Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/22/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Robot arms cook up meals in kitchen at Asian electronics show Watch

Image of Designed by the Shadow Robot Company, which also provides technologies to NASA, the arms consist of 20 motors, 24 joints, and 129 sensors allowing them to mimic the movements and dexterity of human hands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Visitors to the inaugural Consumer Electronics Show, or CES held in Shanghai got a very special, delicious treat. Food cooked up by robotic arms that served up hot and tasty dishes to attendees. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Designed by London-based Moley ... continue reading


Mysterious heavenly body rightfully earns nickname as 'Nasty 1' Watch

Image of An artist's conception of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dubbed "Nasty 1" a mysterious new star is starting to live up to its weird nickname. Scientists viewing the star from the Hubble Space Telescope say the massive, mysterious star is surrounded by a huge, pancake-shaped disk of gas. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Flickr's auto-tagging feature creates racist and discriminating stirs Watch

Image of Instead of tagging a photo of a woman wearing a white mask as

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pictures are known to capture people's lives, nature and other events in history. This is the reason why Flickr, Yahoo's photo sharing / social networking site has become so popular amongst those who are found of taking snap shots of everything and anything ... continue reading


3 things Christians must refrain from posting about on Facebook Watch

Image of Be careful what you post on your Facebook.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians are becoming more and more active in the use of technology, as well as within participation on social media. While it is obvious that the trend of social networking has its scary downsides, it is also serving as one of the most popular platform to share ... continue reading


Feeling ill? Wi-Fi may be to blame for mysterious illnesses Watch

Image of Wi-fi sensitivity may be a real illness caused by wireless networks.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Do you use Wi-Fi on a regular basis? If you're using any sort of modern technology, that answer is yes, and while it certainly makes daily life easier, there may be a hidden danger. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Suzanne Hoyt, during an interview ... continue reading


Warning: Porn will currently not be blocked from Oculus' headset Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rift, Virtual Reality (VR) headset from Facebook-owned Oculus, is an open platform that owners can manipulate and use for whatever software they want, according to Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - As of the moment, there ... continue reading


A new danger in the skies? Hacker takes control of airplane's engine mid-flight Watch

Image of A cyber security expert is being investigated by the F.B.I. because of a hacking incident which occurred in April, where an airplane's engines were hacked in flight.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new document filed in U.S. federal court reveals that an airplane's engines were hacked mid-flight by a well known American hacker, using of all things, its inflight entertainment system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chris Roberts, a cyber security ... continue reading


Technology takes us one step closer to immortality Watch

Image of In the future, a person may be able to store their brain on a hard drive so they can seemingly live forever.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Through modern technology, it is now possible to upload a brain to a computer. Martine Rothblatt and Ray Kurweil believe that human beings can actually live forever through the utilization of technological advancements. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Are you sure they are safe? Google's self-driving cars to hit the road this summer - to expected indifference Watch

Image of Google's self-driving cars, a squat two-seater is intended to shepherd fleets of vehicles that can drive with no need for human intervention.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Google is set to unveil and sent out on to Northern Californian driveways their self-driving cars. While sounding fun and futuristic, the cars - dubbed by some as "clown cars" or "koala cars," are expected to met with mass indifference. Only 25 of the said ... continue reading


Why didn't Dell or HP do this? $9 computer raises $1 million on Kickstarter Watch

Image of Always with a keen eye on miniaturization, both in size and price, the computer world is looking towards CHIP with abiding interest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All it costs is $9, and it plugs into existing desktop setups. Called the CHIP, the tiny computer that could has raised more than $1 million in just five short days on Kickstarter. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 2.5-inch motherboard costs about the same ... 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, Sirach 36:5-6, 10-17
5 Send new portents, do fresh wonders, win glory for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
8 Do not count against us the guilt of former ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:32-45
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2015 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have said that ... 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