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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

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


China bucks American tech giant Microsoft over fears of spying Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


Robots with an internet of their own! This is the way of the future 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


A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... 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 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... 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