Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dark matter

Today, checking the space news as usual (I am kinda a space geek... for those of you who doesnt know ;-), I found nice news in www.nasa.gov. Concretely, the Hubble space telescope has found the first evidence of the existence of dark matter. As many of you know, visible matter in the universe accounts for only around 10% of the whole universe mass. The rest is just matter that doesn't glow... dark matter is just that... it is not some kind of exotic concept like dark energy... that is a completely different story.

Astronomers are still trying to find the missing mass (90% of the universe) and many possible sources of dark matter have been shortlisted: interestellar dust, neutrinos, MACHOs (massive compact halo object), WIMPs (weakly interactive massive particles)... Many are the theories and a lot of effort has been put in the topic. However, nothing has been unvealed yet. Nothing? Well, today the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope surprised us with this nice shot:


As you can read in the citation, the dark ring around the galaxy cluster is dark matter, something which doesn't shine and which blocks the light coming from the galaxies. As a consequence, this is the first time ever dark matter has been visualized.

This piece of news is quite important in the science community but I don't expect to watch it on the news tonight...

2 comments:

Wild Runner said...

I have also read this amazing news today. Incredible. However, for me it's still difficult to understand what dark matter really is.

Nice post.

PD: MACHOs??????? XDDDDDDD

Alvaro said...

hehe, si si... MACHOS... mira aqui para tener una buena explicacion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MACHO
A parte hay muchos tipos de machos... a parte del iberico... XD