Skip to content

IN THE DARK: Astronomers wonder what happened to 80 percent of the light in the universe

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/11/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

An enormous deficit of ultraviolet light has turned up missing

The universe has gotten a lot darker. Astronomers have discovered an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the known universe and are at a loss as to why that is.

A $70 million instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, designed by the University of Colorado Boulder and installed on the Hubble Space Telescope was used in the research.

A $70 million instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, designed by the University of Colorado Boulder and installed on the Hubble Space Telescope was used in the research.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/11/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Ultraviolet light, universe, disparity


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - They are forthright in saying that there is "something is amiss in the universe." It's estimated that 80 percent of the light is missing.

A research team, including Benjamin Oppenheimer and Charles Danforth of CU-Boulder's Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy have analyzed the tendrils of hydrogen which bridge the vast reaches of empty space between galaxies.

It is better to light one tiny candle than to curse the darkness --

When hydrogen atoms are struck by highly energetic ultraviolet light, they are transformed from electrically neutral atoms and into charged ions.

A $70 million instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, designed by the University of Colorado Boulder and installed on the Hubble Space Telescope was used in the research.

The astronomers were surprised when they found far more hydrogen ions than could be explained with the known ultraviolet light in the universe, which comes primarily from quasars.

"It's as if you're in a big, brightly lit room, but you look around and see only a few 40-watt light bulbs," the Carnegie Institution for Science's Juna Kollmeier says. Kollmeier is the lead author of the study recently published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"Where is all that light coming from? It's missing from our census."

The difference between ultraviolet then and now is a stunning 400 percent. Oddly, this mismatch only appears in the nearby, relatively well-studied cosmos.

However, when telescopes focus on galaxies billions of light years away, which shows astronomers what was happening when the universe was young, everything seems to add up.

The fact that the accounting of light needed to ionize hydrogen works in the early universe but falls apart locally has scientists puzzled.

This mismatch emerged from comparing supercomputer simulations of intergalactic gas to the most recent analysis of observations from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph.

"The simulations fit the data beautifully in the early universe, and they fit the local data beautifully if we're allowed to assume that this extra light is really there," CU-Boulder's Oppenheimer said.

"It's possible the simulations do not reflect reality, which by itself would be a surprise, because intergalactic hydrogen is the component of the universe that we think we understand the best."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Technology

Planet Niburu: What's going to happen on September 23? Watch

Image of Is planet Niburu real? And does it pose a threat to Earth?

September 23 is a worrisome date for millions of people who believe that a massive planet will affect the Earth as it passes by in space. ... continue reading


Scientists plan to phone E.T. at home, but it could be a bad idea. Here's why Watch

Image of Scientists plan to starts calling nearby planets at the end of 2018.

Scientists plan to send a signal into deep space to see if aliens are out there. However, experts warn we could endanger humanity by doing ... continue reading


Cassini's reward for 13 years of service is a fiery death. Here's why Watch

Image of A NASA rendition of Cassini's final dive in Saturn.

Goodbye to Cassini, the space probe that was launched in 1997 and spent six years travelling, and over thirteen years exploring Saturn and ... continue reading


Is the end of Google near? Internet giant may soon become target of anti-trust laws around the world Watch

Image of Has Google become a monopoly?

Google is getting too big for its own good, or so some experts are warning. Talk of anti-trust measures against the internet giant is ... continue reading


UFO Seekers use a telescope to capture images of the secret Area 51 base where people can be SHOT on sight Watch

Image of Area 51 is off limits to the public and is heavily patrolled. Sensors also detect anyone approaching the perimeter.

Hikers and UFO enthusiasts have captured clear, new images of the secretive Area 51 base in Nevada using a telescope and camera. The photos ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.