Bullet Cluster: Searching for Primordial Antimatter
Yesterday’s reblog of The Science Geek (thesciencegeek.org – bookmark this one!) blog on dark matter, the weird stuff posited to exist otherwise galaxies don’t make sense, and if galaxies don’t make sense, we don’t exist, but we exist so galaxies make sense but they wouldn’t make sense if it weren’t for dark matter…or if it weren’t for something we haven’t considered yet; because there just isn’t enough stuff (matter) in the universe to explain how galaxies actually hold themselves together.
Now today, EarthSky (earthsky.org – bookmark this one too!) weighs in with this intriguing conjecture:
Are earths past mass-extinctions caused by Dark Matter?
Wow. That is a wild idea – and I had commented over at thesciencegeek.org with some questions and one of them was does anybody think there’s any dark matter in the solar system. We have a couple of probes out now, Dawn and New Horizons that are tasked with exploring distant and exotic solar-system objects (Dawn a dwarf-planet Ceres, in the asteroid belt; and New Horizons Pluto, and it’s moons…hack around my blog, I’m covering both missions).
Maybe they’ll find something that hints at just what this weird stuff is. Oh, and there’s a movie, looks kind of melodramatic for me, with Dark Matter Cosmology Research as it’s main theme: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416675/ Be sure to watch the trailer – it looks really melodramatic and you can probably figure out the entire movie by watching the trailer! Lots of acting and dialog and stuff like that. You know, I never go to movies or watch TV so if you watch the whole movie, or have watched it, let me know what you think.
Dark matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen with telescopes but accounts for most of the matter in the Universe. The existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, radiation, and the large-scale structure of the Universe. It has not been detected directly, making it one of the greatest mysteries in modern astrophysics.
Dark matter neither emits nor absorbs light or any other electromagnetic radiation at any significant level. According to the Planck mission team, and based on the standard model of cosmology, the total mass–energy of the known universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy. Thus, dark matter is estimated to constitute 84.5% of the total matter in the Universe, while dark energy plus dark matter constitute 95.1% of the total mass–energy content of the Universe.
Here’s some cool NASA dark matter stuff:
A complex collision of at least four galaxy clusters is captured in this new image.
One of the most complicated and dramatic collisions between galaxy clusters ever seen is captured in this new composite image. This collision site, known officially as Abell 2744, has been dubbed “Pandora’s Cluster” because of the wide variety of different structures seen. Data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory are colored red, showing gas with temperatures of millions of degrees. In blue is a map showing the total mass concentration (mostly dark matter) based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), and the Japanese Subaru telescope. Optical data from HST and VLT also show the constituent galaxies of the clusters.
Dark Matter involved in the collision between four galaxies. Big stuff this dark matter!