Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/22/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Accidental discovery may help solve a fundamental mystery of the universe.

Astronomers may have solved one of the deepest mysteries of the universe after observing a distant, high-energy object with the Keck telescope in Hawaii. After taking observations of a quasar in deep space, they found that its energy was illuminating a network of gas filaments which could be responsible for the universe's elusive "dark matter."

The structure of the universe in a computer model. The bright spots are galaxies and the purple filaments are made of dark matter.

The structure of the universe in a computer model. The bright spots are galaxies and the purple filaments are made of dark matter.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/22/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Quasar, dark matter, flashlight, filament, nebula, gas, big bang


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists have a pretty good understanding of how the universe works at the cosmic-level. Their models all accurately predict the behavior of space phenomena from the orbits of planets, to the whirl of galaxies, and the expansion of spacetime itself.

Despite this, there is one troubling factor. Their models rely on the presence of matter, which at least up until now, has never been directly observed.

Did you know gold is formed when stars explode? Own a piece of a supernova with a medal of the patron saint of astronomers, St. Dominic.

This mysterious matter has long been assumed to exist because without it, the universe would not work the way it does. However, our inability to observe it directly has stumped researchers who have sought to discern its nature.

Now, scientists think dark matter could exist in the form of gas, and be aggregated in the filaments that appear to stretch between galaxies and clusters of galaxies.

Space is not a perfect vacuum, despite what you may have been taught in school. Space is filled with atoms of various sorts as well as subatomic particles, some of which simply pop into, and out of existence quite spontaneously, like bubbles in a glass of soda.

Of course, even in a nebula, a region where the dust and gas are well-concentrated, the material is still quite diffuse by human standards. If you could walk through a nebula, which is a region of dust and gas in space, usually created by the explosion of massive stars that can be larger than thousands of solar systems, and visible across millions of light-years of space.

In the current case, astronomers using the Keck telescope in Hawaii were observing a quasar that was 10 billion light years away from Earth. A quasar is a super-energetic galaxy with a super-massive black hole at the center, emitting massive amounts of radiation into space along a narrow beam, that is in this case, pointed at Earth.

That bean of light has taken 10 billion years to reach us on Earth. In the process, the waves of radiation were stretched by the expansion of the universe itself into a faint, violent light, which the telescope observed.

That faint light also helped them see a massive nebulous filament, at least twice the size of any nebula observed before, stretching across 2 million light-years. That means light from one edge of the nebula would take 10 million years to get to the other side.

The find was unexpected and subsequent observations, bolstered by modeling, revealed that gas probably connects to another galaxy in space. Such phenomena have been predicted, but never observed.

If accurate, then the filament, seen for the first time, could be the concrete evidence scientists need to complete their physical macro-model of the universe. It explains where all of the dark matter, believed to provide most of the mass in the universe, is hiding.

It would also confirm veracity of the popular model of the universe formed, specifically by means of the Big Bang. The Big Bang was originally suggested as the most reasonable explanation for the physical origin of the universe by Catholic priest and professor, Msgr. Georges Lemaitre.

In addition to supporting the Big Bang model of the universe's formation, the confirmation of the existence of dark matter and a better understanding of its nature, will help cosmologists predict what will happen at the end of the universe, at some incredibly distant time in the future.


Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Technology

New fossils may prove that mammals existed alongside dinosaurs Watch

Image of New fossils of early, squirrel-like mammals, found in China, have shown that mammals may have existed early then previously thought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fossils of three early mammalian species from over 200 million years ago suggests that dinosaurs and mammals did coexist on the Earth earlier than previously thought. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fossils of the squirrel-like creatures were discovered in ... continue reading


Make way for the 'Phablet:' Apple hopes to recapture trendsetters with world's first 'smartwatch' Watch

Image of Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the Apple Watch during a special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts this week.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The way of the future...is "phablets," which combines both features of smartphones and tablets. Apple, hoping to usurp the high tech throne from Asian rival Samsung will announce their first ever "smartwatch" along with two large-screen versions of the iPhone ... continue reading


British researchers may have just found the cure for multiple sclerosis! Watch

Image of A new study by researchers from Bristol University may have found a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications shows that scientists may have discovered a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes by retraining the immune system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study was ... continue reading


Futuristic, super-fast sports car runs on saltwater Watch

Image of A four-seater, the car's 22-inch wheels sit just beneath impressive double gull-wing doors, in the manner of the classic DeLorean, that feature

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Imagine, if you will - in the words of the late, great Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame - a futuristic sports car that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds - that runs entirely on saltwater. While sports cars are not known for ... continue reading


Scientists put out international plea to help figure out purpose of cellular protein 'blobs' Watch

Image of Scientists are stepping up attempts at understanding the purpose of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists in the U.S. are calling on the scientific community to up their efforts to determine the purpose and function of mysterious blobs in cells that have eluded understanding since they were first discovered 50 years ago. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


MARK OF THE BEAST: Microchip implants in humans becoming more viable Watch

Image of Chips are already being used to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A microchip implanted on human beings has chilling implications, conjuring up images of the "Mark of the Beast" as mentioned in the Book of revelations. Such an accessory would certainly be a boon for a totalitarian society - but there are scientists who say ... continue reading


Google, Internet search engine - branches off with DRONE DELIVERY Watch

Image of Google engineers coupled with experts on unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, safely carried out more than 30 test flights this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The unquestioned leader of Internet search engines, Google, has branched off into a most unexpected venture. Google is now considering delivery with drone aircraft, running its first test flights earlier this month as part of "Project Wing," a secretive, ... continue reading


What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
12 For as with the human body which is a unity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:11-17
11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 16th, 2014 Image

St. Cornelius
September 16: Cornelius whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter