Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

What's the Matter? Scientists Spot the Missing Part of the Universe

What's the Matter? Scientists Spot the Missing Part of the Universe

An global group of scientists the study have discovered the missing 50 percent of the visible matter in the Universe.

With a total of 260,000 pairs of such galaxies already explored, it turned out that in filamentary structures between them, baryonic matter is several times denser than elsewhere in the universe. The particles have been studied by two different teams, and were situated at different distances from Earth.

When it comes to the search for missing matter, dark matter - the mysterious, invisible material accounting for roughly 80 precent of the mass of the universe - hogs the headlines.

This missing matter has now finally been found, and experts say it's made of particles called baryons linking galaxies together through filaments of hot gas.

Many types of research regarding the dark energy and the dark matter of the Universe has been going on, and it is not possible to observe and calculate everything about the far stretched Universe at one go or within a time limit. To solve this challenge, both teams incorporated the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, which occurs when enduring light from the Big Bang travels through hot gas.

The scientists analyzed data obtained by the orbiting observatory Planck, created to study the cosmic microwave background (CMB), which remained after the Universe became transparent to thermal radiation.

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Both teams selected pairs of galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that were expected to be connected by a strand of baryons.

As the light passes through the filaments, some of it scatters off the electrons in the gas.

Because the gas filaments between galaxies are so tenuous, the dim patches they produce don't show on Planck's map directly. And scientists have successfully identified missing baryons among extremely hot gas filaments. This successful detection of baryonic matters will definitely help to get more information about the dark matter.

'If this factor is included, our findings are very consistent with the other group.

Ralph Kraft, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in MA, said the findings help align the discrepancy between observations and simulations of the universe. The two papers are both being considered for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

"Everybody sort of knows that it has to be there, but this is the first time that somebody - two different groups, no less - has come up with a definitive detection", says Ralph Kraft at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in MA.

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