Dark Matter

Category archives for Dark Matter

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux… is that the vast majority of mass of the universe seems to be missing.” –William J. Broad When we look out at the Universe, the other things we see…

When it comes to dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up the vast majority of the mass in the Universe, there’s a whole lot we don’t understand or know about it. You might think that there are so many unknowns that are so huge that — quite reasonably — perhaps it doesn’t exist at all,…

“I soon became convinced… that all the theorizing would be empty brain exercise and therefore a waste of time unless one first ascertained what the population of the universe really consists of.” –Fritz Zwicky When we look out at the galaxies in the Universe, watching how they rotate, we find that the starlight we see…

Dark Matter: Giver of Life (Synopsis)

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” –Joseph Campbell When you think about dark matter, you probably think of a few things: how mass and gravity don’t appear to line up, how there isn’t enough normal matter to account for the motions we see on scales of galaxies and up, and how…

Hubble’s Deepest Look (Synopsis)

When you think of the Hubble Space Telescope, perhaps you think of what’s touted as its most major feat of all: peering off into deep, dark space, collecting light, and discovering the plethora of distant galaxies laying billions of light years beyond our own. It’s a spectacular sight and a spectacular story, and it’s allowed…

When you think of dark matter, you very likely think of a halo of diffuse, unseen mass whose gravitational influence is felt by everything within our galaxy, and every galaxy or cluster out there. But what you might not consider is that this dark matter is consistently passing through Earth and every atom-and-molecule on it. Every…

Dark matter in galaxies: proven! (Synopsis)

“The discrepancy between what was expected and what has been observed has grown over the years, and we’re straining harder and harder to fill the gap.” –Jeremiah Ostriker If you look at the stars in a galaxy — and then at all the different wavelengths of light that there are — you’d think you can…

“I think if I had to choose, I would rather have gravity instead of zero gravity. It’s fun for a while, but I’d rather live on Earth.” –Kevin A. Ford By now, you’ve probably had a lot of opportunities to think about what holds our Universe together: the incredible force of gravitation. Although it’s the…

The status of the Universe: 2015 (Synopsis)

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” -James A. Baldwin We’ve come a long way since we first started watching the night skies. Even just a century ago, we thought our Universe was governed by Newtonian gravity and consisted only of our Milky Way and the stars inside. In the past…

Fixing Occam’s Razor (Synopsis)

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” –Amelia Barr All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the best. At least, that’s how Occam’s razor is most commonly phrased these days. Yet, when it comes to the headlines — whether it’s a “discovery” of dark matter or “evidence” for life on Mars…