Hubble finds dark matter smoke ring

By Phil Plait | May 15, 2007 9:01 am

I won’t waste your time by first writing a lot of words. Let’s get right to the way cool picture:

That image is of the galaxy cluster CL0024+1652 (go look at the higher resolution version — it’s very pretty!), a galactic city located a whopping 5 billion light years away! That means the light we see from this cluster left it five billion years ago, so we’re seeing this structure as it was when the Universe was just 2/3 its present age. Almost every small object in that image is a galaxy, and all of them are held sway by the cluster’s gravity, orbiting the center like bees flying around a beehive.

It has long been thought that every large object in the Universe is surrounded by a halo of dark matter — unseen, mysterious, yet profoundly influential in the life of normal matter. Dark matter (or just DM for short) gives off no light, and does not interact with normal matter directly– a cloud of it could pass right through you and you’d never know. But, like regular old matter, it has gravity, and that can betray its presence.

I’ve gone over this before — Einstein postulated that gravity from matter bends space, like a bowling ball on a bed bends the mattress. Light will follow that bend in space the same way a marble rolled across the bed will curve from the bowling ball’s dip. If there is some massive object out there in space, and some galaxy beyond it, the light from the more distant galaxy will bend as it passes by the intervening material. We see that as a distortion in the shape of the galaxy. This is called gravitational lensing, and can be used to map out the location of dark matter. So even though we cannot see DM directly, we can see its effects.

Clusters are a rich hunting ground for DM: it’s thought that DM helped normal matter form into large structures when the Universe was young. So clusters should still have lots of DM around them. It was also thought that in general, the DM halo around clusters would be roughly spherical, or maybe slightly elongated like a football. More exotic shapes weren’t really expected.

Until now, that is. CL0024_1652 is surrounded by a ring of dark matter, as shown in that Hubble image! (Update: this is also available at Hubblesite.org). Astronomers looked at the cluster, and very carefully mapped the distortions of background galaxies by the gravity of the cluster. What they found, after applying some fiendish math and physics to the observations, was that ghost ring of dark matter. Mind you, the image is not directly of the DM itself, but is a map of its location using those gravitational distortions. Here’s what the cluster looks like in just visible light:

If you look carefully at it (or grab a higher-res version) you can see blue arcs of light all around it. Those are images of more distant galaxies distorted by the cluster’s gravity. It’s distortions similar (but weaker) than those that astronomers use to map to the DM.

This ring of dark matter is totally cool. When I first heard about it a few days ago, my first thought was, "Hmm, must have been some sort of collision between clusters to do that." Since DM doesn’t interact with normal matter except through gravity, I knew that there is no way for matter to sculpt the DM through the usual methods (pressure, winds, things like that which give gas clouds such gorgeous shapes). But sometimes, when a small galaxy collides with a big one, the gravitational interaction can totally whip the big galaxy into a frenzy, leaving it with a ring shape. My favorite example of this is Hoag’s object:

That’s a single galaxy, though (if it were at the cluster distance, it would be just one of the dots in the cluster image). The DM ring around the cluster is far, far larger– it’s something like 2.6 million light years across! For comparison, our own Milky Way Galaxy is about 100,000 light years across. The nearest big spiral galaxy to us is over 2 million light years away, so that ring is BIG. Sometime in the past, maybe one or two billion years ago, the cluster suffered a mighty collision with another cluster, and their mutual gravitational dance puffed out the DM halo into that ring shape (you can see a diagram of this on the European Hubble website).

Interestingly, the astronomers who discovered the ring did some research and discovered a paper claiming that the cluster did in fact have a collision with another cluster: it appears that there are two separate groupings of galaxies in the cluster, which implies a collision. Evidently, we are seeing this event along our line of sight; it’s as if the colliding cluster was aimed right at us (or, I suppose, directly away from us). From the side, the ring would look more rectangular, probably, like a barrel or a life preserver seen from the side. It just so happens that our location gives this event its dramatic appearance.

This ring will prove important to astronomers for many reasons. For one, it gives us insight on how dark matter can be shaped by normal matter. We don’t understand the nature of DM very well at all, so anything like this can only be helpful in honing the theories. For another, this is a bright, dense, well-observed cluster, so we can learn quite a bit about it. The more we understand the cluster, the less we have to guess about its DM halo. For a third, this is the first time a halo of DM has been seen to be so differently shaped from the gas and other mass in the cluster. It can be studied separately from the normal matter, making that task in some ways easier.

And the best thing about it? It’s unexpected! Surprise! It’s always nice in science when things go your way, and predictions pan out. But it’s even better when you process the data, and a big fat bogie like this is sitting in the middle of it. That means there’s more to learn, more to know, more to understand. And that’s the very essence of science!

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Comments (76)

  1. John Powell

    If we’re the only ones, it’s a big waste of space!

  2. Chip

    Thank you for some very compelling insights and breathtaking pictures.

    In the popular news media and Wikipedia, dark matter has been defined as having an unknown composition and not reflecting or emitting light, but effecting gravity. Am I on the right track in thinking dark matter is thus very exotic and far different from unseen matter that is presumed to exist within those beautiful galaxies, such as rocky planets and asteroids that are totally invisible but collectively also contribute to a gravitational effect?

    Phil also mentioned: “…astronomers who discovered the ring did some research and discovered a paper claiming that the cluster did in fact have a collision with another cluster…”
    It’s also cool that in science, someone could be working on something “over there” and later, another scientist finds important data in that work to support a different observation “over here”.

  3. Chip –you’re correct. The big contender for DM now is WIMPs, weakly interacting massive particles. They have all kinds of odd properties, and it’s possible that the GLAST mission, due to launch in December can detect them. They can produce gamma rays when they collide, and GLAST can detect that.

    Also, I was just talking with a coworker about how cool it much have been for that astronomer to find the earlier paper. He thought at first he had made some sort of error in his work when he saw the ring. Seeing that someone else had found independent evidence of a collision muct have made his day. :)

  4. When you say “does not interact with normal matter directly”, I assume that you mean that it does not interact electromagnetically. That leaves strong, weak, and gravitational interactions. I know that neutrinos can be detected through their nuclear interactions with huge tanks of purified water buried deep underground. Do you know if anyone has proposed any similar techniques for detecting dark matter via it’s strong or weak interactions?

    The other thing I’m curious about is whether or not dark matter has other intrinsic properties that we would typically associate with normal matter (e.g. inertia) and does it obey similar conservation laws (e.g. mass, momentum and energy). Are you aware of any hypothetical conjectures with regards to these phenomena?

  5. Gary Ansorge

    Dm is still very much “up in the air”. WIMPs are a nice, catch all non-description. If they are able to interact only via strong, weak or gravitaional forces, that severly constrains WHAT they are.

    More data collection needed,,,

    Gary 7

  6. Gary Ansorge

    Addendum: Maybe hey’re a collection of cold, massive tachyons. Wouldn’t THAT be neat?

    GAry 7

  7. Jack Butler

    Thanks for the fine story and images. One of the perks of this site. Re “dark matter” and WIMPs: Supersymmetry predicts WIMPs, so that is the leading theory for dark matter. In case WIMPs are not found, I propose a model of intrinsically curved spacetime. We would read the curvatures as gravitational fields, and therefore as mass or matter.

  8. Speaking of the dark stuff in our universe, Orac’s found a prime piece of woo more or less claiming that materialism is bunk because it only deals with the 4% baryonic matter. If you can deal with the pain, I think you could do your own take on teh stupid, Phil.

  9. I could imagine the fundies claiming that the halo pic is the “Eye of God” manifested.

  10. Here’s what confuses me about this, and it may be just stupidity, and it may be just that nobody has yet figured exactly “what” gravity really is. If the surrounding halo of Hoag’s Object has a diamter of 2.6 million light years, how can the halo maintain its shape. Whatever gravity is, wouldn’t it have to travel far faster than the speed of light?

    Aaach! Science is so cool, but I just understand so little of it.

  11. Chip touched on something that bothers me about this whole “Dark Matter” thing. I asked a Q&BA question about it, but perhaps Phil found it too esoteric or just too boring :)

    I understand that without this unseen matter, the universe doesn’t make sense from a gravitational standpoint – galaxies wield more gravitational power than is suggested by the mass calculated from how much light they give off, for instance.

    But I always get tripped up at the next part: Why does this unseen matter have to be “exotic”? Why can’t it just be interstellar dust, old dimed-out stars, black holes, and other things that have gravity without giving off light? What makes this dark matter “Dark Matter”?

  12. tussock

    Mike: Gravity is the “shape” of spacetime, which describes the path followed by inertial objects (those without any forces acting on them). And no, we don’t know “what” that is, but we don’t really know what light is either, let alone dark matter (which may or may not even exist).

    Changes to the shape of spacetime do propagate at the speed of light, but objects are accelerated toward very nearly where a mass will be, rather than where it was. Odd, but verified.

    So the /effect/ of gravity is very nearly like it’s instantaneously propagated, for most purposes. Still, no information propagates faster than light, so if a star suddenly and violently explodes it’s planets would still orbit where it would have been had it not done so until the information of it’s explosion (and different gravitational future) can reach them.

  13. Christopher

    Hi Carey, although it sounds like the argument of the emperor’s new clothes; the reason why Cold Dark Matter (CDM) is thought to be exotic has to do with how many baryons (protons, neutrons and electrons) are believed to have been created in the big bang and the with the proportions of elements heavier than lithium which have been observed in the universe. Were, number of elementary atomic units to increase by a factor of 5 or 10 as would be required to account for the gravitational effects observed in Galaxy clusters then, there would be a lot more heavy elements floating about in space and the universe would be mostly iron as opposed to hydrogen which makes up about 90% of what our spectroscopes have detected. The reason we must discount ordinary matter as the culprit is that there simply are not enough baryons in the universe to account for it.

  14. How can dark matter pass unnoticed if it has gravity? Obviously gravity has an effect… wouldn’t passing dark matter also?

  15. slew

    “Astronomers looked at the cluster, and very carefully mapped the distortions of background galaxies by the gravity of the cluster. What they found, after applying some fiendish math and physics to the observations, was that ghost ring of dark matter. Mind you, the image is not directly of the DM itself, but is a map of its location using those gravitational distortions. Here’s what the cluster looks like in just visible light:”

    so they photoshopped it? and we’re supposed to take this seriously?

  16. HvP

    Weszt,

    The idea is that dark matter is very diffuse. On a small scale the effects of nearby objects such as individual stars completely swamp out the gravitational effect of the dark matter. But over massively large scales such as entire galaxies or clusters the effects of all these tiny dispersed particles is so pervasive that it has a noticeable effect.

  17. HvP

    slew,

    Gravitational lensing is a repeatedly proven phenomenon. You may dispute the cause, but the effect of gravity bending light is beyond doubt. The scientists involved have presented their measurements. If you want to prove them wrong you have to show your work.

  18. Your this article is very good

  19. Rick

    Dark matter sounds like a modern version of the epicycles. It’s a bunch of speculative nonsense to cover up the fact there’s such a gaping hole in their knowledge of very basic things.

  20. I have a problem with the idea that we are looking at the universe as it was billions of years ago.

    If both past and future exist simultaneously to the present we should be looking at a simultaneous universe.

    The idea seems to be that if we have a long enough piece of string and a clock we can measure both the linear distance and the linear duration of time involved.

    I would have to ask why then do we see these galaxies at a distance if the light has finally reached us?

    Does the Hubble not modulate the condition of field?

    I agree that they are amazing pictures, but are we kidding ourselves about the concept of light years, because if the universe is instantaneous which it appears to be, there are no light years or even years. We simply see what there is to see at the moment we see it.

    If we consider the underlying dynamics of universe, it should be impossible for the light of such distant galaxies to ever reach us, in relation to the idea of light being in linear motion, much like a bus or a train.

    We have to remember that the universe is continuously expanding where space is stretched isometrically and time is slowed isometrically, in relation to the condition of universe remaining relative to our system of reference, while the same is true for every other system of universe.

  21. Boom

    We are presented with a 2d picture of a 3d system made up of over 300 galaxies. I think this “pin wheel” affect is an oversimplification. Would be interesting to see a 3d rotation of the galactic clusters as well as the purported density of dark matter as evidenced by gravitational lensing. For starters what is the total volume of space that encompasses the galactic clusters vs that of the dark matter. You cant tell from the picture. It leaves far too much leeway for subjective interpretation. Is the dark matter really a structure that is evolving independent from the baryonic distribution as the article claims? Not enough information to judge.

  22. Excellent article — you do the images justice by giving a complete and interesting background.

  23. Clayton

    The article at the “high-res” link states; “Curious about why the ring was in the cluster and how it had formed, Jee found previous research that suggested the cluster had collided with another cluster 1 to 2 billion years ago.”

    Wouldn’t this be 6 to 7 billion years ago given that the observed image is “located 5 billion light-years away from Earth”? Or am I misunderstanding this? I’d guess that it would be safe to say that we might have observed the formation 1-2 billion years ago…from here, but saying it the 5 billion year old image we are just now seeing was formed 1-2 billion years ago seems illogical.

    http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/html/heic0709.html

  24. Bodo Zimmermann

    Why are the destorted images of the background galaxies blue and not red according to Hubble’s law?
    They are farer away.

  25. Dan

    You have the right name for your web site. There is no such thing as dark matter, gravitational lensing or “bent space”. And galaxies do not collide. Read up on plasma and the properties thereof. Then realize that 99% of the universe is composed of the stuff. You will figure out the rest. p.s. That galaxy cluster is not that far away either.

  26. Magnum

    What happens when dark matter hits a black hole, such as when a black hole sweeps through a cloud of dark matter?

    I watched a documentary a short while back which stated that dark matter interacts with the weak nucular force, and now I read above that two colliding “particles” (assuming that’s what they are) of dark matter can emit gamma rays (how can we even know or detect that? It would be like a gamma ray popping out of nowhere) so is this weak interaction enough to trap particles of dark matter that wanders inside a black hole’s event horizon?

    What about a hypothetical particle of true dark matter, which doesn’t interact with any force besides gravity? How could it be trapped in a black hole? Wouldn’t it just accelerate towards the centre, then decelerate out again?

    And I won’t accept the answer that you can’t see dark matter, so that even if dark matter enters a black hole’s event horizon and leaves again, the black hole is still black 😉

  27. loplop

    (How is it, I wonder, this site seems to draw in so many “flat-earth” type wingnuts?)

    Slew, this image was not “photoshopped” — it was the result of a lot of mathematically driven image filtering. Photoshopping is what *I* do (for a living) when I take a picture of your face and erase the zits from it using the Brush tool; there is no math to it, just my eye.

    Rick, technically epicycles weren’t straight-up wrong, they were reasonable mathematical models of what was happening in the heavens. It just so happens that they were superseded by a better model, one that required a change in fundamental astronomical premises. But that doesn’t make epicycles “bad science” — just outdated.

    Folks, science is inherently imperfect, since it is an empirical enterprise that is refined over time and occasionally goes through “revolutions”. However, that doesn’t mean that the scientific method it flawed (on the contrary, that’s what makes it strong), and it doesn’t mean that old science is wrong. As the descriptions get better, the models get better, and we all climb steadily toward greater accuracy and precision, but as long as the scientific method is adhered to, old science is always valid in some sense.

    So, some day, when we’re all flying around at warp 9 and hanging out with Vulcans and Klingons ;-), we’ll look back at this discovery of the dark matter ring and smirk because we have better, finer explanations for what is going on. But until then, I, for one, will be happy to give praise, thanks, and admiration for the folks who brought us this fabulous image and its explanation.

  28. Ibrahim Alamri

    beleiving in GOD, will show the human the truth,in our religion, The Quran explained to us everything e.g. million of $ spent to find the moon does not have life which was written in Quran 1400 years ago, Adison spent hundred of experments trying to invent the light, finaly he knew he need a glass to make it work, in Quran God mention that and so on.
    Thi univers is Gods creation and once we truly beleive in God we will know many many secrets. May God help everyone looking for the truth to find it

  29. Thomas D

    Is their article published, or is there just the abstract and press release? I can’t find the actual publication on the Ap.J. website. It’s in a list of recently accepted articles and all the others offer a PDF … but not this!

    Odd.

  30. Christopher, your answer is the best I’ve ever heard to my question about why dark matter has to be exotic – not that I ask it very often. One thing though – you said, “hydrogen … makes up about 90% of what our spectroscopes have detected.” But naturally, the makeup of unseen matter can’t be determined with a spectroscope, even using absorption spectra (a black hole would absorb the entire spectrum). So that should be, “90% of what we can detect is hydrogen”. And if what we can detect only makes up 10% of total mass, why can’t the other 91% be regular old baryons sitting in a singularity somewhere? Where is that leap made from unseen matter to dark matter?

  31. PK

    Magnum, a black hole is a region in space from which noting can leave. It does not matter if your a person, a photon, a neutrino, a gluon, or a dark matter particle. Once you’re in you can’t get out. The reason they called it a black hole is that light itself cannot escape, but the black hole itself is not an electromagnetic phenomenon.

  32. Dunc

    Wow – this one really brought out the wierdos, huh? I love how a bunch of guys in a comments thread can totally overturn our entire undertanding of fundamental physics, and they’re not even interested in the Nobel prize. Such selfless devotion to The Truth is impressive… 😉

    I think I’ve figured out the heuristic they’re using: “anything I don’t understand is wrong”.

  33. Trevor

    I think John Powell is right. There must be some life in one of all of those galaxies. We can’t be the only ones. Even if it is an organism that isn’t as intelligent as us. I highly doubt that there are actually lifeforms that are more intelligent. Don’t you think that they would have already made some sort of contact with humanity. Would they be violent or peaceful? It’s one of those questions that I think will be answered in the next 70-100 years.

  34. Chris

    John Powell, stop quoting movies.

  35. NGC 3314

    Just saw that the actual paper showed up on arxiv.org this morning… Also, this image revisits one of my longtime favorites for educational purposes. There is an odd theta-shaped galaxy in the deep background of this cluster, which is in the right place for strong gravitational lensing by the inner part of the cluster. You can see it in variously distorted places at least 5 times through the lumpy field of the cluster. I have long used the earlier HST image in classes, as the most striking visual example of gravitational lensing (that is, making it visually obvious through the unusual shape of the galaxy that we are seeing the same object on different lines of sight).

  36. bkallee
  37. I fell in to a burnin’ ring of matter.

    Incidentally, that is just really very large indeed. Typical universe, so full of itself and always having to be the biggest thing.

  38. icemith

    Trevor, if the light we are now seeing from anywhere in that galaxy cluster did contain any intelligence, (to us), and it was broadcast then, you do realise that it left home *before* our little Solar System existed!

    How far has our intelligence developed in the meantime? They have had another generation to develop (or disintegrate), and I would hazzard a guess that we would be so relatively ignorant to them.

    I think we could mess up some future civilisation no end if we broadcast an *answer* to the inevitable question that a future galactic enquirer asks!

    Just joking…..I think…

    I did download the 23 Mb high-res. Jpeg image despite the dire warnings re risk of lock-up or shutdown, but the result was great, and I hardly need the even larger Tiff image.

    Phil, your enthusiasm for this knowledge, and our learning from it is immeasurable. It is obvious that most of the above commenters are thankful for it, and that some of the denyers (is that a word?), will learn to appreciate the work that has gone into this effort to advance our learning.

    But I have one little query. It concerns the naming of the galaxy cluster. There seems to be two versions – namely – CL0024+1652, and CL0024+17, as the hi-res shot is labelled. Why is this so? Is one part of the other, or does it reflect the origin of the images themselves?

    Ivan.

  39. PK

    Re: weirdos, what do you expect, with 1800 diggs!

  40. Brian

    PhysBrain,
    Several laboratory dark matter searches have already been conducted, but at fairly low levels of sensitivity. Now we are upgrading them to the point that they are beginning to intersect some small part of the region of the parameter space favored by current models. Two of the most promising that will run this year are CDMS II and XENON 10. You can use Google to get more info.

  41. Brian

    PhysBrain,
    Dark matter does not interact with ordinary matter via the strong force, or we would have spotted those interactions long ago.

  42. Brian

    Boom,
    Concerning your post of May 15 at 10:37 PM:
    1. Our view does not give us enough depth perception to obtain a rotated picture – the only perspective available to us is along our line of sight. We have observed another collision of galaxy clusters from an angle more or less perpendicular to the diection of the collision – the composite object is referred to as the Bullet Cluster. You can Google it.

    2. The baryonic matter in a galaxy cluster consists mostly of clouds of hydrogen gas and hygrogen ions and the stars within the galaxies. In most clusters, the clouds of gas, the galaxies, and the dark matter all seem to be spread throughout the whole cluster, so it is difficult to view the dark matter separate from the baryonic matter. In the case of the Bullet Cluster, we see the hydrogen clouds separated from the galaxies and the dark matter. That is nice, but we would also like to see the dark matter separated from the galaxies. Well, in this view of CL0024+1652, we seem to see just that. We see the galaxies as blobs of light. These blobs do not predominately lie in the blue patches (these patches indicate areas of large concentrations of lensing material). Notice that the picture does not depend upon the computer simulation, just on the telescopic observations and the gravitational lensing. The pattern of the lensing shows that most of the mass lies in the blue regions, not where the galaxies are.

  43. Was just chatting with a friend and he mentioned reading about the dark matter ring at CNN.com, and I pointed him to this post. The moment gave me reason to reflect on the enormous gap between traditional media coverage and blogs on topics like this. No doubt about it – blogs blow traditional media out of the water. Thanks for illuminating topics like this so well, Phil.

  44. icemith, the name is really the coordinates of the cluster on the sky, like longitude and latitude. 1654 is 16 hours 54 minutes, which can be abbreviated as 17. That threw me for a moment when I was first researching this cluster for this entry!

  45. anathmas

    Hi, thanks for that. Will be back for more. While a range of theories exist about dark matter, it is real phenomena that have prompted the search. Its good to see people thinking, though perhaps some should try to get a bit of a grasp of underlying principles before poo-poohing theories that seem to be in some ways distasteful to them! The arguments about what is happening/existing are in a way what science is about…. can’t say that this is true in many other aspects of life on earth, though in other cultures who knows. By the way, unless some intellegence has managed to master instantaneous communication I think talk between galaxy clusters is always going to be one way!”

  46. Irishman
  47. moxfdg

    @Bodo Zimmermann

    I’m going to hazard a guess to answer your question. Blue light has a higher index of refraction than red light. The sky is blue because of this, and sunsets are red because of this. Red light, in general, will most closely follow the original path of the light. Blue light, in general, gets scattered the most. It’s because of this that any light that is incident on our atmosphere, the blue gets scattered out and is what we see. This is also the principal on which a prism works.

    Even though in this case we have gravitational lensing, I assume the same principal is at work.

  48. icemith

    Thanks BA for your explanation re CL0024+1652 naming procedures. It seems to have become familar enough already, to have a “nick-name”!

    Ivan.

  49. Thomas D

    There was a discussion of this in our cosmology coffee group last week – the astrophysicists were *very* scathing. Essentially there is no way the reconstructed dark matter map could be at all accurate. Why? Because they don’t have enough data. To be precise they are trying to use weak lensing (slight distortion of the shapes of background galaxies) to deduce the density of matter in between us and them. But the number of distant galaxies per pixel is order 1 – far too few to give a significant measurement of density. The random error on each pixel is *huge*. So they did (to be crude) some fancy statistical stuff to smooth things out – a procedure which happens to depend on the distance away from the centre of the cluster.

    Now the thing is that if you get an uncontrolled systematic error which depends principally on the distance from the cluster centre, there is a very good chance that *it will look like a ring*. The supposed Dark Ring could be purely an artefact of the statistical method used. (That doesn’t mean that there is no dark matter at all, just that its structure can’t be resolved accurately with the data they have.)

    Trouble is the paper is 50 pages long and it would take a lot of fishing around to find out what the statistical significance of the result really is.

  50. Solo

    Regular matter has this tendency to clump together, because it has mass, and gravity pulls stuff toward each other, creating, among other things, stars, planets, black holes and just about any structures that astromonist have classified for a long time.

    Dark matter, conveniently invisible, non-interacting with regular matter, except for, yes, gravity, does not clump together, because if it did, it would create dark matter gravity hot spots. Invisible, non-interacting, but for gravity. Like dark matter stars, planets. Or not, because anything like that would be obvious.

    Nope, even though it has gravity, it is conveniently diffused through the regular matter and appear to simply explain the current distribution of garden variety matter. Even though DM is like 6 times more abundant than regular one.

    I do not understand.

  51. Tyler

    Uh, according to the website that comes up when you click the picture of Hoag’s object, it says the ring is only 120,000 light years wide, slightly larger than the milky way. Not sure where you got 2.6 million light years across…

    But then again I need only to remind myself of the site name.

  52. Scott Florance

    Help aborted baby by making some small casket freezers that stay at -16 celcius for 1240 years. Make it illegal to damage his /her baby brain during an anbortion. Get all the abortion docters to help women form thier decision to use the crio-casket for the dead fetus.

  53. Ed Migol

    Thanks for all the dialog. I’ve always enjoyed hearing questions from folks who felt they knew everything. Pictures are indeed wonderful, whether they were created from complex algorithms or “photoshop” magic. : )

  54. my milkshakes bring all da boys to da yard dare life iz beter dan ur damn right it’s better than your i can teach you but i’ll hav ta charge!

  55. The concept of dark matter is really a very big historical blunder on which an enormous amount of time and effort has been wasted. Dark matter has never been observed, despite 60-70 years of searching. Really absolute nonsense.
    There exists alternatives to dark matter such as the MOND theory and my own theory (see my website and my arxiv paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.1110 )

    I hope to experience the day that dark matter is finally disproven and most astronomers and cosmologist have to admit with shame their dramatic mistake.

  56. armchair astrochemist

    Good to read Rudi’s comments on the ‘reality’ of dark matter and an alternative explanation of those unexplained gravitational effects within and between galaxies. What concerns me is that the Dark Matter proponents either do not seem to read the literature of astronomy or are hell-bent on ignoring published work in the hope of making a big name for themselves. Why has work published from the late 1990’s based on the Infrared Space Observatory and later space instruments (Spitzer), on the discovery of massive quantities of molecular hydrogen in galaxies, that accounts for the ‘missing mass’ problem, been ignored by these people? Unlike atomic hydrogen (easily detected by radioastronomy), cold molecular hydrogen is very difficult to detect, unless the molecule is warmed up a bit as a result of proximity to stars. It is now known that there are vast quantities of this molecule in the universe, and much of it remains ‘invisible’, apart from its gravitational effect. This is Baryonic matter -real stuff- not fanciful WIMPS that continue to evade unequivocal identification. Let us hear some proper discussion about this work.

  57. Kryoclasm

    Ok, when I look at the DM image and the regular image, all I see is a lot of very distant galaxies in the background and like 4 or 5 stars in the foreground near the middle that are warping the background objects.

    Notice the nice looking, but oddly stretched out, blue and whitish galaxy that must be directly behind that group of stars in the middle of the image clearly forming an Einstein ring of the galaxy around it.

    Am I the only one who sees this?

    I think the idea of this mystical exotic matter must exist because some equations say it must exist, is foolishness. The math is most likely wrong. We are dealing with how much matter must exist in a universe and we don’t know how big it really is, therefore we have an open equation.

    This proves the whole DM theory is being driven solely off a profit motive to keep the grants coming in. Stick to real science, that means use observations and tangible evidence to find truth. Stop speculating and wasting time and money on theories that are based on math that use variables that cannot be proven!

  58. ancelmo liuiz graceli

    Nova teoria do universo sustenta que o cosmo se formou de fora para dentro num processo de fluxos estruturante – ver no google – TEORIA DO UNIVERSO FLUXONÁRIO ESTRUTURANTE. autor Ancelmo Luiz Graceli.

  59. This discovery might keep on a mathematical relationship with the Tachyons.

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