Recently, a few studies were released that claim to identify the missing matter in the Universe.
They say the missing matter in their calculations may come from a kind of energy that connects galaxies: filaments of hot gas that link galaxies together.
Scientists from the nearly 500 year old institution the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and researchers from the Institute of Space Astrophysics (IAS) in Orsay, France performed them.
It has long been said that calculations about the mass of the universe do not add up. “Dark matter” is a theoretical concept used to explain this anomaly in calculations.
According to Futurism:
“The two teams confirmed that the missing ordinary matter in the universe can be found in the form of filaments of hot, diffuse gas linking galaxies together.
While long predicted, these gasses have a tenuous nature that has made them impossible to detect using X-ray telescopes. To get around that, both teams made use of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect. This phenomenon occurs when leftover light from the Big Bang passes through hot gas, leaving behind a trace of the gas that can be captured. A map of this effect within the observable universe was produced by the Planck satellite in 2015.”
While it’s not easy to reason through this as an ordinary person, and see how exactly scientists calculated the mass of the observable universe and decided some other type of matter was missing from the equation, we can at least try to put these theories to the test.
The first study is titled “Missing baryons in the cosmic web revealed by the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect.”
Reading from the summary of the paper:
“Observations of galaxies and galaxy clusters in the local universe can account for only 10% of the baryon content inferred from measurements of the cosmic microwave background and from nuclear reactions in the early Universe. Locating the remaining 90% of baryons has been one of the major challenges in modern cosmology. Cosmological simulations predict that the ‘missing baryons’ are spread throughout filamentary structures in the cosmic web, forming a low density gas with temperatures of 105−107 K.”
As one can see, it gets a little complicated. It would require further research to internalize what “baryon content measured in the cosmic microwave background” exactly means.
It essentially claims that simulations predict the missing baryons are actually present in a “cosmic web,” a “filamentary structure” that connects galaxies. The idea is certainly fantastic and satisfying to our innate curiosity.
Now to reason through how accurate that simulation they cite is, it’s pretty much a dead end for critical thought. I can’t think of a way to verify that their simulation is accurate or inaccurate.
The second study, titled “A Search for Warm/Hot Gas Filaments Between Pairs of SDSS Luminous Red Galaxies” references Planck satellite data in searching for those filaments that may bridge galaxies, apparently referring to a massive amount of data released in 2015 by the Planck satellite.
A summary of it reads:
“We search the Planck data for a thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (tSZ) signal due to gas filaments between pairs of Luminous Red Galaxies (LRG’s) taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12 (SDSS/DR12). We identify ∼260,000 LRG pairs in the DR12 catalog that lie within 6-10 h−1Mpc of each other in tangential direction and within 6 h−1Mpc in radial direction. We stack pairs by rotating and scaling the angular positions of each LRG so they lie on a common reference frame, then we subtract a circularly symmetric halo from each member of the pair to search for a residual signal between the pair members. “
The Planck satellite data was explained in a February 5th, 2015 release from Columbia University:
“Long awaited data from the Planck satellite was released today, papers available here. The accompanying press release leads with results about the timing of the first stars, 500 million years or so after the big bang, with little mention of the very early universe.”
The purpose of this article is to critically think through the info in these studies, and try to reason through what these scientists are saying instead of taking it as fact immediately.
It is difficult to reason through things past a certain level of complexity when we are presented with any scientific study. In this one, at a certain point it does get complicated to the point of difficulty.
One observation that can be made is that the nature of these studies is very centralized. They are centralized in this Planck satellite data, or a simulation that we can’t quite verify the accuracy of ourselves.
Planck is probably a reference to the old Max Planck institutions in Germany, a range of universities and institutions formerly given the name “Kaiser Wilhelm.”
In Germany, the Max Planck institutions centralize science just as in the United States, the academic institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago, ect. make their scientific direction, method, and every aspect of what they do very centralized.
At the same time, the institutions help government agencies like DARPA and produce technology and things for the state. The powerful universities are “with the sh*t” so to speak: they side with the state and other powers that aren’t out for the best interest of the people. However, these particular studies are fascinating.
Within the massive umbrella of these universities, of course some innocuous, fantastic, or brilliant findings come about. For the sake of having a full perspective and not being naive, it is necessary to know all of this.
So when info and scientific direction is so centralized in specific institutions, that cooperate and work with government and corporations, we really should be reasoning through what they say critically. We should be taking the time to reason through things like this regardless.
These certainly are some entertaining theories and it can be satisfying to think about such things. Hopefully people will derive satisfaction from also challenging themselves to critically reason through everything.
After all, “science” does not mean the authority of people in academic institutions who call themselves scientists: true science is a non-corruptible idea. Science is the method of proving something with tangible evidence, it has nothing necessarily to do with “scientists.”
(Image credit: Deviant Art)