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Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Dark Matter Discovery

By August 21, 2006

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The debate over dark matter has reached a turning point today, as NASA announced that it had observational evidence in strong support of dark matter over alternative gravity theories.

Using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, among others, astronomers studied a galaxy cluster formed by the collision of two galaxies. By mapping the movement of the hot gas in those galaxies, they discovered that the gravitational influences were not in the center of the gas cloud, but rather seemed to have been influenced by some outside form of unseen matter - exactly as predicted by dark matter theories.

This was the clearest example ever observed of dark matter separating itself from ordinary matter. Dark matter, which is theorized to be 6 times more abundant than "ordinary matter," interacts only through gravitational forces and exhibits no electromagnetic force, unlike the gas within the galaxy cluster.

The astronomers that have spoken up on the issue thus far seem convinced that this has proven the existence of dark matter, though as with most things in the world, I am sure the distractors will speak up soon enough to present their counter arguments.

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Image: Courtesy of NASA & Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Comments

September 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm
(1) orthodontic says:

Thanks for finally writing about > Dark Matter Discovery < Loved it!

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