest hint we get to the 3D nature:

By combining the Hubble observations of gravitational lenses with spectroscopic red shift observations from telescopes on Earth, the 3D location of clumps of mass (dark matter, galaxies, black holes etc.) can be found. In this case, the white, cyan, and green regions are closer to Earth than those indicated in orange and red.

but yes, the rest is pretty awful... it's just a starfield without any context with blotches of colour randomly scattered over it.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 years ago | (#31652904)

Wait, I thought the whole story was about someone getting a bunch of grant money to make a starfield without any context with blotches of colour randomly scattered over it.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652114)

X = X
Y = Y
Z = RGB

FTFA: "the white, cyan, and green regions are closer to Earth than those indicated in orange and red."

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652154)

X = X
Y = Y
Z = RGB

FTFA: "the white, cyan, and green regions are closer to Earth than those indicated in orange and red."

but where is x and y in relation to 0,0,0?

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652346)

but where is x and y in relation to 0,0,0?

Half past monkey's ass, quarter to his balls.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (2, Interesting)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | about 4 years ago | (#31652574)

Look at it this way: if the RGB is 255,000,000 then its about 255,000,000 light years awhile. If the color is 000,000,255 consider it to be only around 255 light years away.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (5, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 4 years ago | (#31652340)

...but I fail to see the 3D that was promised by TFA.

Yeah sadly it's the data that's 3D, not the presentation. They located the dark matter in three dimensions, the 3rd being distance according to red shift which is how it's colored. I can see how it's hard to find the explanation, too, what with them breaking up the story every couple paragraphs with a giant bold link to something else. I thought those were different news items at first!

Bad presentation in the article aside, this is pretty amazing work. What a phenomenal instrument we have in Hubble.

The article on the the Hubble site [spacetelescope.org], while similarly lacking a good explanation for the image, actually talks about dark energy more than dark matter. Apparently this data also indicates a universe expanding outward from every point, corroborating that theory, along with some GR experimental validation as well. Not bad for a days work.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (1)

Dilligent (1616247) | about 4 years ago | (#31652646)

Heya, thanks for clearing that up, I really missed that part in the article, thanks in most part to the way it was structured. I guess this is the first time scientists were able to actually go from saying "There's dark matter 'somewhere'" to "Look at this data, we were able to indirectly locate some of it". Cool thing, it might just get us a step closer to understanding the whole subject better.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 4 years ago | (#31652912)

I guess this is the first time scientists were able to actually go from saying "There's dark matter 'somewhere'" to "Look at this data, we were able to indirectly locate some of it".

They have been able to locate some of it before, just the scale here is unprecedented. It was previous discoveries of dark matter outside colliding galaxies that put dark matter well ahead of alternative explanations.

Cool thing, it might just get us a step closer to understanding the whole subject better.

Indeed.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652554)

I *think* hue is distance and intensity is concentration.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (3, Informative)

carlzum (832868) | about 4 years ago | (#31652754)

There are 3D dark matter maps [wikimedia.org] out there. This map provides some context for someone on Earth.

In this case, the white, cyan, and green regions are closer to Earth than those indicated in orange and red.

The image doesn't really help me visualize the concept, but it attracted me to the article. That's probably the intent of these kind of images, grab people's attention and explain the findings when they want to know what the hell they're looking at.

Re:Shiny and beautiful... (2, Funny)

edumacator (910819) | about 4 years ago | (#31654870)

...but I fail to see the 3D that was promised by TFA.

You have to stand about 3 feet away, and let your eyes go fuzzy. It's a cute picture of a unicorn.

Could someone explain... (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 4 years ago | (#31652118)

...how they know it’s lensing, and that the stars aren’t just positioned like that?

Sounds to me like you could never prove, which one it really is, until you fly behind that “dark matter”. (To me still a imaginary excuse, based on the arrogance of not being able to admit that the math is wrong, but instead calling the universe wrong! ^^ [But a good {and compact!} explanation will of course change my mind.])

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652158)

I may be mistaken, but I think it's due to the parallax effect of the Earth moving around it's orbit that allows us to define the "true" positions of stars relative to ourselves.

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652806)

_its_, damn. _its_. Possessive. Stop raping the language.

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31653920)

I feel so violeted.

Re:Could someone explain... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31654364)

Well, if the language doesn't want to be raped it shouldn't wear such a short skirt.

Re:Could someone explain... (4, Informative)

Kratisto (1080113) | about 4 years ago | (#31652160)

You could do it based on movement speeds. Things in the background of an image move slower than those in the midground when you change your position--If the thing in the background, a galaxy or something, moves in a strange way, then you can be sure it's being lensed. I'm not sure if the Earth moves enough for this to be useful, though, given the scale.

Re:Could someone explain... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652278)

Sorta. As the earth goes around the sun, we do in fact get enough parallax to determine the distance to nearby stars. On the galactic scale, though, this doesn't work. The way they find lensing artifacts is that lensing doesn't just skew a single flat image of what we see, it might bend the same light source so it comes at us from different angles, producing multiple images of a single event. Something like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein_Cross

If they have good enough images with spectral plots for each pixel (which if they are using redshift to determine distance, they must have), I could see an algorithm being able to pick out which images are mirages, and therefore where the lensing matter must be.

Re:Could someone explain... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31653930)

Yes. That's called parallax. Is measurable only in stars which are close by.

      * good out to 100 pc
        * only get 10% distances out to a few parsecs.
        * only a few hundred stars are this close

http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit1/distances.html

Re:Could someone explain... (3, Interesting)

osgeek (239988) | about 4 years ago | (#31652248)

(To me still a imaginary excuse, based on the arrogance of not being able to admit that the math is wrong, but instead calling the universe wrong! ^^ [But a good {and compact!} explanation will of course change my mind.])

That might be something similar to what they told Einstein when he used his math to explain characteristics of nature that no one had witnessed.

I find the possibility of dark matter and energy kind of fascinating. Maybe it just a problem with their math - but then again, having huge amounts of mass in the universe be something other than what we experience every day adds a little mystery to it all.

Re:Could someone explain... (4, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | about 4 years ago | (#31652308)

It's not arrogance; frankly, a true scientist is thrilled at the prospect of being proved wrong. It means they're answering some long-standing questions and posing countless new ones. Furthermore, the concepts of "dark matter" and "dark energy" are still only theories; scientists have yet to definitively prove the existence of these entities. These theories just happen to be the best explanations for what scientists observe.

The bottom line remains what osgeek above me said: it's easy for you to call the scientists who postulate dark matter "arrogant" considering it's something that has about as much impact on our daily lives as Einstein's Theory of Relativity does (which, when it was being proved, required very specific measurements to be taken, measurements that could only be gathered in a solar eclipse...how's that for completely unnecessary to quotidian life?).

No, right now we can't definitively prove that the 3D image referenced in TFA is indeed dark matter. But within the parameters of the current hypothesized model, that is what scientists believe to be pockets of dark matter.

Re:Could someone explain... (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 years ago | (#31653352)

"These theories just happen to be the best explanations for what scientists observe."

Exactly! Dark matter and dark energy are just tags for unexplained phenomena that appear to have similar properties to matter and energy. They are not simply mathematical entities, they are phenomena that can be observed but cannot (yet) be explained with our mathematical models. This is no different to any other physics, Newton didn't discover gravity he discovered it could be described with maths.

Re:Could someone explain... (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 4 years ago | (#31652348)

...how they know it’s lensing, and that the stars aren’t just positioned like that?

Sounds to me like you could never prove, which one it really is, until you fly behind that “dark matter”. (To me still a imaginary excuse, based on the arrogance of not being able to admit that the math is wrong, but instead calling the universe wrong! ^^ [But a good {and compact!} explanation will of course change my mind.])

When you see multiple images of the same object, it's lensing. This is, in fact, how gravitational lensing was first discovered. Check out this great wikipedia image of the effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Einstein_cross.jpg [wikipedia.org]. This is actually called strong lensing. TFA discusses weak lensing, which is a much smaller effect. That's detected by looking at very distant galaxies. Lensing changes the shape of galaxies such that there is a preferred orientation. If this orientation is statistically significant, i.e., too many galaxies are stretched in the same direction to be caused by normal physics, then it tells us that the weirdness is likely caused by lensing. Thanks to Hubble's ability to paint an incredibly dense picture of background galaxies, our statistics are based on a huge number of samples and we can trust them pretty thoroughly.

Awesome, right?

Re:Could someone explain... (3, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 years ago | (#31652494)

Thanks to Hubble's ability to paint an incredibly dense picture of background galaxies, our statistics are based on a huge number of samples and we can trust them pretty thoroughly.

I'll go farther than that: I can remember how before the Hubble was launched, scientists didn't think we'd ever actually be able to observe the effect because it was too small to be imaged from any ground-based telescope.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 4 years ago | (#31653498)

how are we sure it's gravity producing the lensing effect and not some other force?

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | about 4 years ago | (#31653962)

how are we sure it's gravity producing the lensing effect and not some other force?

Because gravity is the only force we know that is capable of doing so.

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

aniefer (910494) | about 4 years ago | (#31652408)

Take the same picture twice, 6 months apart. The picture are from positions that are 2 AU apart. You can gain perspective by comparing these in the same way your brain compares images from your eyes.
The red-shift tells you how far the star is. I'm not really sure on the details, but you should be able to compare the two images together with the red-shift derived distance to see if things don't quite add up.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

pgn674 (995941) | about 4 years ago | (#31652566)

...how they know it’s lensing, and that the stars aren’t just positioned like that?

I think it's because, in a perfectly flat space-time, only light that starts out coming directly at us will reach us. However, in our universe, heavy stuff can make light reach us that did not originally start coming at us. Also, when this bent light hits us, it appears to be coming from a direction that is not its true starting point.

Now, here's the key: Two photons starting at a star going in slightly different directions can both reach us, due to the heavy stuff out there bending space-time. When they reach us, they appear to be coming from slightly different directions. If we can tell that both photons came from the same star, then we can calculate what heavy stuff made that gravitational lensing effect.

Also, pretty pictures: Gravitational lens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 4 years ago | (#31652656)

...how they know it's lensing, and that the stars aren't just positioned like that?

Much like with regular lenses, there's more to it than just a change in apparent position.

To me still a imaginary excuse, based on the arrogance of not being able to admit that the math is wrong, but instead calling the universe wrong! ^^ [But a good {and compact!} explanation will of course change my mind.]

Once we discovered extra-galactic dark matter, it became really hard to find a different explanation. Coming up with a way to modify gravity to not need dark matter (but still explain everything "the math" explains perfectly) was hard enough. Once you had to modify gravity to not even point at the known center of mass, it kinda becomes unworkable.

And people were trying to eliminate the need for dark matter! In contrast to this somewhat weird sounding definition of "arrogance", there are physicists around the globe who are arrogant enough to think that they're smarter than whoever came up with "the math", and they could be the ones to prove the theory wrong and present a new one. One that would be named after them.

Or Newton again, in the case of MOND [wikipedia.org]. It's still name-in-history(well, physics) books type stuff.

Anyway, although gravitational lensing has plenty of evidence already, this data actually confirms another aspect of the predicted lensing effect and its relation to redshift, provides yet more evidence for dark matter, and even corroborates universal expansions. Multiple theories and predictions working in concert and completely consistent with observation. That's what you call a slam dunk. The game isn't over, but there's a reason this is the favored math at this point in time: it works [xkcd.com].

Nice pretty picture (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 years ago | (#31652134)

...especially when you consider it's a picture of something that very possibly doesn't even exist.

There isn't any "scale bar" because you are not looking at something at any fixed distance! You are looking at (theoretically) blobs of stuff at various distances.

Re:Nice pretty picture (5, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31652356)

...especially when you consider it's a picture of something that very possibly doesn't even exist.

It exists. Educate [wikipedia.org] yourself [wikipedia.org].

Re:Nice pretty picture (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652422)

Thanks. It's worth noting that the Bullet Cluster results you linked to are only the most recent development in dark matter's nearly 80 year history:

1933 - Zwicky studies the Coma cluster of galaxies and is surprised to find that these galaxies are orbiting each other much faster than he predicted based on their visible mass. He proposes that each galaxy actually contains much more mass than is visible.

1959 - Measurements of galactic rotational velocities conflict with expected velocities based on the amount of matter observed to be present. The dark matter concept proposed by Zwicky is found to solve this problem too.

1970s - Big Bang nucleosynthesis has trouble reconciling observations of high deuterium density with the expansion rate of the universe. Non-baryonic dark matter solves this problem as well.

At this point, dark matter was simply an hypothesis. MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND [umd.edu]) was another hypothesis with equal weight. But then in 2006 measurements of the Bullet Cluster supported the dark matter hypothesis over the MOND hypothesis.

Simultaneously, WMAP [wikipedia.org] (2001-present) measured the microwave background radiation and independently confirmed the existence of dark matter. It also revealed an even larger amount of "dark energy" which confirmed the 1998 discovery [arxiv.org] that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

Re:Nice pretty picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31653566)

Call ya and raise ya one - http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=74fgmwne

Dark matter - ahhh, pull yer head out! Get the hell out of the fairy dust and pixie magic astronomy dept and get your ass down to the IEEE who actually have an idea of whats really going on

Re:Nice pretty picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31653950)

Yes, if you want good science, ask an engineer. It's amazing how often engineers [wikipedia.org] point out obvious problems with evolution, which the so-called "scientists" just ignore!

Re:Nice pretty picture (1)

Metabolife (961249) | about 4 years ago | (#31653578)

Educate yourself. It's still just a theory.

Re:Nice pretty picture (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31653640)

Exactly! That's the same reason I'm a creationist: evolution is also still just a theory. I'm also not fooled by their lies that the world is more than 6000 years old, because all those physicists have are silly theories to back up their ridiculous zillions of years nonsense (or whatever the age is this week!). I support you 100%. The high priests of this "godless science" religion need to be removed from the pedastal they're sitting on!

Re:Nice pretty picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31653982)

Like the professor Mendel sent his papers to, who ignored them because they contradicted the current theory.

Re:Nice pretty picture (1)

socheres (1771002) | about 4 years ago | (#31654344)

where are my mod points when i need them....
anyway, i guess people cannot be forced to think it through with their own heads man.
this dark matter-black hole nonsense is so stupid that i can't imagine how people who otherwise have an extended vocabulary and generally present signs of intelligence still can suck that stuff up and not throw up...
we are stupid and religious. i hate humans.

Re:Nice pretty picture (2, Insightful)

Kentari (1265084) | about 4 years ago | (#31654512)

So are Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

You say "theory" as if it's a bad thing, while it's the highest you can hope to achieve in science.

Re:Nice pretty picture (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652370)

...especially when you consider it's a picture of something that very possibly doesn't even exist.

Gotta wonder why those stupid physicists and astronomers believe in silly things like dark matter, especially when any Real American can see that it's bullshit in 30 seconds flat using nothing but common sense.

Meat, Not Dessert (0)

DynaSoar (714234) | about 4 years ago | (#31652200)

Any off the wall collection of data up through true random can be used to "make" a pretty pictur, since the picture is actually made by people and therefore made pretty by them. This does nothing but make eye candy.

What's the results? What's the implications? Where does this put the current pro/con dark energy argument, not to mention the recent 'discovery' of 10 times more baryonic matter than we had seen previously? Nobody has yet satisfactorily explained how that other matter was already known about since to know it in the absence of EM detection meant gravity detection, and you can't tell "dark" baryonic gravity from dark matter gravity from dark energy gravity.

All pretty pictures, more questions and fewer answers. This is not what we're paying them for.

Maybe, but not very promising (1)

neophytepwner (992971) | about 4 years ago | (#31652226)

Lensing is known to happen with black holes and other massive bodies how does this map distinguish dark matter from other sources of lensing? By stating Dark matter has no interaction with electromagnetic radiation clearly contradicts the support that it also bends light. Unless "interaction" has a separate astrophysical meaning which is unfamiliar to me. I don't see how this gets us any closer to understanding the nature of dark matter/energy.

Re:Maybe, but not very promising (4, Informative)

jeff4747 (256583) | about 4 years ago | (#31652496)

how does this map distinguish dark matter from other sources of lensing?

IANAAstrophysicist, but my understanding is that a point source, such as a black hole, would create a strong lensing effect. These observations are of a weak lensing effect that indicates a diffuse source of gravity.

By stating Dark matter has no interaction with electromagnetic radiation clearly contradicts the support that it also bends light.

The dark matter doesn't bend light. The gravity from the dark matter bends light.

Re:Maybe, but not very promising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652514)

By stating Dark matter has no interaction with electromagnetic radiation clearly contradicts the support that it also bends light. Unless "interaction" has a separate astrophysical meaning which is unfamiliar to me.

From TFA: "However, we cannot directly measure the stuff as it doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation (i.e. it doesn't emit or reflect any light)..."

There's no contradiction. Dark matter doesn't emit, absorb, or reflect light. It only interacts with normal matter (and other dark matter) via gravity. Gravity also bends light, as demonstrated in 1919 and repeatedly since then.

Re:Maybe, but not very promising (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 years ago | (#31652558)

I'm only a layman, but here's my guess: although Dark Matter doesn't directly interact with electromagnetic radiation, the gravity caused by its mass warps space just like all other gravity, and that warpage bends light.

Article needs to be listed as follows. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652290)

"ALLEGED" dark matter.

Cool picture! (3, Funny)

Tomfrh (719891) | about 4 years ago | (#31652368)

So luminiferous and aethereal! Almost magical like!

Re:Cool picture! (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31652488)

So, are you trolling, or are you really not aware that the jury is in and that dark matter has been [wikipedia.org] confirmed [wikipedia.org] (and more importantly, that MOND without any kind of weakly interacting matter has been ruled out)?

OK, who was holding their fist in front of Hubble? (1)

pidge-nz (603614) | about 4 years ago | (#31652376)

Or is my pattern-recognition generating a false positive?

Re:OK, who was holding their fist in front of Hubb (1)

BehrA (1668015) | about 4 years ago | (#31652856)

I agree to a point. Its either a fist or a chicken, a duck and swan and a dolphin are flying in front of the camera.

"Found" galaxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652452)

Seems I read recently about how observations of distant galaxies were hampered by the wavelength of light being sought- that they were so far away and so redshifted that when astronomers finally looked for the right wavelength, zillions more were found. What I wondered at the time was what this might do to dark matter calculations- if a large amount of matter in the universe simply wasn't being observed because we weren't looking for it the right way until recently, even with our decades-old tech which eventually found it, is it possible that dark matter is simply regular matter not observed correctly? Like you think there are no bowling balls in the room because you're looking at the ceiling?

It's life Jim, but not as we know it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652542)

It's life Jim, but not as we know it!

Dark matter doesn't exist. (-1, Troll)

rollingcalf (605357) | about 4 years ago | (#31652594)

Within a few decades it will be proven that neither dark matter nor dark energy exists; they're just hypotheses to fill the gaps between the observed behavior of the universe and our current understanding of the laws of physics.

Once we have sufficiently explored the alternative gravitational theories that don't rely on dark energy or dark matter, and obtained a sufficiently improved grasp of the laws of physics, we'll be able to explain the cosmic observations without resorting to the "voodoo" of dark matter or dark energy.

Re:Dark matter doesn't exist. (3, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31652678)

Actually, it does exist. Frankly, I'm fucking sick of posting the same links over and over, so why don't you just go to Wikipedia and read about the Bullet Cluster. There is simply no question, now, even among MOND proponents: there is weakly interacting matter out there, and we have no idea what it is.

Re:Dark matter doesn't exist. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 years ago | (#31653540)

"Within a few decades it will be proven that neither dark matter nor dark energy exists; they're just hypotheses to fill the gaps between the observed behavior of the universe and our current understanding of the laws of physics."

Dark energy/matter are the names of the observed phenomena just as energy/matter are names for similar phenomena. If they are (as you claim) the names of specific hypotheses then what are the phenomena called?

Every map needs to have a scale bar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652604)

Every map needs to have a scale bar at the very least. We need something to tell us where this thing is and what all the colors mean. Also, there is nothing 3D about it.Chinese Girls vs Japanese Girls [chinese-girls.org]

Isn't Dark Matter passé? (1)

WH44 (1108629) | about 4 years ago | (#31652612)

There was this recent article on a popular news site for geeks - ah, here it is: 90% of Universe Found Hiding in Plain View [slashdot.org].

Re:Isn't Dark Matter passé? (2, Informative)

largesnike (762544) | about 4 years ago | (#31652736)

I know this is slashdot, but you could try RTFA that that article links to...

"I'll note: this has nothing to do with dark matter. As it happens, 90% of the matter in the Universe is in a form that emits no light, but affects other matter through gravity. We know it exists ... locally, in nearby galaxies and clusters of galaxies, too. This new result doesn't affect that, since the now un-hidden galaxies are very far away, like many billions of light years away. They can't possibly affect nearby galaxies, so they don't account for dark matter."

Re:Isn't Dark Matter passé? (1)

WH44 (1108629) | about 4 years ago | (#31654758)

You're right. I only read half the article and missed the note (I think the note currently at the top was not there the first time I read it - I would have noticed).

While I've got someone who knows what they're talking about: do you know where I can get the raw data and/or the precise methods used in various astronomy articles? Most of these simplified articles never mention compensation for gravitomagnetic [wikipedia.org] effects, and it was found a few years back, that gravitomagnetism is, at least in some cases, considerably stronger than expected [softpedia.com].

Re:Isn't Dark Matter passé? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652748)

Except that the article [discovermagazine.com] says "this has nothing to do with dark matter" twice...

But just the other day... (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | about 4 years ago | (#31652626)

Just the other day there was an article about finding the remaining 90% of the universe that was previously missing by simply looking at the frequency spectra associated to hydrogen. Showing a whole lot of more galaxies than what previously was seen.

Re:But just the other day... (1)

largesnike (762544) | about 4 years ago | (#31652750)

...and for you too

"I'll note: this has nothing to do with dark matter. As it happens, 90% of the matter in the Universe is in a form that emits no light, but affects other matter through gravity. We know it exists ... locally, in nearby galaxies and clusters of galaxies, too. This new result doesn't affect that, since the now un-hidden galaxies are very far away, like many billions of light years away. They can't possibly affect nearby galaxies, so they don't account for dark matter."

This was from the article in that story to which you refer. I just quoted this for someone immediately above you.

Old news? (2, Insightful)

dido (9125) | about 4 years ago | (#31652684)

I actually submitted a story [slashdot.org] on this exact same topic back in 2007. The only thing new they seem to have now is a nicer picture, the article seems much lighter than the original article [bbc.co.uk] I linked to three years ago. The new article doesn't seem to indicate any new science that has developed since then, not even links or mentions of any new publications updating the findings in 2007, or even mentions of the scientists who are behind this work...

Load of crap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652770)

Try http://www.thunderbolts.info/

There is also a very nice book to get you started called "The Big Bang Never Happened"

I love articles like this, I know they are crap before I even read them. Then I read them and just sort of laugh with a bit of disgust.

But really, the color map was just fucking rediculous childish crap. I mean, come on people. I think they release stuff like this just to laugh at people when they buy it. If they are serious someone needs to pull the plug on these assholes before someone gets hurt.

You don't have to know anything about the subject to know that this is plain simple foolishness.

To quote 2001 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31652786)

Oh my God! It's full of stars!

Goofy Crap (1)

thelikeableasshole (1778008) | about 4 years ago | (#31653154)

This is one of the lamest things I have ever seen. OMG is this a joke or what!? If these guys are serious someone needs to pull the plug on these assholes before someone gets hurt. Check out thunderolts.info or read "The Big Bang Never Happened" But for gods' sake don't eat this shit sandwich!

Could it be that dark matter.... (2, Interesting)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 4 years ago | (#31654082)

...is totally normal matter, but invisible for us because it is located in another universe? I am not a physicist so my idea might be totally wacko, but ages ago I watched the BBC documentation 'The elegant universe'. One of the string theories explained there proposed that the reason gravity is so weak compared to other major forces is that the 'strings', which are responsible for gravity have the ability to migrate into parallel universes. Therefore we always feel only a fraction of the gravity mass 'produces'. <--- Please be lenient with my very unscientific wording. :-)

So when I saw this documentation I always wondered, when 'our' gravity migrates into other universes, shouldn't also migrate gravity from other universes into ours? I wondered if this theory was true, how would a black hole in a parallel universe look like here?

So maybe, if we had the ability to fly to those places where hubble located the 'dark matter', we would find nothing. The space is curved there for no apparent reason. It is actually because of normal matter in a parallel universe.
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