Last Reservoir Of Universe's Missing Ordinary Matter Found

Posted: Jun 21 2018, 8:39am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Last Reservoir of Universe's Missing Ordinary Matter Found
A simulation of the cosmic web, or diffuse tendrils of gas connecting galaxies across the universe. Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Hallman (CU Boulder); Nicastro et al.
  • Researchers find last of universe's missing ordinary matter

Scientists may have Discovered the Last Bit of Ordinary Matter in our Known Universe

Researchers have just revealed the last vestiges of matter that belongs to this universe we are currently inhabiting. Baryons, which can be read as ordinary matter, comprise all the physical things in the cosmos.

These range from the stuff that stars are made of all the way to the insides of black holes. Yet till now, most researchers had only found two-thirds of the matter that was actually supposed to exist in the universe. Most of this was created at the time of the Big Bang.

A team of scientists managed to reveal where the remaining one-third of the matter lay. Apparently, it lies in the spaces between entire galaxies. This comprises thin slivers of oxygen gas that is glowing at a very high temperature.

We are talking about heat levels of up to one million degrees celsius here. This is one giant step for astrophysicists. The Big Bang Theory can now finally be tested especially in connection with hydrogen and helium and all the rest of the elements that exist.

This ordinary matter is something entirely different from dark matter. Dark matter remains a mystery as far as its whereabouts are concerned.

10% of the ordinary matter lies within the galaxies whereas close to 60% lies in the gaseous matter between galaxies. The remaining 30% was present in a state termed WHIM.

This is an acronym for “warm-hot intergalactic medium”. A number of satellites were focused on a quasar and the radiation flowing out from it. Scientists also used the Hubble Space Telescope and the ESA’s XMM-Newton Satellite to make the observations.

They found what they were looking for. The absent baryons were there as clearly as the light of day. The gaseous matter must have been blown out of galaxies and quasars over the past billions of years.

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