Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Does Dark Matter?

Today I read a series of techniques someone had come across in a book about how to make short internet articles grab the attention. Apparently (and keep this strictly to yourself) it's A GOOD IDEA to ask a question as a title. Well I never.

Regular readers know this is not the place for that kind of approach.

Scientists continue to surprise and delight us with their observations about the nature of the universe, and the discoveries in the field of dark matter got me thinking. I quote from Auntie:

"Dr Robert Minchin, of Cardiff University, said: "From its speed, we realised that VIRGOHI21 was a thousand times more massive than could be accounted for by the observed hydrogen atoms alone.

"If it were an ordinary galaxy, then it should be quite bright and would be visible with a good amateur telescope."

The astronomers say it is hard to study the universe's dark, hidden objects because of the Earth's proximity to the Sun.

They liken it to looking out at the darkest night from a well-lit room - it is easy to make out street lights but not trees, hedges and mountains.

Astronomers say it marks an important breakthrough because, according to cosmological models,
dark matter is five times more abundant than the ordinary (baryonic) matter that makes up everything we can see and touch.

Another of the Cardiff team, Dr Jon Davies, added: "The Universe has all sorts of secrets still to reveal to us, but this shows that we are beginning to understand how to look at it in the right way. It's a really exciting discovery."

Now that is funky. What is this place we call everything?

Many thanks to Eric Tralfalmadorian, Utah Anti-Darwin Press, February 1892, for his invaluable help in this post.

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At 6:17 AM, Blogger transience quoth...

could that have been phrased more compellingly? why is this comment a question? you do know the answer, don't you?


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